Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board

Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 6 - 8Grades 5 - 10n/a6.030303
The amazing story of the thirteen-year-old surfer girl who lost her arm in a shark attack but never lost her faith -- and of her triumphant return to competitive surfing.

They say Bethany Hamilton has saltwater in her veins. How else could one explain the tremendous passion that drives her to surf? How else could one explain that nothing -- not even the loss of her arm in a horrific shark attack -- could come between her and the waves?

That Halloween morning in Kauai, Hawaii -- a glorious part of the world, where it's hard to deny the divine -- Bethany responded to the shark's stealth attack with the calm of a girl with God on her side. Pushing pain and panic aside, she immediately began to paddle with one arm, focusing on a single thought: "Get to the beach...." Rushed to the hospital, where her father, Tom Hamilton, was about to undergo knee surgery, Bethany found herself taking his spot in the O.R. It's the kind of coincidence that isn't mere coincidence to the Hamilton family, a clan whose motto could easily be "the family that surfs and prays together stays together." To them it was a sign someone had a greater plan than the one they'd been working on themselves -- which had been to scrape together whatever resources they could to help Bethany rise to the top of her sport. When the first thing Bethany wanted to know after surgery was "When can I surf again?" it became clear that her unfaltering spirit and determination were part of a greater story -- a tale of courage and faith that this modest and soft-spoken girl would come to share with the world.

Soul Surfer is a moving account of Bethany's life as a young surfer, her recovery in the wake of the shark attack, the adjustments she's made to her unique surfing style, her unprecedented bid for a top showing in the World Surfing Championships, and, most fundamentally, her belief in God. It is a story of girl power and spiritual grit that shows that the body is no more essential to surfing -- perhaps even less so -- than the soul.

Paperback, 304 pages
Published on March 1, 2011 by MTV Books
ISBN-10: 1439165793
ISBN-13: 9781439165799
72 Book Reviews
  • yourgirlluceTuesday, July 21, 2020 at 3:56 pm
    I loved the book so inspirational.
    • shayshaygirl25
      shayshaygirl25Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 5:54 pm55 stars
      when bethany was only 13, when she got attacked by a shark!!!
      • ajg16
        ajg16Monday, May 20, 2019 at 8:25 pm44 stars
        Bethany Hamilton was 13 years old on a Halloween morning surfing with her best friend Alana and Alana's dad and brother. All of a sudden a fifteen-foot tiger shark bit her arm completely off while she sat on her board waiting for a wave. She didn't freak out, start screaming or anything like that she calmly said "I've been attacked by a shark" and swam on her board with one arm back to shore. When she arrived at the hospital she was put immediately into surgery and came out with only one arm. She didn't know if she would ever surf again. But a little bit after her recovery she surfed beautifully and even one some awards later on. This was an inspiring true story about how you shouldn't give up when life throws something at you. Recommended to 13+ Thanks for reading -Ajg16's reviews
        • bookworm15 Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 9:57 am
          sooooo good
          • AnonymousThursday, April 23, 2015 at 8:30 pm
            This book is amazing, inspiring, and unbelievable. She is my role model- she's amazing just like her story. Her life and faith are inspirations to everyone.
            • peachy101
              peachy101Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 5:30 pm
              It is such an inspiring book and the fact that it is true makes me sad but also happy at the same time...
              • 3015180
                3015180Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 1:33 pm
                She is so inspirational
                • fuzzle
                  fuzzleThursday, April 23, 2015 at 1:13 pm
                  The shark at first was a bit alarming, but I still loved it. I even cryer a bit
                  • strowbridge
                    strowbridgeThursday, April 23, 2015 at 6:55 am55 stars
                    The movie is good too
                    • memcconaghy
                      memcconaghyThursday, January 22, 2015 at 6:59 am55 stars
                      Loved the book Amazing story of her life