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The History of Maritime Piracy

Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425


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Books for Pirate Apprentices and Young Adults

The Jolley-Rogers and the Ghostly Galleon                    The Jolley-Rogers and the Cave of Doom

Cover Art: The Jolley-Rogers and
        the Ghostly Galleon
The Jolley-Rogers and the Ghostly Galleon
By Jonny Duddle
Templar Books, 2016, ISBN 978-0-7636-8910-0, US $6.99 / CAN $9.00

 StarStarStarStarStar

Late one night pirates ransack the museum in Dull-on-Sea without leaving a single fingerprint behind. Chief Inspector Klewless admits he and his men have no clues as to the piratesí identities, but this is the second such theft and both occur under a full moon. Fearing theyíll be the next victims, the townspeople of Dull-on-Sea immediately lock up their valuables.

Matilda, better known as Tilly, contacts her best friend, Jim Lad Jolley-Roger, who just might know who the thieves are since he and his family are pirates too. While waiting for them to arrive, she helps an old lady with a cupboard full of keys. One particular key catches Tillyís attention because itís rusty and big and has a skeletonís head at one end.

Once the Jolley-Rogersí pirate galleon Blackhole arrives, Jim Lad invites Tilly aboard to hear the legend of Capín Twirlybeard. This fiercesome captain and his pirates had a locked chest of treasure, but the key was lost after the pirates were killed and the navy ship carrying it sank off Dull-on-Sea. Now, when the full moon shines, the pirates search for the key to unlock their chest. Only then will their souls be saved.

Tilly thinks she knows where to find the key, and once she and Jim Lad acquire it, Grandpa Rogers devises a daring plan to recover the stolen artifacts and put an end to Twirlybeardís nightly thefts. But itís never a good idea to trust pirates to do the right thing, and Capín Twirlybeard has no intention of giving up his moonlight marauding. Before long Tilly and Jim Lad find themselves in mortal danger, and the only way for the good guys to win is to think outside the box.

This chapter book is the first tale in a new series for young pirate apprentices. The story combines a mixture of modern technology with old-fashioned pirate lore. The black-and-white illustrations perfectly set the mood and the inclusion of ďThe Jolley-Rogersí Guide to Pirate-SpeakĒ helps readers understand unfamiliar vocabulary. Nugget, Jim Ladís little sister, walks a bit of a tight rope between good and bad pirate, but Tilly and Jim Lad aptly demonstrate how wits and ingenuity are sometimes better weapons than swords and threats. This tale is great fun with tons of piratitude, one that even adults will enjoy.


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Review Copyrighted ©2016 Cindy Vallar

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Cover Art: The Jolley-Rogers
                and the Cave of Doom
The Jolley-Rogers and the Cave of Doom
By Jonny Duddle
Templar Books, 2016, ISBN 978-0-7636-8909-4, US $6.99 / CAN $9.00

Dabberlocks, Maerl, and Pipweed are three witches who collect pirate ships, hats, and flags. But finding such items is difficult these days, since few pirates visit Dull-on-Sea now. So they weave a spell to bring pirates on the double. Unfortunately, the first to arrive are the Jolley-Rogers, who just want a fun day at the beach. The first hint of trouble arrives when Mr. Jolley-Rogers and Nugget use a metal detector to hunt for buried treasure. Jim Lad and his mother are surfing the waves when they hear Bones barking from the shore. The dog leads them to a cave, but Jim Lad is wary enough to first write a note to his friend Matilda. After affixing the message to Bonesí collar, Jim Lad tells the dog to deliver it to Tilly if he fails to emerge from the cave.

When Bones arrives at her house, Tilly sets aside her painting and goes out to the cave at Hagís Head. Although itís dark inside, she sees a faint yellow glow and follows it until she enters an underground room filled with gold and jewels. Standing frozen in front of this treasure are the Jolley-Rogers. She manages to drag Jim outside where the spell is broken. Knowing his parents are too heavy and that he canít go back inside without some special tools, Jim Lad returns to the ship to get what he needs. Tilly and Bones return to the treasure room to rescue Nugget only to be discovered by the witches, who take Tilly and Bones up to their house at the top of the cliff. Tilly devises an escape plan, but witches with piratical cravings arenít to be trusted.

While thereís less action in this second book in The Jolley-Rogers series, ingenuity and common sense play key roles in thwarting the witches, who arenít completely evil. Technology and fantasy combined with great black-and-white pictures spin a web that will captivate young pirate apprentices and, perhaps, their parents.
Review Copyrighted ©2016 Cindy Vallar


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