Just in time for Shark Week is this stunning achievement from photojournalist, Brian Skerry. The Ultimate Book Of Sharks goes far beyond anything you’ve seen in movies or read about in middle grade books.

Beautiful photographs intermix with text covering eight chapters. They each are a WOW experience.

  1. SPECTACULAR SHARKS: Your journey begins here with a look at the eight orders that classify approximately 500 species. The Frilled Shark was one of my favorites.
  2. EXPLORING SHARK ANATOMY: Learn about shark senses and their unique abilities. You’ll marvel at their extra sense known as electroreception.
  3. THE SECRET LIVES OF SHARKS:  Find out how sharks spend their time roaming the oceans and their battle for survival.
  4. THE FINTASTIC TEN: Featured are ten sharks that stand out due to their size, smarts, and special skills. Pictures of the Great White and the Basking Shark are two that will have you mesmerized.
  5. SHARK MYTHS BUSTED!: Sharks have small brains, attack humans on sight, and the oceans would be better without them…or maybe not. What is fact or fiction is explored with definitive answers.
  6. COLOSSAL FOSSILS: Sharks have called the ocean their home for some 450 million years—take that dinosaurs! You might even find a tooth fossil if you live near one of the worldwide cities pictures on the map.
  7. SUPER SHARKS: And the winner is… Twelve different categories provide the answer. From most acrobatic to the spookiest looking, you’ll be returning to this chapter more than once.
  8. BE A SHARK DEFENDER: Find out what you can do to be a friend of sharks. Even a group who had their lives changed by a shark bite have joined the cause.

Each chapter includes two special features sure to impress. The first is called SKERRY ENCOUNTER as the author shares his experiences learning about various sharks. The second is a two page spread known as MOMENT OF AHHH!?!! These pictures are priceless. Check out samples of Brian’s photos of sharks and other sea animals on his Instagram page.

This book is a not to be missed addition for your child’s room, school library, or tucked away for those long car trips this summer. Adults will also love this fantastic resource. It would make a great gift for shark enthusiasts and anyone who has a passion for making sure our oceans have a long productive future.

Spend a few minutes with the author in the video below. He gives you a peek at his life as a photojournalist with pictures from the book.

Here’s the complete overview from National Geographic:

Dive into the wild world of sharks! Get up close to learn the truth behind these fantastic, ferocious fish with famed National Geographic photographer and explorer Brian Skerry.

Join this amazing underwater adventure to track the sharks of the world, from the teeniest dogfish to the everfeared great white. This ultimate book features every species of shark on the planet, with awesome photos, fascinating facts, the latest science, and firsthand stories of real-life encounters with these incredible creatures. Learn how sharks live, how they eat, the challenges they face, and whether or not you are actually on the menu!


Coming up next week is another MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY.
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count–but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you’re featuring and a link to your blog at gpcolo (at) gmail (dot) com
 (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and for spreading the middle grade love!
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, non fiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Perfect for upcoming shark week. Was looking at this book at the bookstore yesterday and it has gorgeous photos and great information for kids. Who wouldn’t love this book!

  2. I read several of the National Geographic books when I was younger, and this one sounds absolutely fascinating! Thanks so much for the review!

  3. Thanks for sharing this high-interest book, Greg. {I can hear the ‘Jaws’ theme lurking in my ears right now.} Seriously, the National Geographic books have been favorites of mine as a teacher and as a reader!

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