The Girl Who Rode A Shark: And Other Stories of Daring Women

Buy This Book

Canadian Customers


American Customers


Buy This Book

The Girl Who Rode A Shark: And Other Stories of Daring Women

By Ailsa Ross
Illustrated by Amy Blackwell
Juvenile Fiction Ages 8–12
ISBN: 978-1-77278-098-7
List Price: $26.00 CAD / 22.00 USD
Hardcover with laminated case & reinforced trade binding
Trim size: 7.5 x 9.75 in / 19.05 x 24.77 cm
Pages: 128

Canadian Publication Date: September 27, 2019
U.S. Publication Date: September 24, 2019

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

An inspiring biographical collection celebrating the adventurousness and ingenuity of girls and women around the world

Now more than ever, the world is recognizing how strong women and girls are. How strong? In the early 1920s, Aboriginal Alaskan expeditioner Ada Blackjack survived for two years as a castaway on an uninhabited island in the Arctic Ocean before she was finally rescued. And she’s just one example.

The Girl Who Rode a Shark: And Other Stories of Daring Women is a rousing collection of biographies focused on women and girls who have written, explored, or otherwise plunged headfirst into the pages of history. Undaunted by expectations, they made their mark by persevering in pursuit of their passions. The tales come from a huge variety of times and places, from a Canadian astronaut to an Indian secret agent and to a Balkan pirate queen who stood up to Ancient Rome.

Author and activist Ailsa Ross gives readers a fun, informative piece of nonfiction that emphasizes the boundless potential of a new generation of women. Stunning portraits by artist Amy Blackwell accompany every biography in bold, vibrant colours.

Digital review copies available now on Netgalley!

Awards and Honours:
2020 USBBY Outstanding International Books List selection
2020 CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens selection
2019 CBC Books “12 books for kids and young adults to read this fall” selection
2019 Mighty Village “2019 Fall Book Picks” selection

★ “Brief biographies of 52 intrepid women, spanning the globe and all centuries, are flanked by large, full-color illustrations and by maps that show the women’s adventuring sites….The artwork, reminiscent of art deco travel posters, is a gorgeous complement to the eclectic curation….An exciting labor of love—for kids of all gender identities.”—Kirkus Reviews ★ Starred Review

“The subjects are fascinating, and the women come from a variety of time periods, geographic regions, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ethnicities and include women with disabilities. Yet they all shared common characteristics: the need for adventure and a desire to learn. The book also contains portraits of the women, a glossary, and information about Indigenous peoples and the world’s ever-changing political boundaries. VERDICT This colorful, delightful book is highly recommended for all history and women’s history collections.”—School Library Journal

“Brightly colored digital-media portraits face each page of text, and double-page maps pinpoint each subject’s country of origin. Truly international in scope and ranging across centuries…this attractive collection should spark inquiry for further research.”—Booklist

“The title of this new nonfiction text is enough to catch any readers’ attention, but this is only one of many qualities of this book that will keep readers engaged….The diversity of the women featured allow readers of all backgrounds to find a little bit of themselves in these stories….The colors, cultural aspects, maps, and quotes in the illustrations amplify Ross’ exquisite writing. This would be a strong addition to any middle grade or middle school collection.”—School Library Connection

“A really fascinating and fantastic book that travels both the globe and history….Something that I really like about the book too, is after we learn about someone, there are two other women mentioned that have done the same thing…By doing this, if a particular story hooks in the reader there is now more people to check out for further research! I really love books that can have this kind of knowledge extension, and taking a global approach to this with a heavy dose of social justice makes for an excellent book to spend an afternoon reading.”—The Tiny Activist

“Ailsa Ross’ The Girl Who Rode a Shark & Other Stories of Daring Women is a comprehensive work of middle grade nonfiction….[A] useful resource for school-aged studies on topics such as women’s rights, female historical figures or biographies. The book is diverse both culturally and geographically, and the easy to navigate layout and bright engaging illustrations will quickly draw readers in….Highly Recommended.”—CM Magazine

“Rating: G…The biographies are short but give a good idea of what these women did to make them outstanding in their place and time. They could lead to further research by students who have a particular interest in some of the women highlighted.”—Resource Links

Finding Lucy is a character-rich story of confidence and self-expression paired with colourful and vibrant illustrations….A whimsical, heartfelt story about what happens when we try to satisfy others instead of our own creative muse.”—Canadian Children’s Book News

“Many of the subjects are not well-known and represent a diversity of cultures….Each chapter begins with a double-page map showing where the women in that category achieved their accomplishments. The collective biography would be useful for browsing or preparing reports.”—Oregon Coast Youth Book Preview Center

The Girl Who Rode a Shark, by Ailsa Ross (who lives in Alberta!) and Amy Blackwell, has managed to live up to my expectations. My favourite bit is the Canadian content…The women profiled in the book come from places all over the world, include many women of colour, and also women with disabilities….A few of these figures are familiar, but more are new to us, and their stories are made vivid and compelling through the book’s beautiful artwork and smart and engaging prose.”—Pickle Me This

“What an incredible compilation of fearless females who are sure to inspire anyone who reads of their bravery, strength, intelligence, and persistence….THE GIRL WHO RODE A SHARK will serve as inspiration to all readers, especially female, empowering them to be their best selves and follow their hearts no matter how daunting the road—or ocean—might be.”—Christina Ammirati

“[A] must have for all kids to discover real examples of courage and perseverance….These extraordinary women will surely inspire the next generation of young readers, or readers of any age to be more brave and take action.”—Mighty Village

“Conversational in tone, and with lovely artwork throughout, this book is full of tales that are sure to inform and entertain. Every one of the women here were looking for adventure and wanting to learn more about the world and the time in which they lived….Inspirational, it will surely encourage readers looking for more information.”—Sal’s Fiction Addiction

“Of particular standout is the fact that The Girl Who Rode a Shark gives more space to feature arguably less-publicly known (and more present-day) individuals than it does to well-known icons….The array of fifty-two women is awe-inspiring and staggering! Have you read about the work of activists Shannen Koostachin or Naomi Wadler? What about endurance runner Mira Rai from Nepal?…[This book] would be an invaluable resource (and jumping off point for further investigation!) in school libraries, public library children’s non-fiction collections, as well as an uplifting book for kids (and teens and adults!) to read at their own leisure.”—Fab Book Reviews

“[These] women come from all over the world and make a difference, not only to their own lives, but often to the world around them as well.”—Book Time

“It’s fascinating to learn about fearless women in history….There are 52 stories in the book about daring women, each accompanied by beautiful illustrations….I highly recommend this book for children of all ages…”—YA Books Central