Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX 76244-0425
Books for Pirate Apprentices and Young Adults
Imagine a mom who yells, “I’ll chop your toes off to feed to the fishes!” or “Take that, snot whiskers!” in the midst of battling an evil sea captain, then turns around to insist you do your homework. Well, that’s exactly what Cecil’s mom is like. Plus, instead of sea monsters to celebrate their victories, the pirates always want pizza and milk! This turn of events is, of course, Cecil’s fault, for a year ago on his birthday he made a wish. And that wish came true, compliments of a wizard his mom freed from prison. He told her exactly where to find the best school ever that would give Cecil what he wanted – an education. All they had to do was go through a time warp to the future!
Every morning, the pirates venture two hundred years into our world so Cecil can attend Bandicoot Flats Middle School, and at night, they return to pirating in their own time period. Trouble arrives three months into the school year – Parent-Teacher night! Now, it’s not that Cecil is embarrassed to have a mom who’s a pirate. It’s just that parents and teachers today aren’t as tolerant of those who don’t conform. No matter how hard he tries to keep his mom in the dark, she discovers the truth and shows up in full pirate regalia. Then the “feetball” coach tells Cecil he’ll have to sit on the bench during Saturday’s game. Not exactly what you should say in front of a cutlass-wielding pirate mom.
The next day, Cecil finds himself in the principal’s office. She’s not too pleased about his mother’s behavior. While Cecil attempts to defend his mom, news comes of a rapidly rising river and since the school is located at the lowest part of town, they must evacuate. There aren’t enough busses for everyone, so Cecil and his classmates must wait their turn. The problem is the water continues to rise, and only Cecil and his mom can save the day. But are the adults and children ready to be saved by pirates? And if successful, are they ready to live with pirates?
My Mom the Pirate is a captivating story with which children will readily identify. After all, the last thing any child wants is to be embarrassed by their parents, or to be labeled as different or strange. Ms. French does a superb job of melding fact with fiction and in creating a believable tale that demonstrates that even the strangest among us have something to contribute. Divided into sixteen chapters and an epilogue, this book is geared for elementary school children who either want to read on their own or read along with someone else. The glossary will help with the pronunciations and definitions of harder words, while discussion questions and writing prompts allow readers to delve deeper into the story and explore the world of pirates. There are also instructions on how to learn more about pirates via the Internet (see below).
This fascinating adventure that mixes grit with smarts will delight and entertain readers. A worthy addition to a young pirate’s library. A hardback book with a reinforced library binding, My Mom the Pirate will survive many a plundering and is great for showing true pirattitude!
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Book Review Copyright ©2007 Cindy Vallar
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