The Woman Who Rode a Shark

Written by Ailsa Ross, Illustrated by Amy Blackwell

Out around the world — and featuring two new stories — as The Girl Who Rode a Shark in September 2019.

*A USBBY 2020 Outstanding International Book*

*A CBC best kids’ book for fall 2019*

* STARRED REVIEW in Kirkus: “Brief biographies of 52 intrepid women, spanning the globe and all centuries, are flanked by large, full-color illustrations and by maps that show the women’s adventuring sites…..The artwork, reminiscent of art deco travel posters, is a gorgeous complement to the eclectic curation….An exciting labor of love—for kids of all gender identities.

* REVIEW in Booklist: “Brightly colored digital-media portraits face each page of text, and double-page maps pinpoint each subject’s country of origin. Truly international in scope and ranging across centuries…this attractive collection should spark inquiry for further research.”

* REVIEW in School Library Journal: “This colorful, delightful book is highly recommended for all history and women’s history collections.”

“Rich in stories and inspiration.” Sarah Outen MBE, adventurer

“A fresh, original compilation of adventurous women who have changed the world. A few of my favourites include Annie Londonderry, a hero to all long-distance cycling adventurers, Robyn Davidson whose feisty story became one of my favourite travel books, and Nujeen Mustafa who reminds us that living adventurously is an attitude for tackling life’s challenges, not just fun trips to the wilderness.” Alastair Humphreys, Great Adventurers

You’ve heard of Charles Darwin, Ernest Shackleton and Lawrence of Arabia. But how about Marianne North, Ada Blackjack or Isabelle Eberhardt?

From aquanauts to astronauts, treetop explorers to eagle hunters, The Woman Who Rode a Shark celebrates 50 ocean-diving, mountain-climbing, jungle-running female adventurers who’ve blazed an exceptional trail from 231 BC to today.

Through bold illustrations that combine portraits and hand-drawn maps, children can trace the ocean-soaring flights of pilot Amelia Earhart, follow Isabella Bird’s expedition up the Yangtze River, and meet Kimi Werner – the freediving chef who hitched a ride on the dorsal fin of a great white shark.

Perfect for fans of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls and Women in Science, The Woman Who Rode a Shark tells the inspiring stories of women warriors, scientists, artists, athletes – and, above all, adventurers.


+ Interview with the Irish Independent

+ Illustrator interview with Creative Boom

+ Interview with School House Magazine

+ Article in Wanderlust Magazine

+ Article in Complete France

+ Essay in Teach Primary

+ Inclusion in best fall kids’ books, CBC

+ Review in NB Magazine

+ Interview with Explore Magazine

+ Interview with Pink Pangea

+ Inclusion in best fall kids’ books, Mighty Village

+ Feature on Matador Network

+ Radio interview with CBC

+ Interview with Open Book

+ Inclusion in 2019 books gift guide, Globe and Mail

+ Inclusion in 15 Outdoor & Nature Books for Young Readers, She Explores

Join the Women Adventurers community on Facebook and Instagram

If you’re based in North America or elsewhere, you can order The Girl Who Rode a Shark on IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and at, which gives back to local, indie shops across the States.