It’s Shark Week: Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?


Swimming with the fishes on Long Island. Image: Aria FotografiaSwimming with the fishes on Long Island. Image: Aria Fotografia

Swimming with the fishes on Long Island. Image: Aria Fotografia

It’s hard to find a good audiobook for long car trips, something that both kids and adults can stand to listen to. One trick I’ve found is to scan the non-fiction adult aisles of our library for a topic that’s interesting to all and not too heavy. A few years back, knowing my kids were big Spielberg fans, I grabbed a book-on-CD by Peter Benchley, the author of Jaws.

Narrated by the author, Shark Trouble was part memoir, part nature guide, and part statistics lesson. (The statistics lesson came in when Benchley explained that –despite all the reports of shark attacks saturating the media in the summer of 2001 – the number of deadly encounters between man and fish were no more numerous than in other years. In other words, it was a slow news season.) As the kids and I drove down to meet their dad at our designated vacation spot, we learned a lot about sharks (and good storytelling) during those five hours.

It was only when we arrived and my husband found out what we’d been listening to that I realized it might not have been the best choice for a trip down the Shore. No wonder nobody wanted to go in the water.

I mention all this, of course, because it’s Shark Week over at Discovery Channel. Being newcomers to the wonders of cable, we have not actually ever watched Shark Week, but it sure looks like fun. And I have a feeling a certain 13-year-old friend of ours will be watching this week.

Sharks are this kid’s passion, and like Benchley, he tends to see things from their point of view. (As our young friend will tell you, you’re more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than bitten by a shark.) But unlike most of us, he’s actually shared that point of view. That’s him, last spring, diving in the shark tank at the Atlantis Marine World Aquarium in Riverhead, Long Island.

Happy Shark Week, Ben!

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