We were talking last night in Bible study about holding on and letting go. I had just finished reading Soul Surfer a day or two before, but it really fit with the topic. You may remember Bethany’s story. She’s a surfer and had her left arm bit off by a shark. She held on to faith in Jesus and to the support offered by her family and church. She let go of any “woe is me” attitude and is really an amazing girl. She also held on to surfing, something she loved, learning how to manage the board with only one arm.

Soul Surfer was written by Bethany, a fourteen year-old girl, and it reads like that. It sounds like a young teenager, but I mean that in a good way. I think it would be easy for middle schoolers to read and relate to Bethany. It’s a refreshingly honest story. Bethany talks about her life and the attack clearly and truthfully, without gory details. For the most part, though the emphasis is on how God has helped her cope, how her family and community, even her surfing sponser,  have stood beside her. She truly believes that this horrible accident has given her a platform to share her faith with others. She knows that God works through all things, and that He loves us and has a plan for us even if we may not always see it.

Throughout the book, Bethany has a positive attitude. She’s not asking for pity, she wants to share and inspire others. It’s a read I would definitely recommend to the girls in my daughter’s church group.

You can purchase Soul Surfer at Amazon or an Indie bookstore.

222 pages
First published January 2004
Published by MTV

4½ out of 5 stars

I borrowed my copy from the library and the above is my honest opinion.