The bestselling inspirational story of the celebrated teenaged surfer girl who lost her arm in a near-fatal shark attack--and triumphantly returned to competitive surfing. She lost her arm in a shark attack and nearly died, but she never lost her faith. In her #1 New York Times bestseller, Bethany Hamilton tells the moving story of her triumphant return to competitive surfing, which continues to inspire all who hear it. They say Bethany Hamilton has salt water in her veins. How else could one explain the passion that drives her to surf? Or that nothing--not even the loss of her arm--could come between her and the waves? That Halloween morning in Kauai, Hawaii, Bethany responded to the shark's stealth attack with the calm of a teenage girl with God on her side, resolutely pushing aside her pain and panic while being rescued and brought back to shore. "When can I surf again?" was the first thing Bethany asked after her emergency surgery, leaving no doubt that her spirit and determination were part of a greater story--a tale of personal empowerment and spiritual grit that shows the body is no more essential to surfing, perhaps even less so, than the soul.
Maybe if years from now she writes another autobiography, it will be more mature and set a better example for her young fans. Personally I prefer how she was portrayed in the movie version of Soul Surfer. The movie painted a more positive, engaging, mature public image of Bethany Hamilton.
The thing that hurt my opinion of the book the most was what my students would perceive when reading this (beyond all the references to God.) She talks about being a practical joker and pulling some things that I would not want my students to do. She also has an immature outlook about safety around the water that I don't want my students to gain. As an adult who knows better I guffawed at her youthful sense of invincibility but wouldn't want my students to make the same errors.
Bethany Hamilton is just an average teenage girl who lives in Hawaii. She is a competitive surfer, became homeschooled right after 6th grade so she could go around the world surfing and doing what she loves. But one day her and her friends were out surfing and a 14 foot shark bit her left arm. When her friends were paddling her to shore, Bethany never passed out. She was calm, just telling her friends to call 911. While this was happening, her dad was already in the hospital where he planned on getting knee surgery that day. All of the family met up at the hospital and the doctors brought Bethany into instant surgery. After several surgeries later, Bethany was sent home. The first thing Bethany wanted to know by her doctors is if she was ever going to be able to surf again. This book reminds me of a motivational athlete Kyle Maynard who has no arms, or legs and has won 35 rewards. This reminds me of Bethany because he is so motivated to do his best and follow his dreams.
This book is a very good quality book for a person that likes auto biographies. Bethany gives very good details and doesn’t seem to leave anything out about her life. This book is a very good book for any ages from 12 years old or older. I rate this book 5 out of 5 because I love how Bethany writes and explains the challenges of only having one arm. I absolutely recommend this book to everyone!
Bethany's attitude throughout the book is amazing. There's no whining, no "why me?"s (at least not in the sense that you'd expect), no defeatest attitudes. In fact, pretty much the whole story is told in a positive, upbeat manner. You can really see how much her family and friends mean to her and how much they all came together to get through what must have been an extremely difficult time.
Soul Surfer is a quick read; on audio it was just under four hours. My only real complaint (besides the odd, slightly annoying music that popped up between sections and chapters) is that there really is no significant mention of the struggles Bethany must have gone through learning to adapt to using one arm. She does touch on it briefly, but really, we hear more about having to work with AnnaSofia Robb (who plays Bethany in the film that just came out based on the book) to make the adjustments needed in her surfing for the movie than for Bethany's. I can only imagine that for someone so young it must have been too recent a struggle for her to discuss in her book, or perhaps that just wasn't the focus she wanted to have. She stresses throughout how important her relationship with God is; and that is indeed a very large theme in her story.
Overall, this is an inspirational book about a truly remarkable role model for not only young girls, but for all of us.
I find it so amazing that a girl who endured such a tragedy as Bethany could make such a comeback. You can tell by reading this book how selfless, strong, determined, and spirited Bethany is. I very much admire her. I thought the book was
Reading about Bethany's comeback as a surfer was really humbling as well. It makes you think about how many times you've wanted to give up (and have!) and how many times you complain about petty everyday issues.
I think Christians especially will really love this book (or anyone with religious beliefs) because Bethany is a devout Christian, and God was her rock throughout everything. God was her anchor, and I loved reading about Bethany's struggles, and her realizations about Christ and the things He has in store for us.
This book is great inspirational book for teens and tweens. It was a true you-can-do-anything-you-put-your-mind-to book. It is also a great outlet for teen readers who have a very upbeat and positive outlook on life while still struggling with all the normal things every teen goes through. Hamilton writes, “I may have no clue where I’m going, but He sure does! A lot of teens feel this way, I know. You graduate high school and you’re like, ‘What now?’ I can relate. It’s like all of a sudden, you’re face-to-face with your future and its one gigantic question mark.” (1525 of 2230 Kindle ebook) 3Q 2P.
A good way to drive this point home with students is to have them make a list of signs they have passed along the way that points toward Heaven. Have the students share