What Were the Shark Attacks of 1916? (What Was?)

by Nico Medina (Author) Tim Foley (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade
Series: What Was?
The panic-filled summer of 1916, when multiple deadly shark attacks shocked the nation, is chronicled in this gripping addition to the New York Times Best-Selling What Was? series.

On July 1, 1916, witnesses watched in horror as twenty-eight-year-old Charles Vansant was attacked and killed by a shark in shallow water off Beach Haven, New Jersey—the first recorded shark attack in American history. Scientists claimed a shark could not be responsible, but more deadly attacks soon followed along the Jersey Shore and up the freshwater Matawan Creek, setting off a nationwide panic that led the White House to declare a “War on Sharks.” In this illustrated book, which features 16 pages of black-and-white photographs, readers will learn about the likely culprit (or culprits) in the attacks—the great white shark and the bull shark—and how the bloody summer of 1916 would change how people viewed sharks forever.
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Nico Medina
Nico Medina is the author of more than a dozen books in the Who HQ series, including What Was World War I?, Who Was Jacques Cousteau?, and Where Is the Great Barrier Reef? He spent many of his childhood summer days in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, the "Shark Bite Capital of the World," where Jaws always seemed to be playing on TV.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Penguin Workshop
Publication date
April 20, 2024
What Was?
BISAC categories
JNF025210 - Juvenile Nonfiction | History | United States/20th Century
JNF003150 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals | Marine Life
JNF051160 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Disasters
Library of Congress categories
20th century
New Jersey
Shark attacks

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