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SHARK LADY

The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist

Written by Jess Keating
Illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns
Age Range: 4 – 8

This is the story of a woman who dared to dive, defy, discover, and inspire. This is the story of Eugenie Clark, the Shark Lady.

Eugenie Clark collecting specimens on a dive. (Courtesy of Mote Marine Laboratory)

Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn’t imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But Eugenie quickly discovered that many people believed sharks to be ugly and scary–and they didn’t think women should be scientists.

Determined to prove them wrong, Eugenie devoted her life to learning about sharks. After earning several college degrees and making countless discoveries, Eugenie wrote herself into the history of science, earning the nickname “Shark Lady.”

SHARK LADY: Jess Keating Dives Deep into Non-Fiction

As a zoologist turned middle grade and picture book author, Jess Keating has been sprayed by skunks, bitten by crocodiles, and been a victim to the dreaded paper cut…

Jess is also the creator, writer and host of Animals for Smart People, a Youtube series about animals, science, and nature.

Jess lives in Ontario, Canada, where she loves nerdy documentaries, hiking, and writing books for adventurous and funny kids. Visit her at jesskeating.com.

I really wish I could remember the first time I came across Eugenie Clark, but she was one of those scientists so entrenched in my thinking as a kid, it’s impossible to pinpoint! Much like I would watch my brothers goofing around and pretend I was Jane Goodall (observing primate behavior, of course), I would also watch fish in streams and pretend I was Genie!

The road to SHARK LADY was a twisty one, for sure. One of my goals as an author is to always keep adapting and diversifying, learning new formats and picking up strengths here and there that play off my interests. When I first started writing for publication, I wrote nonfiction for magazines. After branching out into fiction with my middle grade series, I wanted to revisit my first loves and get more into nonfiction again. I’d started a funny expository series about animals, and I knew it was time to branch out. I wanted to create something different that still fit with my overall arc as an author and what I value.

It was at that point that Eugenie crept back onto my radar. I recall reading an article online about her, and how she was still actively diving and sharing her love of sharks with students. Instantly, all of her work I’d read about in university came flooding back, and I knew in my gut that I was onto something. Genie was just one of those woman who inks an impression right on your heart with her passion, especially if you are a young, science-loving kid who wants to change the world.

 

“I don’t get philosophical. Love fish. Love sharks.

Keep the water and their habitats as clean and protected as possible”
― Eugenie Clark

Ichthyology is the branch of zoology devoted to the study of fish.

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