Young Adult: Summer of the Shark by DiVitto Kelly

Summer of the Shark

On June 20, 1975, the summer blockbuster was born. The movie was Jaws based on Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel of the same name. Forty-five years later, author DiVitto Kelly has tapped into the nostalgia of the mid-70s, Jaws, and the 1975 World Series with the release of his new YA novel, Summer of the Shark.

In DiVitto Kelly’s new book, it is 1974 and school is out for 12-year-old Ryan Sullivan, only he won’t be spending it in his hometown of Madison Hill, Ohio. No playing baseball with friends, riding bikes, or going to Reds games at cookiecutter Riverfront Stadium. Instead, he’ll be visiting his grandfather, Arthur “Artie” Sullivan, on the island of Martha’s Vineyard for the whole summer.

During his stay, Ryan will discover the joys of eating “lobstah,” snag a foul ball at a Red Sox game, survive not one, but two, great white shark attacks, and along with his grandfather, become hired extras in the movie, Jaws, which is being filmed on location. Ryan even meets a girl his age, Veronica, who not only digs baseball, but loves monster movies as much as he does.

Filled with humor, drama, and the flavor of Martha’s Vineyard, Summer of the Shark is a mid-1970s, nostalgic first-person account of Ryan’s iconic vacation and the two significant events that occurred one year later: his Cincinnati Reds capturing the World Series over Artie’s Boston Red Sox in dramatic seventh-game fashion, and the debut of his favorite movie of all time, Jaws. ◊

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