Fins (Sharks Incorporated #1)

by Randy Wayne White (Author)

Fins (Sharks Incorporated #1)
Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade

From Randy Wayne White, the New York Times bestselling author of the Doc Ford series for adults, comes Fins, a high-stakes, masterfully plotted story of courage, friendship...and sharks!

The world's shark population is in trouble for a sad, simple reason: shark fin soup. And although it's illegal, poachers have been targeting Florida's biannual migration of blacktip sharks.

Marine biologist Doc Ford needs some assistance protecting the sharks and enlists the help of three kids--Luke, Maribel and Sabina. Luke is brand-new to Florida from the Midwest; sisters Maribel and Sabina have only recently arrived from Cuba--and all three feel like fish out of water. It's going to take some convincing for them to work as a team and to recognize in themselves the courage, wisdom and tenacity that Doc sees in them.

Together they form Sharks, Inc. and are given an important assignment: to set out each day on their small fishing boat in hopes of tagging sharks for Doc's research--and to stay away--far away--from any possible poachers in the area.

The trio certainly isn't looking for trouble, but when they come face to face with danger, survival requires them to rely on each of their own unique gifts, and especially on one another.

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Kirkus Reviews

[Fins] examines how a difficult past can give strength and shape an intentional present.This well-paced, exciting series opener will keep readers on their toes.

Publishers Weekly

The author of the Doc Ford series for adults makes his middle grade debut in this series launch set on that marine biologist's home turf of Sanibel Island, Fla. After his mother's death, sixth grader Luke moves from rural Ohio to live with his sea captain grandfather on the island, where a lightning strike imbues him with a "sixth sense" that gives him telescopic vision, extraordinary hearing, and the ability to gauge others' moods via the colorful auras he sees surrounding them. White works this premise into the story when Doc Ford hires Luke and two sisters, Maribel and Sabina, who recently emigrated from Cuba, to help tag sharks for a research project. The boy uses his powers to locate the elusive fish and help track down a member of a poaching ring that's been capturing sharks to peddle their fins. Despite the plot's underlying tension, its pace is thwarted by undue repetition of background facts and jargon, and the tiresome grumbling of the pugnacious younger sister. Yet the tempo accelerates as the kids crack the mystery, after which White caps his novel with a heartwarming finale. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6--Wright, author of the best-selling "Doc Ford" series for adults, makes his middle grade debut with this Florida adventure. Three kids, new to Florida, are recruited by Doc Ford to tag sharks. Sisters Maribel and Sabina escaped from Cuba and now live with their mom on a houseboat. Luke, a farm boy from Ohio, moved to Florida to live with his grandfather. They form the group Sharks, Incorporated. Luke, struck by lightning at the beginning of the story, suddenly develops heightened senses and can communicate with animals. He can also see people's emotions as colors, which serves him well when the three stumble upon a band of poachers who have been killing sharks for shark-fin soup. If the kids survive the storm--and the poacher--they may end up with a $50,000 reward. VERDICT Lots of details about boats and shark-tagging, plus a slow buildup to the real action, make this best suited to kids with a keen interest in sharks, or adult fans of the "Doc Ford" series who may enjoy the character cameos. Perhaps future installments will hold more of the promised adventure.--Laurie Slagenwhite Walters, Brighton District Library, Brighton, MI

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.


Give to readers looking for science-based mysteries.

Review quotes

Kids who enjoy adventure, science and sharks will be hooked by this swashbuckling story. - Tampa Bay Times

"Nobody navigates the natural beauty and dangerous twists of Florida's mangrove backwaters better than Randy Wayne White. Part detective novel, part field guide, and 100 percent authentic Florida—this fun and suspenseful tale shows Randy Wayne White is an undisputed master of his craft, and this place." —John Rasmus, former editor in chief at Nat Geo Traveler, Men's Journal, and Outside

"Filled with scoundrels, humor, sharks, intrepid kids, and a surprise ending all wrapped around an environmental theme. Prepare yourself for a fast boatload of fun!" - Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Praise for Stingers, the second novel in the Sharks Incorporated series:

Something for everyone but especially fans of fast-paced eco-fiction. - Kirkus

Randy Wayne White
Randy Wayne White is the New York Times-bestselling and award-winning author of the Doc Ford series. Randy was named a Florida Literary Legend by the Florida Heritage Book Festival and is a winner of the Florida Humanities Council's Lifetime Achievement award. A fishing and nature enthusiast, he has written extensively for Outside Magazine, Men's Journal, and Men's Health. He lives on Sanibel Island, Florida, where he was a light-tackle fishing guide for many years, and spends his free time windsurfing, playing baseball, and hanging out at Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille. Sharks Incorporated is his first middle-grade series.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date
March 20, 2020
Sharks Incorporated
BISAC categories
JUV002100 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Fishes
JUV028000 - Juvenile Fiction | Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
JUV029010 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | Environment
JUV002170 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Marine Life
Library of Congress categories
Marine biology

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