The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell

The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell

The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell

Story with a twist in its tale set in Papua New Guinea

Blue Wing is desperate to become a shark caller and avenge the death of her parents.

Why is it so important to her?

Will she get her wish? A fabulous story of love, loss and friendships with a surprising ending.

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127 Reviews
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Oliver
November 12, 2021 5:04 pm

This book was really good. I would rate it around 4.5/5. I liked all the different aspects especially the use of foreign languages. I found the story amazing. It was a very good ideas which has become a very good book

School Name
KEGS
Zillah x
December 19, 2021 8:48 pm
Reply to  Oliver

Tenkyu Oliver! Glad you liked the book especially the different language!

School Name
Author
James C
November 13, 2021 1:13 pm

This is the second JBA book I have read, and I am very impressed. I would rate this current book a 4/5. The thrilling plot spun me around in a tale of friendship and sorrow, with a twist along the way. The title is intriguing, and fits the book perfectly well, leaving the reader with a clue to what the book is about, but still a mystery that makes them want to read on. When I started reading, I was lost in the intertwining of how real it all felt, and how there were no parts that left me feeling bored. It would suit 11-14-year-olds mostly who like to be kept guessing along the way. I was lost in Zillah Bethell’s words

School Name
KEGS
Zillah x
December 19, 2021 8:49 pm
Reply to  James C

Hi James! Glad you found the book very real as I was hoping for that. Reality is itself very magical I think!

School Name
Author
Mrs Wheater
November 17, 2021 1:55 pm

I chose this book purely because of it’s beautiful cover. I dived straight in without reading the blurb and I’m glad I didn’t know anything about the story because i really enjoyed how it unfolded and it carried me along in one big sweep with the force of a misunderstood shark hunting down it’s prey. I really enjoyed the language especially longlong and namba wan taim. I liked the way the friendship developed between Blue Wing and Maple and the way nothing was quite as it seemed. Favourite character? Definitely Siringen.

School Name
St Cedd's School
Zillah x
December 19, 2021 8:52 pm
Reply to  Mrs Wheater

Hi Mrs Weaver. Glad to hear you enjoyed the book and liked Siringen, he is a very wise elder and therefore highly respected in the community of PNG – a bit like a teacher!

School Name
Author
Aryan P
November 26, 2021 11:25 am

I think it was a great book for young enthusiastic readers however I would not recommend this book for those above the 12. However the author manages to capture our emotions and put them in a blender which was a neat touch. 

School Name
KEGS
Zillah x
December 19, 2021 8:54 pm
Reply to  Aryan P

I like your comment about putting emotions in a blender, Aryan! I love making smoothies in a blender for breakfast, usually banana, milk, mangoes and cacoa!

School Name
Author
Mannan B
November 26, 2021 11:31 am

Pretty Decent

In all honesty, this book is amongst one of the best who enjoy under-the-water sea type of theme book. I personally enjoy the more Sherlock Holmes type of fast paced mysteries and as a result, this book was not the best for me. Still, I would recommend this book for any 10 year olds and over.

School Name
KEGS
Zillah x
December 19, 2021 8:55 pm
Reply to  Mannan B

Tenkyu Mannan. I too love Sherlock Holmes, especially Hound of the Baskervilles!

School Name
Author
Rachael O
December 10, 2021 6:17 pm

This was an amazing book I really enjoyed it with the use of a different language and it was a tale of friendship and trust. I would rate this 5/5. It was a brilliant read and I wanted to read it again because it was so good and the twist and turns you never saw coming.

School Name
Beauchamps High School
Zillah x
December 19, 2021 8:56 pm
Reply to  Rachael O

Hia Rachael, Am tru happy you enjoyed Shark Caller and I hope you like looking for the clues if you re-read it!

School Name
Author
Grace
December 14, 2021 4:09 pm

I really liked the book. The forgein language in the book was really interesting to see what it was like in a different language. To also see by the authors perspective aswell was just amazing and different. I would rate it a 4.5 and the age to 11-13 as it could be really interesting to them and to see what a different language might look like in there head while reading the book. Overall, it was really excellent book

School Name
Beauchamps high school
Zillah x
December 19, 2021 8:58 pm
Reply to  Grace

Hello Grace, Tenkyu for your comments. It’s interesting you like the first person narration, I too like to hear the view from the protagonist.

School Name
Author
Shravanpragash
December 16, 2021 1:56 pm

A tale… set in another country…  
A story of a girl, an orphan, finding the way to light, away from the chains of revenge and hatred but into the gentle breeze, one of understanding and freedom. A young girl who fathomed herself and the loss of another, she understood the pain and suffering that her friend and foe underwent and throughout this bitter-sweet narrative she melted into who she really was, changing this entire book into something with meaning, something with life and surprise… 
This is a book of sad but happy spells with a grand touch of surprise and flips that I had never imagined, a taste of creativity and novelty, it is a story to make sure to enjoy…  

School Name
King Edwards VI Grammar School (Chelmsford)
Zillah x
December 19, 2021 8:59 pm
Reply to  Shravanpragash

Shravanpragash, this is the most beautiful review. I imagine you enjoy writing stories and poetry yourself?

School Name
Author
Isla
January 12, 2022 2:32 pm

This was my second Junior book awards book and I only really chose it because of the stunning cover and intriguing title. After the first few pages I was totally absorbed, I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this time it worked fantastically well! The Shark Caller includes the ultimate aspects of life: friendship, loss, emotions, and has really transported me into the lives of the characters. I loved the pidgin English words and the foreign setting. I will remember this book.

School Name
St Cedd's School
Zillah x
January 22, 2022 5:27 pm
Reply to  Isla

Thanks so much for this, Isla. I love the cover too, it’s by Saara Soderlund and it seems to capture the movement of the sea so well. Glad you liked the pidgin – tenkyu tru!

School Name
author
Armaan.M
January 16, 2022 7:57 pm

A mysterious adventure with a mix of emotions. As secrets are uncovered, friends are made and lost. Where fierce competition leads to the greatest allies, all in the wonderful book by Zillah Bethell, “The Shark Caller”. 

School Name
KEGS
Zillah x
January 22, 2022 5:28 pm
Reply to  Armaan.M

Armaan, this is a neatly worded review – thank you! Pleased you enjoyed it. Hope you’re having a great term!

School Name
author
Isabellah
January 19, 2022 7:45 am

shark caller is a perplexing book, there are lost of twist and turns and it keeps you on your toes the whole way through. I would definitely rate this a 5/5 also because the foreign language used such as long long and taim. Overall i think the book was generally intrigued and i would recommended it to anyone interested in , adventure and suspense

School Name
Davenant foundation
Zillah x
January 22, 2022 5:31 pm
Reply to  Isabellah

Hi Isabellah, thank you very much for this review. I’m glad the book kept you on your toes – what a lovely expression. Hope you’re reading lots of books and enjoying school.

School Name
Author
Wynter
January 27, 2022 5:50 pm

I liked it but it was a different from other books I’ve read, it was a bit sad and emotional but I think it is great because I love the part where Blue wing swims in the water next to the shark. I liked the way the author developed Blue wings character and I would of liked being her friend. I liked how it was set in papua new guinea because my nan used to live there before she moved to Australia.
I want to be a author when I grow up so can I ask you some questions please? I’ve written a book when I was 7 it was called stop plastic now and it got published but I sold them at school for 2 pounds to raise money.

How did you feel writing this book?
what inspired you to write the book?
How did you feel after you published it?

Thank you for reading this. You inspire me Zillah Bethell.

School Name
New Hall School
Zillah
January 28, 2022 6:46 pm
Reply to  Wynter

Hi Wynter. Your book sounds amazing! Good job. I hope you become an author. I was inspired by memories from New Guinea and wanted to put them in a book before I forgot them. I was delighted when I finished the book so I could begin another one! Keep writing and have lots of fun

School Name
Author
Chloe
January 28, 2022 7:04 pm

Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell was an absolute joy to read, not only was it captivating, engaging, had beautiful imagery but the creative use of a different language throughout the book captured my imagination the most as getting to experience Blue Wings changing island culture. The story is creative and well written I thoroughly enjoyed key aspects that I think everyone could relate to the character Maple through one way or another! For me personally, I adore watching her come out of her shell and become more open-minded about Blue Wing’s culture. The reference and association with time and different aspects of human nature and the supernatural build such an amazing atmosphere that surrounds the glorious world that has been created about Maple, Blue Wing, and their friendship. In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it to people who enjoy beautifully written unpredictable books.

School Name
Beauchamps
Zillah x
February 1, 2022 3:31 pm
Reply to  Chloe

Hi Chloe. Your review of The Shark Caller has really cheered me up today! Thank you! I’m delighted that you particularly loved watching Maple develop and embrace the way of life on New Ireland. Do you do any writing yourself? Your vocabulary is brilliant. I can imagine you’d be a very good writer. I hope your school is going well and that you’re reading lots of great books. And thank you once again for the great review!

School Name
Author
Chloe
February 25, 2022 1:24 pm
Reply to  Zillah x

Hi Zillah, sorry for the such late reply! I’m really glad that my review cheered you up, your book is amazing and id love to read more of the content you produce. I do write myself and I love creative writing within my English classes, thank you for your complement about my vocabulary; all our teachers are constantly reminding us! Again I can’t wait to read your future content

School Name
Beauchamps
Zillah
February 27, 2022 8:27 pm
Reply to  Chloe

Lovely to hear that you write as well, Chloe. I hope to read something by you one day! Short stories are a good place to start, at least that’s what I did anyway and then slowly progress to a novel. Hope you have a happy World Book Day!

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author
Ishraaq
February 2, 2022 11:42 am

I really liked this book especially the way you use a foreign language to understand the book. I wold recommend this book to a 7-17 as it it quite confusing how the sentences are layed out . I would change the way the foreign language is set out as it is quite annoying to have to flip back to the first page every time.
Overall I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars

School Name
Beauchamps
Zillah x
February 4, 2022 9:07 pm
Reply to  Ishraaq

Hi Ishraaq. Glad you liked the book. I agree it’s quite annoying to flip back to the glossary. It would be better to have the meaning of the word on the same page wouldn’t it like they do in some textbooks. Keep reading!

School Name
Author
Maisy
February 2, 2022 2:26 pm

I really enjoyed reading this book, because, it had some very interesting moments, that left me thinking and wondering…
The story line, was great , but I wish, it would have started earlier on in the book, about, what it was about.
The use of language(words) expanded my vocabulary which was excellent.

School Name
St John Payne
Zillah x
February 4, 2022 9:10 pm
Reply to  Maisy

Hi Maisy. Glad you enjoyed Shark Caller. I’m glad your vocab was expanded. I like different languages and grew up learning English and Ewa ge which is kind of like the words in this book. I hope you learn different languages at school, it means you can travel to lots of places and communicate.

School Name
Author
Joseph
February 2, 2022 2:36 pm

this book is about a girl called blue wing who lives in a village in Papua New Guinea. She really wants to become a shark caller like her waspapi Siringen. Another girl, Maple, arrives on the island but blue wing doesn’t like her. After spending lots of time with each other they realise how simular they are and become friends. The book has lots of unusual words like “mobeta” which means better and it has an unexpected twist at the end.

I really enjoyed this book because it is full of myths, legends and magic. My favourite character is Siringen because he is a wise old man who has magical powers to call sharks. He is also a very fair and kind to everyone.

I would definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy fiction and magic.

9/10

School Name
Saint John Payne
Zillah x
February 4, 2022 9:12 pm
Reply to  Joseph

Really lovely review, Joseph, and I’m glad you like Siringen. I guess you have some teachers a bit like him. I didn’t go to school much when I lived in PNG but there were lots of elders (older people) who were very wise and kind.

School Name
Author
Naimah
February 3, 2022 9:37 am

This book was very interesting. Blue wing really didn’t like Maple for something that isn’t her fault but then they joined together. I was shocked when I read that major twist, I totally didn’t expect it. I feel sorry that Maple’s mum died, but she acted like she was the only one who lost someone close to them. I still can’t believe that Blue wing was a ghost (sorry for the spoilers!) and she wanted to kill Xok. I LOVED this book. 1 question I would like to ask the author is: Will there be a sequel and will we ever find out what happened to the lost treasure? I hope you reply to my questions. If there is a sequel, then can it have something about Siringen’s wife? Just a suggestion.

School Name
Newhall
Zillah x
February 4, 2022 9:15 pm
Reply to  Naimah

The idea for a sequel involving Siringen’s wife is really clever, Niamh, thank you. I will think about that. My next book is set in the desert of Australia so very hot again but nowhere near the sea! Thank you for your lovely review.

School Name
Author
Souhayla
February 3, 2022 9:40 pm

I really loved this book with it’s exciting twists in loving adventures. I love the most exciting twist at the end which I am not going to spoil for other readers but it is really sad yet wowing. I just wish that the book didn’t crumble into pieces the moment Maple’s dad took it out on the plane. The Shark Caller is a book I would definitely recommend for those who love animals and seek adventure.
10/10 🌟

School Name
Newhall Prep School
Zillah x
February 4, 2022 9:19 pm
Reply to  Souhayla

Hi Souhayla, Really pleased you enjoyed the twist at the end of the book. It is sad that the book crumbles isn’t it but I think in the end the book wasn’t important. The life of the children and the survivors is the important thing. Tenkyu for your nice words.

School Name
Author
Zuri
February 4, 2022 1:40 pm

I really enjoyed travelling with Blue Wing through an exciting journey of surprises. The translation at the beginning really helped, and I even learnt some new vocabulary! I would love to visit Blue Wing’s home. I also love the personality of Maple. This is a unique and amazing book that I would 101% recommend

School Name
Beauchamps high school
Zillah x
February 4, 2022 9:22 pm
Reply to  Zuri

Thank you, Zuri. This is a lovely review. PNG is a wonderful place to live with hot sands and very blue sea and lots of pretty coral. I’m glad you liked the character of Maple – she’s a bit annoying isn’t she! Tenkyu tru!

School Name
Author
Sadhana
February 8, 2022 11:38 am

Shark Caller is a mind blowing book. I loved the different language and the ending was amazing! I was fascinated by the magic involved with the shark calling, and it was very interesting. I loved this book and I strongly recommend it to anyone!

School Name
St Cedd's School
Zillah x
February 9, 2022 7:56 pm
Reply to  Sadhana

Hi Sadhana, so pleased you liked the ending and the magic surrounding shark calling. It is a practice unique to Papua New Guinea and the shark (as well as the crocodile) is a powerful spirit animal in the country. Many necklaces and canoes are decorated with sharks or crocodiles. Thank you for your lovely review.

School Name
Author
Onur
February 10, 2022 10:40 pm

I loved ‘The Shark Caller.’ It taught me a lot of things while also entertaining me. I didn’t dislike anything about İt so I will give İt a solid 10/10. One of the things I likes the most is how Zillah Bethell linked İt to his/her own childhood. The language speaken in it was confusing at first but soon I understood İt like the back of my hand.

School Name
Wilbury Primary School
Zillah
February 11, 2022 10:17 pm
Reply to  Onur

Hia Onur. Thank you for this. I was born in PNG and I did want to write a book to store some memories in before I forgot them. I do remember stories about sharks and generally they are quite gentle creatures. I’m glad you got to learn some of the language! Tenkyu.

School Name
author
Onur
March 7, 2022 3:15 pm
Reply to  Zillah

You are welcome. Sharks are very gentle creatures, they only kill because humans have treated them badly in the past.

School Name
Wilbury Primary School
Zillah
March 8, 2022 9:13 pm
Reply to  Onur

Yes they usually only attack if threatened. Crocodiles on the other hand are very dangerous and they do attack humans for food. I was scared of crocodiles in PNG but never sharks.

School Name
author
Jedidyah
February 12, 2022 4:32 pm

The Shark Caller is a remarkable book! I love the different language because it made the book more interesting to read. Especially the twist at the end…I really didn’t expect that but now I realize the clues along the book. My favourite part was when Blue Wing was singing that song about papaya. I rate this book a 10/10! Amazing work!!

School Name
New Hall School
Zillah
February 16, 2022 5:12 pm
Reply to  Jedidyah

Hello Jedidyah. I’m glad you liked the book and tenkyu for these lovely words. I remember singing that song in PNG about the papaya tree. We often sang and danced in the evening on the white sand as well and I think that’s why I love both the beach and dancing so much. Hope you’re enjoying school and reading lots of books.

School Name
author
Evie
February 13, 2022 3:51 pm

The Shark Caller is one of those books that surprises you when you start to read it. I honestly wasn’t expecting much before reading this book but it barely took a few pages to change my mind. The Shark Caller is absolutely stunning and covers a wide verity of topics that naturally occur in the human life. You have life and death, friendship, family and trust all wrapped up in one beautifully written tale that leaves you surprised. You find out that this book is inspired by the author’s upbringing on the island of Papua New Guinea which is truly epic!
I loved the native setting of Papua New Guinea, it was refreshing and authentic. I also really loved the writing style, the foreign languages, the characters and the dialogue. The whole book was pretty amazing and the fact that there were sharks involved. I rate this book 5/5 and fully recommend.

School Name
Beauchamps high school
Zillah
February 16, 2022 5:17 pm
Reply to  Evie

Hi Evie. I’m guessing you like sharks then?! They are lovely and quite gentle creatures and I did see a few when I swam over the coral reefs. My favourite shark is the dwarf lantern shark because it glows! Hope you’re having lots of fun at school. I didn’t got to school in PNG and I think maybe I didn’t learn enough! So I had to make up for that when I came to the UK!

School Name
author
Mrs Hardiman - TA
February 21, 2022 9:06 am

This is a beautiful story set in New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. Told through the voice of Blue Wing, a young native of the island, the narrative is peppered with her own language. This, along with detailed, emotive description of the place she lives, gives an authenticity that carries the reader along. Blue Wing is drawn with fascination to the life of her guardian, the Shark Caller, her ‘Waspapi’, but it becomes clear that there is more to this, and something deep drives her captivation with the sharks. Their lives, in harmony with land and sea, are disrupted when ‘The Big Man’ of the island instructs them to look after American visitors. Blue Wing dislikes the cross arrival, Maple, but eventually they become true friends, as they find they carry a common sadness that shapes their view of the world; their differences becoming insignificant to their friendship. They are soon absorbed in an adventure of their own, one with a touch of history. A story that draws you in as it explores the concept of time, and the meeting of the old world and the new.

School Name
Hockerill Anglo-European College
Zillah
February 21, 2022 5:28 pm

Mrs Hardman, this is such a beautifully written and wonderful review, thank you so very much. I think you should be on the Usborne marketing team! Or writing a book of your own! That last line is just what I wanted readers to feel when they read the book. That non linear concept of time is so critical to our thinking in PNG and the conflict between tradition and new is still so problematic.. Goodness, thank you! You’ve brought a vast smile to my face as all these reviews have done.

School Name
author
Le’keyshia
March 7, 2022 2:56 pm

I loved the book, especially all the foreign words and I like how it’s easy to remember what the words mean. You have done an incredible job. I rate this book a 5/5. I loved how in the end Blue Wing didn’t kill the shark and spoke to it instead.

School Name
Wilbury primary school
Zillah
March 8, 2022 8:54 pm
Reply to  Le’keyshia

Hi Le’keyshia. I’m glad you enjoyed the book. Yes I didn’t want Blue Wing to kill the shark as the book is about forgiveness and that can be a very hard thing to do, forgive someone if they’ve hurt you. Tenkyu tru.

School Name
author
Daniel M
March 7, 2022 2:58 pm

I think that Shark Caller is an amazing book and I rate it a 7/10.Allthough I loved the story I feel like you could have done some more drawings. But some of the illustration completely wowed me! The
imagination put into the story is great and the colours on the front were beautiful! Also I liked how the characters as they went through the island their friendship grew.

School Name
Wilbury Primary School
Zillah
March 8, 2022 8:57 pm
Reply to  Daniel M

Hi Daniel. Yes I would have liked more drawings. There are lots more in the Chinese edition of the book. I too like the front cover, the way the waves move and the very shiny fish! Glad you liked the friendship growing between Maple and Blue Wing. Some of the best friendships start slowly I think in real life.

School Name
author
Onur.
March 7, 2022 2:59 pm

I think ‘The Shark Caller’ is a wonderful, entertaining book full of tension and excitement.
It was totally a good use of the time it takes to read it and I wish there was a sequel to this book.
The language was really confusing at first, but by the end of the book, let’s say I knew it like the back of my hand.
I also loved the fact that you linked it to your own childhood (even though I don’t bother reading the author’s information if I don’t like the book!)
It was so exhilarating that I couldn’t put it down!

Rating: 10/10

School Name
Wilbury Primary School
Zillah
March 8, 2022 9:00 pm
Reply to  Onur.

Thank you, Onur. I did think of doing a sequel or at least another book set in PNG about the crocodile people of the Sepik river; but in fact my new book is set in the desert of Australia and I hope you like that when it comes out next year. Glad you picked up the language – tenkyu and terima kasih!

School Name
author
Arav
March 7, 2022 3:13 pm

An orphan looked after by a shark caller, how original! This book is fantastic! What I like most about the book is the foreign languages as it really gets you looking , my rating 9.5/10.

School Name
Wilbury primary school
Zillah
March 8, 2022 9:02 pm
Reply to  Arav

Hi Arav. Yes, shark calling is unique to a place in PNG called New Ireland where the book is set. Nowhere else in the world does shark calling. There are many dialects in PNG so I used the standard pidgin to make it as easy as I could. Tenkyu tru.

School Name
author
Arav
March 10, 2022 9:49 pm
Reply to  Zillah

Thank you so much for replying and yes I agree with everything you have said, the dialects were basically the key to the story.

School Name
Wilbury primary school
Zillah
March 11, 2022 11:35 am
Reply to  Arav

You’re right, Arav. The different language intensifies and focuses the differences between Blue Wing and Maple I guess.

School Name
author
Ana
March 7, 2022 3:22 pm

10/10 The story was incredible. I think that the friendship between the two girls is an unbreakable bond. The shock that I had when I realised that the new shark caller was actually a ghost. I had to go back and re-read the page. I think that the way that the shark caller let go of her anger by leading Oxi into the ocean where he can be free again was a brilliant idea. I hope you will make another book referring to shark caller because it was an amazing adventure that I got to dive into.

School Name
Wilbur primary school
Zillah
March 8, 2022 9:05 pm
Reply to  Ana

Thank you, Ana for your lovely words. It is hard to let go of anger but it is important I think so that things do not escalate or get worse. That is why I wanted Blue Wing to forgive Xok. I’m not sure there will be another book about sharks, my next is set in the desert!

School Name
author
Rielle
March 7, 2022 3:24 pm

This book was absolutely AMAZING! Maple was my favourite I didn’t really like her when she introduced into the book but when she started to talk to Blue Wing and be kinder she definitely caught my eye. If there was a Shark Caller 2 I will buy the book straight away. Zillah Bethell you are now one of my favourite authors and really inspire me. I rate this book a 10/10.

School Name
Wilbury Primary School
Zillah
March 8, 2022 9:07 pm
Reply to  Rielle

Rielle. Hi. Thank you! What a lovely thing to say. I’m glad you liked Maple, she is quite angry at first but is actually very nice and sweet! And a great swimmer! I wanted to call her Maple because I like maple syrup – especially on pancakes!

School Name
author
Lina
March 8, 2022 2:06 pm

I absolutely LOVED The Shark Caller as there were many surprises along the way. Especially the twist at the end was very unexpected and surprising! I would recommend this book to everyone.

School Name
St Cedd's School
Zillah
March 8, 2022 9:09 pm
Reply to  Lina

Hi Lina. It is a twist isn’t it but I hope the clues are there if you ever read it again for a second time. It was fun putting the clues in for all to see. Hope you’re enjoying school and reading lots!

School Name
author
Cerys
March 9, 2022 9:52 am

Very great book; I personally liked the plot. It was really nice to have a mix of words from the pidgin language and I thought it was a great detail to the book. The description was very detailed and it helped me to imagine the scene very well.

School Name
St Clere's School
Zillah
March 9, 2022 3:48 pm
Reply to  Cerys

Hi Cerys. I’m glad you liked the book. A pidgin language is a language that is mixed with other languages that come into the country and that is why the pidgin English in the book sounds a bit like English! For example ‘mobeta’ is the same as more better. Or ‘tenkyu means thank you.

School Name
author
Kelly O
March 10, 2022 10:45 am

The book Shark Caller is a book about a two girls who come from different places and who adventure out onto the sea. Later on we discover Bluewing and Maple strengthen their bond with each other, but they had a bumpy road getting to a place where they even liked each other. Xok the shark who lives out on this sea and is important to the story. One night something an extravaganza takes place. What could happen to t characters? 
 
 
When I first read the book Shark Caller I was very intrigued. It was a book that stood out to me. I love how the author made us understand how important it is to take care of our environment. We have generations to come and take over after us, the best we can do is to leave them a good place so they can live a sufficient life. If I’m being honest, it’s also linked to climate change.  
 
We all know how pollution is affecting the planet right now, so reading this book has allowed me to understand in depth about what we should do to stop. For example we know that where Bluewing lives people used to mine for oil. They had come to a stop eventually but by then the damage was already done. It was destroying their land and making it an eyesore. This should teach us all a lesson and how we can become more sustainable and pollute less. 
 
In conclusion I didn’t have any dislikes for the book and I genuinely thought of the book to be honest and relatable! 

School Name
Harris Academy Chafford Hundred
Zillah
March 10, 2022 9:17 pm
Reply to  Kelly O

Hi Kelly. Thank you for this great review, you’ve done so much writing. The ocean is very important and often overlooked when people talk about the environment. There is a huge amount of plastic waste that ends up in the sea and sharks themselves are getting scarce as they are often caught simply for their fins (to make soup). I guess we must all do what we can even if it’s just buying a bamboo toothbrush!

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Jasmeet J
March 10, 2022 10:48 am

The book Shark Caller is an amazing book that is based around this girl called Blue Wing and she how she has always wanted to become a Shark Caller . 
                                When l first started reading this book l had thought that Maple was a completely rude and arrogant person but as l read further into the book, the more l saw the friendship develop from common dislike, to a liking towards each other, which l found very relatable having a similar friendships . 
                      Overall l thought that the book was amazing and l loved how the author incorporated her own experiences of life on the island, which in my opinion gave the book a nice touch to it  

School Name
Harris Academy Chafford Hundred
Zillah
March 10, 2022 9:20 pm
Reply to  Jasmeet J

Thank you, Jasmeet. I’m glad you liked the growing friendship between Maple and Blue Wing and i think you’re right that lots of friendships can start off like this. I did like growing up in PNG and it was quite a shock to come and live in the UK, for a start it was so cold here! And there seemed to be a lot of rules! I got used to it though and now I like it here.

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Elizabeth J
March 10, 2022 10:50 am

The Shark Caller follows two girls trying to overcome their battles with grief and fight the need for revenge. The author also shows the contrast between a healthy and unhealthy ways to come to terms to the death of a loved one. I feel this book should inspire people to be their true selves and be aware how their actions can affect other people. This book is relatable to people at this time, as many of us have lost loved ones in either the past or the present. 
I really enjoyed the book, and I especially enjoyed the end, and although it was sad it gave me a new understanding of clues left all through the book. Furthermore, the author illustrated Maple and Blue Wing’s character development in a way that made the ending feel complete.  
The Shark Caller was an excellent portrayal of the gain of friendship. How strong feelings of hatred can be changed to the opposite and blossom and progress into a strong relationship between two people when given the chance to open up, and further understand each other. Which was clearly conveyed between Maple and Blue Wing. 
 Finally, I am fond of the authors’ use of traditions and the way they showed that traditions should not be left to die out but passed on by generations and that gender does not matter, but that tradition is to be shared. 

School Name
Harris Academy Chafford Hundred
Zillah
March 10, 2022 9:34 pm
Reply to  Elizabeth J

Hi Elizabeth. What a comprehensive review this is – thank you so much. I think you’re right that people should be their true selves, otherwise life becomes quite fake and artificial. And in fact, only when you are truly yourself, can you make great friendships. Traditions have a lot of value and make us feel connected to the past and to previous generations. Sometimes though, it is time for them to die out of course or change perhaps which is the case with shark calling.

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Ashley O
March 10, 2022 10:58 am

The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethel is a unique adventure themed book and you will notice this halfway through the book when there is a new  family who arrive on the island. This book is an intriguing book as the setting of the book is so different and creative. This is enhanced through the culture of the island in the book. I enjoyed how the author was able to use a different aspect of the world and its culture in this book as it is so unique compared to more modern books. She was able to show the culture effectively and creatively through the way the characters talked and the way the people represented themselves. The way the plot is presented in the book is so unpredictable and beautifully thought through.
I enjoyed it when Maple was introduced into the story as she herself was grieving and at the time so was Blue wing. It was pleasant to watch Maple and Blue wing grow  with such a strong bond in a short amount of time.
Zillah Bethells’ book is so innovative as she embraced a different culture which left you feeling engaged and curious. Additionally, I love how she was able to use this and create such a powerful plot twist at the end of the book, leaving me speechless. Zillah was able to convey and express the stages of a human’s life in the book and it was shown subtly and hinted throughout the book. Overall, I was  impressed as to how Zillah embedded the main plot twist in the story and how her characters were presented.

School Name
Harris Academy Chafford Hundred
Zillah
March 10, 2022 9:39 pm
Reply to  Ashley O

Thanks so much, Ashley, for this fab review. Delighted you liked how the culture was presented in the book and how the plot was embedded throughout. It was fun to put the clues in which are quite clear when you read the book for a second time. The human life is a complex and beautiful thing and if we’re lucky, we get to experience all the stages.

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Kaylie d K
March 10, 2022 7:24 pm

The Shark Caller is a very exhilarating, compelling book where a young girl, Bluewing, wants to avenge the death of her parents. Although a rich, stubborn girl arrives called Maple on the island, who angers Bluewing ,by living in her old house, causing them to instantly not like each other.
However, this slowly changes when they realise, they have a lot more similarities and same qualities. This book is able to make the reader very emotional as it clearly goes into depth on their backstories and why they are so defensive towards each other.
Zillah Bethell also successfully showed the importance of forgiveness to people who have wronged them or people closer to them, within this book. This is seen where Maple begs Bluewing to not kill Xoz (the shark) as it won’t make anything better and won’t bring back her parent. Also, when Siringen, her carer/guardian, was explaining to her how she isn’t going to gain anything from killing and that they are not the enemy. This explains the audience forgiveness at a larger length and why its responsible and mature to show forgiveness to the people around you, at the larger length. This makes this book memorable, as a whole.

School Name
Harris Academy Chafford Hundred
Zillah
March 11, 2022 11:23 am
Reply to  Kaylie d K

Hi Kaylie. Thank you for all your nice words. Yes, I think forgiveness is the main theme in the book as well as time. So very hard to forgive and so necessary to prevent personal wars as well as nation ones. It is not weak to forgive as many people think, it is not a giving up or even condoning the behaviour of another. It is a strong thing to do so that you can move on and be free.

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Sofia H
March 10, 2022 7:26 pm

The minute I started reading The Shark Caller I was immersed in a wonderful world where I travelled with Bluewing and Maple to unlock secrets and explore the depths of the ocean that surrounds the island of Papa New Guinea.
I love how Zillah Bethell builds up the bond between these two girls to a point where you feel like they really understand each other and care for each other with a friendship that makes everyone smile.
Overall, I found the story really sweet, heart-warming but also surprising. I would give it a 5-star review and would recommend it to people who like a loving tale filled with adventure and mystery.

School Name
Harris Academy Chafford Hundred
Zillah
March 11, 2022 11:25 am
Reply to  Sofia H

Hi Sofia – and thank you. Glad the book took you into the ocean. It is a fascinating world down there full of the most amazing creatures and wonders. So much of our world is the sea but so much is unexplored still. I hope one day you might be lucky enough to swim over a coral reef.

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Meg T
March 10, 2022 7:33 pm

The Shark Caller is a story of friendship, grief and forgiveness. Blue Wing has been living in Papua New Guinea her entire life, with her guardian Sirigen, the village’s shark caller. She dreams of following in his footsteps, but Sirigen refuses to teach her his trade, because of tradition. When American tourists Atlas and Maple Hamelin come on holiday to Papua New Guinea, Blue Wing’s life is turned upside down. As Maple and Blue Wing are forced together, secrets are uncovered, and the truth is revealed.
In the opening chapter of Shark Caller, I was shocked to read that somebody was paying Sirigen to kill a shark. I feel that sharks and all wildlife are often disregarded in our society, unless they are a typical pet. This is extremely wrong and should not happen. I feel very empathetic towards animals, which enhanced the book as I read, as I kept in mind the challenges the sharks were facing.
Shark Caller is an extremely emotional book which brought a tear to my eye as I reached the climax. It is packed not only with emotion, but also adventure. The Shark Calller is a beautifully written story with a great message. I would give it a 5 out of 5 stars.

School Name
Harris Academy Chafford Hundred
Zillah
March 11, 2022 11:28 am
Reply to  Meg T

Thank you, Meg. It is lovely to hear you have an affinity with animals. Sharks are so often overlooked because they do not have the cute factor that other animals have but as you say they are just as much in need of protection, possibly more so as their plight is so overlooked.

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Ashaani
March 11, 2022 7:47 am

The Shark Caller is an interesting book because of the language that has been used. This book was full of fantasy and is completely different to other books that I have read. I was amazed by the twist that came at the end of the book, as the main character who appeared to be alive throughout the book, was actually a ghost who was learning that forgiveness is a better approach than revenge.

School Name
New Hall School
Zillah
March 11, 2022 11:31 am
Reply to  Ashaani

This is a neatly worded review, Ashaani. You have summed up the book! Revenge ultimately takes us nowhere and simply leads to more conflict in the world. We have to change our behaviour even in the small tasks and daily activities, trying not to hurt others even if they have hurt us. Tenkyu.

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Henry Baird
March 11, 2022 10:59 am

Zillah Bethell‘s book, The Shark Caller, is a fascinating story about a young teenage girl called Blue Wing and how she wishes to become a shark caller. However, instead, she has to befriend the newcomer to the island, Maple and her father. Blue Wing and Maple journey through the island and end up face to face with the evil, and rather huge, Xok the shark.

I would recommend this novel to ages 8 – 14 because the language isn’t too difficult to understand but the actual storyline is wonderful and very delightful.

This book is written in the first-person narrative. This introduces you to the life of Blue Wing at a different angle due to it not being in the third person. We can see how Blue Wing feels and what she is going through.

Blue Wing shows in this book that it is possible to friend even the most annoying person to you. This proves that she is very strong and independent.

The Shark Caller was an outstanding book and I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I would highly recommend it.
I would give it a 4.5/5

School Name
Hockerill Anglo-European College
Zillah
March 11, 2022 5:06 pm
Reply to  Henry Baird

Henry – thank you. I like first person narratives as you can go into the character’s thoughts. It is limiting in some ways too of course unlike an omniscient or third person narrator. I am a writer of voice so it suits me to take on the character in this way.

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Alex Burnet
March 11, 2022 11:04 am

Zillah Bethell’s story, The Shark Caller, is a great story about a young girl named Blue Wing and her experience living on the island of Papua New Guinea. Blue Wing longs to become a Shark Caller, an ancient tradition of her tribe, but instead she must deal with two newcomers to her island, Mr. Hamelin and his enraging daughter Maple, Blue Wing and Maple get off to a rocky start but when they learn more about each other they become good friends, The Shark Caller is the story of Blue Wing and Maple’s adventures on and around the island as they journey to the depths of the ocean in this wonderful story about friendship and grief.
Blue Wing’s parents die at a young age to the cruel shark named Xok, and she is taken in by Sirengen, the current and last remaining Shark Caller. Blue Wing’s dream is to become a Shark Caller and hunt down Xok, but Sirengen will not teach her. But will Blue Wing learn the truth about Xok and her parents before it’s too late?
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good action and adventure story but mainly from ages 7-14, this book is a perfect example of a unputdownable book and I would highly recommend it.
The style of writing in this book is first person as we see Blue Wing’s perspectives on what happens in this story. As you are reading this book you will feel that you are seeing the events that occur in this book and you will feel as if you are there.
The Shark Caller is a great book for anyone who is currently looking for a book about action and adventure and I would recommend this book to everyone.

School Name
Hockerill Anglo-European College
Zillah
March 11, 2022 5:09 pm
Reply to  Alex Burnet

Thank you, Alex. I’m glad there was adventure and action in the book as it’s quite a mindscape of a narrative with lots of space for thought and reflection. The emotional progress of the characters was important to me so there is less action than in some of my other books.

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Esme
March 11, 2022 11:06 am

This book has an amazing storyline making me want to read more after every chapter, From the details in the diverse language to the description of the pristine sandy beaches it all worked perfectly. The author also made you think about Maple’s side of the story an why she may act this way towards blue wing and this is why maple is my favourite character because I can relate to her because while I may not have moved country I moved schools and that can be frightening so I feel empathy for her having to move somewhere where she doesn’t know anybody. overall this book is amazing and you should definitely read it, I recommend it.

School Name
Hockerill Anglo European College
Zillah
March 11, 2022 5:11 pm
Reply to  Esme

Hi Esme, it’s hard to move schools isn’t it. When I came to the UK I was horrified by school! Too many rules! Too many maths tests! No running on the beach… And I was called the new guinea pig!! But in the end it’s okay and we settle in. Hope school is good for you now.

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Libby
March 11, 2022 11:10 am

‘The shark caller’ by zillah bethall was not bad, it is about a girl – blue wing whos parents died a few years ago, now she is desperate to become a shark caller. i enjoyed the backstory of the characters and imagining how they live, but I didn’t like the story line or the way it was written. i found it boring and i didn’t want to read it. i found the twist predictable and overused. i would not recommend this book to anyone 12+. i believe that i am not the target audience and that lots of people could enjoy this book. i rate The shark caller 1/5.

School Name
Hockerill
Zillah
March 11, 2022 5:13 pm
Reply to  Libby

Hi Libby, sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the book and I hope there are many others you love to read. Thank you for your comments.

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Krishan
March 11, 2022 11:10 am

 Shark caller book review
The shark caller is a book full of death mystery and action it isn’t scary, but you encounter many events in the book and this would be a perfect book for someone who’s a young teen or 11+ there are many characters in the shark caller, many originate from papa new Guinea because thats where the story’s set.  This book written by Zillah Bethell was inspired by her childhood in papa new guinea she said there was no connection to the outside world. So, most of the book was based of real life! So, if you like action fiction based of real-life events this is a book for you, It gets into action straight away personally that was one of my favourite parts. I wouldn’t say the book is formal though it is quite casual but no slang it’s just the normal day to day person language because it isn’t targeted at older 15+ readers. There isn’t any strong language either. It is mainly about this girl called “Blue Wing” and she wants to become a shark caller but isn’t allowed because of her gender because it’s a “man’s” job. Overall, I didn’t mind this book I wouldn’t say it’s for me.

School Name
Hockerill-Anglo-European-College
Zillah
March 11, 2022 5:15 pm
Reply to  Krishan

Hi Krishan, thanks so much for your great comments, glad you liked some aspects of the book. Hope you enjoy your reading and school generally.

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michelle
March 11, 2022 11:12 am

well the shark caller is good in all different ways, because personally i’m not a reader my self but this book caught my eyes because the colours on the front cover is amazing it just catches you eye. The book is so unique i have never read anything like it before. the main characters are maple and blue wing, something happens with them at the start they don’t really get along but… they do get along eventually but maple arrives
unexpectedly to blue wings island but this book is very tense and shocking towards the end if you want to find out then read this book its so exiting and tense ill give you a little clue of what happens blue wing… well i’m no going to spoil its so blue wing has a secret to tell you if you get near the end you will find out. Its so good i mist have read it multiple times is so addicting, honestly. I really recommend it.

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hockerill
Zillah
March 11, 2022 5:17 pm
Reply to  michelle

Thanks Michelle. The cover is so bright isn’t it and the waves and fish are flowing like in real life. Glad you enjoyed the twist at the end, it’s the whole point of the book in fact. I always start at the end of my books. Tenkyu.

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michelle
March 16, 2022 10:24 am
Reply to  Zillah

sorry for the late reply, i agree its so cool and exiting.

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hockerill
Zillah
March 16, 2022 2:41 pm
Reply to  michelle

I like a line from a poem by TS Eliot – ‘the end is where we start from’

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Deji
March 11, 2022 11:13 am

The Shark caller was written by Zillah Bethell, this book is based in a small island in Papua New Guinea with Blue Wing as the main character and her frenemy Maple who are desperate to become shark callers with a mind blowing ending. I would recommend this book to people 8+ as there is now harmful language in this book. If I were to rate this book out of 10, I would give it a 7/10 because I thought that the start didn’t grab me into the book, but as it progressed it got better especially at the end.

One word I would describe this book is unique because all the characters have different personalities that are not common in books and the storyline was easy to follow and interesting

School Name
Hockerill Anglo European College
Zillah
March 11, 2022 5:19 pm
Reply to  Deji

Hi Deji, glad you liked all the different characters in the book, I wanted to show different types of people as a way of communicating issues around cultures and traditions. Thank you for your review.

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Isla
March 11, 2022 11:14 am

The Shark Caller was a good book. I really enjoyed reading it. The book was about a girl called Blue Wing who wanted to be a Shark Caller. Her parents had died in the sea by the deadliest shark. A Shark Caller is someone who can summon sharks to come to them. Blue Wing wants to learn the magic needed to do this.

School Name
Hockerill Anglo European College
Zillah
March 11, 2022 5:21 pm
Reply to  Isla

Hi Isla. Shark calling is very magical and needs a calm and practised eye and a lot of patience. It is unique to PNG and still happens as a tradition though not to kill sharks. Thank you for your review.

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Adetoun
March 11, 2022 11:17 am

The Shark Caller is a novel written by Zillah Bethell, it is a story about Blue Wing, a young girl who grew up on the shores of Papua New Guinea, she lives there with Sirigen, her waspapi and the local shark caller (carer) ever since her parents died. Blue Wing meets Maple, who came with her father from the city. Blue Wing and Maple see too many differences in themselves and refuse to be friends, will they give up their secrets in order to help one another? You’ll just have to read the book, to see what happens. I recommend this book for ages 7-12, this is because older children might find this book childish and younger readers might not understand some of the language used. I think the style of writing was written in first person from Blue Wings perspective, this allows the reader to see all of Blue Wings thoughts, this makes sense because Blue Wing is the main character and it also makes sense because of the ending. I think there were many things to learn from this book, but I think the main thing to learn was to let go, this is because both Maple, Maple’s father, Blue Wing, and Sirigen both faced a death in their life and thy had to move on. Overall I think this was a good because because of the Moral to the story and the unexpected twist.

School Name
Hockerill Anglo-European Collage
Zillah
March 11, 2022 5:23 pm
Reply to  Adetoun

Thank you, Adetoun. Letting go is very hard to do and vital sometimes and I’m glad you felt this in the book. I think it is one of the hardest things to learn actually. Glad you liked the ending.

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Lola Nykanen
March 11, 2022 1:13 pm

In our English lessons we were told to read a book. Our book was Shark Caller  By Zillah Bethell.
Our book is about a girl named blue wing she lives on an island with her Siringen he is Blue Wings Guardian. He is a shark caller. Blue wing wants to be a shark caller but she can’t because she is a “girls can’t be shark callers ”.
Blue Wing lives in a village on the coast of Papua New Guinea. Blue wings life was going as it usually does than a man and his daughter -Maple- come to the island. Blue wing was told she had to give up her room to the new girl she hasn’t even met and decides that she hates her.
The style of writing is the usual narrative but it has its own style speech. It is give the book a lot of its individuality and makes it more fun to read.
Personally I enjoyed the book to and extent of ‘it was interesting I am just not interested in the adventure theme’. However I would recommend this to older children about the age of eleven years old and up just because the book has its own language at the start of the book. As well is age group understand about making friends with the people you don’t really like in the beginning. Since they have either decided which or have gone to a new secondary school.
The book has a very clear message of finding yourself and breaking down barriers and it also it show not a friendship start as best friends and end and best friends and that you never fight. The book has a sense of reality in it which is why I enjoyed it. 
Thank you
Lola

School Name
Hockerill Anglo European College
Zillah
March 11, 2022 5:26 pm
Reply to  Lola Nykanen

Hi Lola, thank you for these comments. Glad you liked the reality of the book. I wanted it to be very real as well as being quite spiritual as they interconnect in papuan belief systems.

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