Surrounded by Sharks by Michael Northrop

Monday, November 2, 2015

Michael Northrop

When Davey wakes, just as the sun is rising, he can't wait to slip out of the crammed hotel room he's sharing with his family. Leave it to his parents and kid brother to waste an entire day of vacation sleeping in! Davey heads straight for the beach, book and glasses in hand, not bothering to leave a note. As the sparkling ocean entices him, he decides to test the water, never mind that "No Swimming" sign. But as the waves pull him farther from shore, Davey finds himself surrounded by water -- and something else, too. Something circling below the surface, watching, waiting. It's just a matter of time.
Author Post

From Start to Fin: How I Wrote Surrounded By Sharks
By Michael Northrop 

I’ve always been fascinated by sharks—fascinated and, OK, more than a little scared. But I faced a few big obstacles when I set out to write a gripping survival story about sharks. The first obstacle: Shark attacks are seriously rare. In fact, you are more likely to get killed by a vending machine falling on you than by a shark attack. But vending machines are nowhere near as cool or scary as sharks. There’s a reason my book isn’t called Squashed By Snickers!

The second obstacle: I was determined to write about realistic sharks, not malicious movie monsters. In real life, sharks are cautious hunters. They rarely encounter people, so when they do, they are usually more curious than aggressive. They aren’t sure what we are, much less if we’re on the menu.

But in order for the book to work, the danger from the sharks had to seem both very likely and very serious. I accomplished that by putting the main character, Davey Tsering, right in the middle of the sharks' world. A powerful riptide pulls him far out into the ocean—and pulled me past both obstacles.

Out there in the open ocean, so far from land (and vending machines), a shark attack isn’t unrealistic at all. In fact, it’s just a matter of time… 

About the Author

My name is Michael Northrop, and I am a writer living in New York City. I am the author of Scholastic’s new multi-platform series, TombQuest. Book 1: Book of the Dead was published on January 27, 2015, and spent three weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. I am also the author of four young adult novels: Gentlemen (2009), which earned a Publishers Weekly Flying Start citation; Trapped (2011), an Indie Next List selection; Rotten (2013), one of the Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books of the Year; and Surrounded By Sharks (2014), one of E! Online’s Best Summer Reads. My first middle grade novel, Plunked, was named one of the best children’s books of the year by both the New York Public Library and Bank Street and was selected by NPR for its Backseat Book Club.

I am originally from Salisbury, Connecticut, a small town in the foothills of the Berkshire mountains. It was a great place to grow up (to the extent that I did), falling out of trees, shooting BB guns at soda cans (and my brother), and kicking field goals for my high school football team.

Since moving to New York to attend NYU, I have worked at The World Almanac and Sports Illustrated Kids, where I was a senior editor from 2000 to 2008. I have moonlighted as a standup comedian, earned a black belt, and taken up running. I’ve been to the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and spring training. And my writing has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated Kids, People Online, The New York Times Upfront, Notre Dame Review, McSweeney’s, Weird Tales, and many other places.

Three random facts about me:
1) I am dyslexic and had to repeat second grade.
2) I once stepped on a yellowjacket nest and was stung approx. 75 times.
3) According to family lore, I am distantly related to Jonathan Swift, who wrote
Gulliver’s Travels.

Three of my favorite things:
1) Watership Down (book)
2) Jaws (movie)
3) Spicy tuna hand rolls (food)

If you would like more information about Michael Northrop check out his website

15 Delicious Comments:

Anonymous said...


I can't wait to find out what happens to Davey and how he gets himself out of this situation. If he can... I hope that his family feels guilty for letting him go to the beach alone.

Hazelwood Central Middle School

Anonymous said...

This book is a major Thumbs Up full of dumb decisions and suspense

Anonymous said...

Hazelwood central middle school- i wonder how davey gets out of his situation or maybe he gets eaten i need to know

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wow so the main character sounds very bright :P
Because who doesn't go to the beach alone and ignore the signs. Give this man a noble prize! Ok, being serious now. That sounds terrifying being in the ocean alone with *dramatic music* sharks! D: So I guess I'll just...dive into the book.... Ok then...

Anonymous said...

Amore Sykes

WOW! He sure is smart to go to the beach alone :p. Come on it says NO SWIMMING for a reason and that reason is Shearks. Way to go Davey. Have a nice chomp.

Anonymous said...

this book seems good. I will probably like it. Also he has BAD judgment.
- Deauna Hazelwood Central Middle School Book Battle Club:)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi, its me Tammira from Hazelwood Central Middle. This book is really good. I want to give spoilers but I cant, so enjoy the suspense while you can!

Caroline From Hixson said...

Surrounded By Sharks was very suspenseful and made me wish I could fly through the pages as fast as possible!

Naveed said...

Reviews 3 Week Diet

Anonymous said...

It sounds really interesting! I haven't read a lot of books like this in a while, and I am looking forward to what Davey does to get out of there!
Fort Zumwalt North Middle School student

Kelly Collins -hixon middle said...

I have not read this book yet, but I hear many different opinions on Surrounded by Sharks.

Rohan said...

Ladue Middle School

Surrounded by Sharks. I like this book because it is written in a casual way- a way that the reader can relate to. This makes me want to read more and more. In addition to the style of writing- the storyline is well thought out.

Anonymous said...

I really love animals and the ocean. This book makes some really big combinations getting stranded made this book amazing. ckms

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