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


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Books for Pirate Apprentices and Young Adults

Cover Art: Misty Gordon and the Mysery of the Ghost Pirates

Misty Gordon and the Mystery of the Ghost Pirates
By Kim Kennedy
Amulet Books, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8109-9357-0, US $15.95 / CAN $18.95 / £9.99

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Weird and unusual are words Misty Gordon knows only too well. They best describe her life, for what else is possible when her father is D.E.A.D. – Deceased’s Estate and Antique Dealer – and he acquires presents for the family from some of the dearly departed. For example, after visiting Fannie Belcher’s home, he gives her mother a molting fur coat, while her brother receives a real stuffed squirrel, and Misty gets “a heavy, black phone from the 1940s” with a frayed cord. This particular gift, though, draws her into a dangerous and creepy adventure.
 
The mystery only deepens after a visit to Madame Zaster’s house. The fortune teller has recently died, and Mr. Gordon gets first dibs on her belongings. While he sifts through what to take, Misty happens upon a vanity where she discovers a hypno-clock and a pair of cat-eye glasses. When she puts on those glasses, she sees a woman clad in purple and wearing old-fashioned shoes, who tells her “All will be revealed once you have learned the nature of the Golden Three . . . but first you must prove your nature to me.” Only later does Misty learn the woman is the dead Madame Zaster!
 
With the help of her best friend, Yoshi (whose father runs the insane asylum), Misty slowly unravels a mystery that centers around a royal ship that sank in Ashcrumb’s harbor during a dreadful storm many years ago and a group of ghostly pirates known as the Black Adders, who seek the lost treasure she carried. Along the way the girls cross paths with Margie Medford (the school crossing guard who bullies children), a strange furry creature with no head that reminds Misty of her mother’s new coat, May Nays (an escapee from the insane asylum who will stop at nothing to get hold of mayonnaise), and a bloody doublet-clad ghost with the “tattoo of a snake coiled around a skull” on his neck.
 
Misty Gordon is a fantastic, eerie mystery that slowly gets under a young pirate apprentice’s skin, just like the squiggly lines that suddenly appear on the heroine’s palm. The blend of reality and mystical is so superbly woven together that readers won’t be able to set the book aside. It’s the perfect book for reading on a dark and stormy night or to read aloud by flashlight after the lights are turned off.

Review Copyright ©2010 Cindy Vallar




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