Review: Shark Summer

Title: Shark Summer
Author: Ira Marcks
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

When a Hollywood film crew arrives on Martha’s Vineyard with a mechanical shark and a youth film contest boasting a huge cash prize, disgraced pitcher Gayle “Blue Streak” Briar sees a chance to turn a bad season into the best summer ever.

After recruiting aspiring cinematographer Elijah Jones and moody director Maddie Grey, Gayle and her crew set out to uncover the truth of the island’s own phantom shark and win the prize money. But these unlikely friends are about to discover what happens when you turn your camera toward the bad things lurking below the surface.


Gayle Briar was the pitcher on her softball team until she broke her arm. Now, her mother has moved them to Martha’s Vineyard because her mom has fond memories of spending the summers there when she was a kid. Their plan to open an ice cream stand is put on hold when her mom has to get a higher paying job to pay for Gayle’s hospital bills. Gayle explores the island and watches the filming of a shark movie. Gayle ends up finding Elijah, a young eager filmmaker, and Maddie, a local girl with a ghost story. The three of them make a shark film to enter into a film competition, but they end up uncovering an ancient island secret.

This is the perfect summer read. Gayle had moved to Martha’s Vineyard, but since it was her first time spending the summer there, it was like she was on a vacation and learning about the island for the first time. Elijah was just in town for the season and Maddie had lived there all her life, but she was bullied by the local children. They were each outsiders in some way. The three of them made a good group to discover the island secrets.

I love it when characters explore an ancient ghost story! Those stores about ghosts and hidden histories fascinated me as a kid. Maddie knew a ghost story and they used it as inspiration to make their film. What Gayle and Elijah didn’t know was that the ghost story was part of a deeper secret on the island. This secret reveal at the end of the story tied everything in together, and made the story feel complete.

Shark Summer is a fun middle grade graphic novel for the summer!

Thank you Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Just Pretend by Tori Sharp

Secrets of Camp Whatever, Vol. 1 by Chris Grine

Have you read Shark Summer? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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