Soul Surfer 
By Delany Peshek, Grade 9

Now in theatres, the movie Soul Surfer tells the famous true story of Bethany Hamilton, a star in the teenage surfing circuit who loses her arm in a shark attack.

Bethany, who is played by Anna Sophia Robb, has surfed since she was 4 years old in front of her parents’ home on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Her whole family lives and breathes to surf. She has two older brothers, Noah and Timothy (Timmy), her father Tom and her mother Cheri. They all drive her to excel.

The movie starts off with gospel music in a very contemporary Christian church service in a tent on the beach. Bethany wins a surf competition, beating her best friend, Alana, (played by Lorraine Nicholson; Jack Nicholson’s daughter) and her strongest opponent, Malia Birch. As a result, the surf company RipCurl approaches Alana and Bethany as a sponsor for their surfing career. Bethany decides not to go on a mission trip to Mexico, disappointing Sara Hill, her youth group leader (played by Carrie Underwood).

When Bethany is surfing with her friend Alana and Alana’s family near a remote beach, a 14-foot tiger shark jumps out of the water and bites her arm. Alana’s father Holt (played by Kevin Sorbo) and the other members of her family rush Bethany to the hospital.

Everyone is praying for Bethany’s safety and miraculously, she survives. Had the shark bite been two inches closer, it would have been a fatal attack.

Once Bethany leaves the hospital, she quickly finds out life has changed forever. Simple tasks like getting dressed and cutting an orange are now almost impossible. But immediately, she’s back in the water trying to surf again.

As Bethany is struggling to achieve her former skill level with surfing, she decides to go on a mission trip to Thailand (which had just been hit by a big tsunami.) While there, she learns God uses all things together for good to those who love Him. She returns home, with new determination to become a champion surfer again.

Soul Surfer has some very moving moments that will bring joy to the theatre audience as they watch Bethany’s breathtaking victory.

It is truly a story of a girl’s hope, determination, and faith, as she overcomes her struggles, and leads many people to do the same.

I would definitely recommend this movie. To learn more about Bethany, read her book, Soul Surfer: the True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board.


Ridley Pearson: The Disney Fanatic
By Samantha Coville, Grade 8

Ridley Pearson is an amazing author who writes about an amazing topic: Disney. Two of his series, Kingdom Keepers and Peter and the Star Catchers, really hit a home run for all those Disney fans!

Kingdom Keepers is a four book series about five kids who become DHIs, Disney Host Interactives. One thing they didn’t expect, though, is the fact that, when the parks close and the staff leave, they are transported into the Disney parks! There they meet Wayne, a Disney Imaginer. He tells them that the Disney Villains, or Overtakers, are taking over the parks! Can they stop them?

Another wonderful book series by Ridley Pearson is Peter and the Star Catchers. Peter and his fellow orphans board a boat where they meet Molly and learn of a secret magic trunk. But something evil is on it’s way: a pirate who plans to take over the ship!

Ridley Pearson is a crowd pleaser and his books keep you interested and enthralled. There’s only one question: how many hours will it take for you to finish the books?


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