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Children's Fiction Humorous Stories

How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel

by (author) Jess Keating

Initial publish date
Dec 2014
Humorous Stories
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2014
    List Price

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Where to buy it


"Keating delivers a fun-filled, pitch-perfect book…An amusing, highly readable book about the perils of being 12 in a snake-eat-snake world."—Kirkus Starred Review on How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied (My Life is a Zoo Book 1)

AnaWright's life is a zoo—literally

Ana Wright's summer just got terrifying. She's finally getting used to living in a zoo (no, seriously—she lives with her family in an actual zoo), when she's assigned to work in the new shark tank. With her worst enemy. Forget about sharks! Ashley is the ultimate predator. And after Ana's favorite croc peed on Ashley's shoes, she's probably out for revenge.

This can't be good.

Jess Keating combines the quirky humor and animal-centric plots of Carl Hiaasen with the awkward adolescent antics of Lauren Myracle in this fresh new middle grade series!

Praise for How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied:

"A menagerie of laugh-out-loud antics."—Anna Staniszewski, author of The Dirt Diary

"A wild romp, filled with humor and heart."—Lisa Schroeder, author of It's Raining Cupcakes

"Keating, a zoologist, enriches her debut novel with fascinating animal facts, awkward moments with a variety of wild species, and "creature files" Ana uses to amusingly classify her peers"—School Library Journal

"An absolutely perfect summer read."—Girls' Life

"Life is literally a zoo for shy 12-year-old Anna, who is trying to avoid seventh-grade bullies while hiding that her family lives among crocodiles and elephants." —Los Angeles Times

About the author

JESS KEATING est une auteure, bédéiste et zoologiste. Jess vit en Ontario.


As a zoologist and author, Jess Keating has been sprayed by skunks, bitten by crocodiles, and victim of the dreaded paper cut. Her books blend science, humor, and creativity, and include the acclaimed My Life Is a Zoo middle-grade trilogy and award-winning picture books, like Shark Lady and Pink Is for Blobfish. Jess lives in Ontario, Canada, where she loves hiking, nerdy documentaries, and writing books for curious and adventurous kids. Jess can be found online at or on Twitter at @Jess_Keating.

Jess Keating's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Keating maintains the same humorous, lightly soul-searching tone, perfect for a barely teenage girl, with which she infused Ana's first outing, How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied (2014)… An enjoyable frolic with a great message that kids won't even notice they're absorbing" — Kirkus Reviews

"A zoologist, an educator, and an author, Jess Keating wrote the perfect book for students: a middle grade guide for navigating a zoo- I mean, middle school...My Life is a Zoo series speaks to tweens," —

"Keating perfectly captures the fears, awkwardness, and excitement of being 12 and delivers a positive story with plenty of humor that emphasizes thinking for and becoming comfortable with oneself." — Booklist

"Daydream about summer this winter with Jess Keating's latest read...Ana Wright is back and better than ever in the second book to the My Life Is A Zoo series." — Girls

"By turns funny and poignant, this follow-up to How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoelaces Are Untied (Sourcebooks, 2014) sees Ana Wright, whose family recently moved to New Zealand to live in a zoo, saddled with the unenviable task of working in the shark tank—with her nemesis, Ashley. Readers will easily relate to insecure Ana and will enjoy the fun animal factoids (and Ana’s own funny responses to the trivia). A relatable, if not groundbreaking, caper." — School Library Journal

Other titles by Jess Keating

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