Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX 76244-0425
Books for Pirate Apprentices and Young Adults
Pirates didn’t bury their treasure and create maps that showed where they hid it. Or did they? That’s the premise behind this book for children ages eight to twelve, or those who are older and like mysteries to solve.
In 1667 the buccaneer Henry Morgan enlists the aid of Elijah McGee, who “excelled at making detail maps” and is a trustworthy soul. After his grandson’s death, the maps disappear and rumors circulate that this dynasty of mapmakers placed hidden clues in their maps to a secret map of buried treasure. After many years, the authors acquire the maps at an estate sale. They recreate the maps within this book and provide, along with historical tidbits on pirate history, the clues and riddle needed to discover the location of the pirates’ treasure.
One contradiction in facts: the authors say the earliest pirates were the corsairs of the Barbary Coast, who began preying in the 1500s. On the next page they say piracy has existed since man first began sailing the sea. The latter is true, rather than the former. Blackbeard wove slow matches, rather than gunpowder, into his braids. The smoke created a devilish illusion; the gunpowder would have exploded when lighted.
The presentation of material makes readers wonder if what the authors reveal is really true. The idea is plausible, and the intertwining of historical facts with the story will have young pirates dreaming of untold treasure. I particularly enjoyed the Owens’ revelation about Captain Johnson, and just the idea of “the Pyratlas” will make pirate-lovers salivate. The detailed maps are gems in themselves. While I easily figured out the riddle, finding the location of the treasure was something I stumbled on to, rather than solved.
Lost Treasures of the Pirates of the Caribbean is a fascinating exploration of piratical history and maps. It captivates the reader and makes him/her wonder about “what if.” While young pirates are having fun, they’re learning, too! Once they have the answer in hand, they can go to the book’s website to see if they’re right and to download additional pirate lore.
Book Review Copyright © 2007 Cindy Vallar
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