CHUM by Adam Glendon Sidwell
When I first saw the cover of this book I wondered what the heck it was about. I mean...floating yellow smiling faces? Then I read the back: it's about a boy who gets offered a chance to be on a reality TV show and losers are thrown to the sharks. Then I noticed...oh yah, there are shark fins in the water.WHAT the HECK? So I opened it, not knowing what to expect.
Right away I fell in love with the protagonist, Levi (not really, I'm married, yeesh). I could relate very well with many of his fears, thoughts and insecurities from my juvenile days. The first half of the book I was hooked, sitting on the edge of my seat, not wanting to sleep, wondering what would happen next. I'm an adult (well, kind of) and this is a kids' book so that's saying something. Then the last half wasn't quite so gripping. Interesting, but less intense.
Overall it is full of action and pirates with a little crush thrown in there for good measure. It's clean and, even with a few inevitable deaths, I'd rate it PG and give it 4.2 stars. Way to be creative, Sidwell!