Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX 76244-0425
Books for Pirate Apprentices and Young Adults
Explore piracy as it pertains to the Carolinas during the Golden Age of Piracy in this colorful book designed to teach children about North Carolina’s rich history. Maps and graphics decorate pages filled with pirate information and facts. Some of the topics covered are “A Pirate, Buccaneer or Privateer?,” “The Spanish Main: A Pirate Piggy Bank…,” “Pirate or Hero? It Depends on Who You Ask,” and “The Pirate Ships.” There’s also a gallery of rogues, pirate facts of essential information readers need to know, and a glossary. The specific pirates highlighted are Edward Low, Stede Bonnet, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, George Lowther, Calico Jack Rackham, Charles Vane, Richard Worley, and Blackbeard.
There are a few discrepancies of which readers should be aware. Some pirates did obtain their ships by staging mutinies. While pirates who obtained their ships this way may have marooned or set adrift those who chose not to go on the account, some pirates murdered these innocent people. The picture that accompanies the square riggers is misleading. The reader might assume it’s a picture of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, which is discussed in the text, but it’s actually a Spanish galleon, which pirates rarely attacked. There are a few accounts of pirates forcing people to walk the plank – I hadn’t heard of the one recounted here – but those usually occurred in the 1800s after the time period covered in this book. Mary Read married a cavalry soldier, rather than a sailor. The fight between Lieutenant Maynard and Blackbeard took place on the navy vessel, rather than the pirate ship. Sometimes the choice of background and word colors doesn’t work well. For example, brown/red/orange on blue is difficult to read.In spite of these minor flaws, Pirates of the North Carolina Coast is a great introduction to a specific age and group of pirates. The book contains one of best Codes of Conduct I’ve come across in my readings. It’s clear, concise, and easy for children to comprehend. The inclusion of lesser-known pirates like Low and Worley is also a plus. They deserve mention, yet are rarely found in most books. If you’re a teacher, librarian, or parent, or a student in grades four through eighth, or you’re interested in North Carolina history, this is a worthy addition to your pirate collection.
Review copyrighted © 2007 Cindy Vallar
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