Title: Pirates and PrivateersPirates and Privateers1
Author: Edith S. McCall
Illustrator: Felix Palm
Pages: 128
Recommended Ages: 8 & up
Star Rating: ★★★★★

Argh.

Ahem.

I mean, hello there. So nice to see you and all that. I am here to introduce you to a rip-roarin’, sea-soarin’ tale of the Jolly Roger!

Or tales rather. For this book does not limit itself to one pirate story. Instead, it begins at the beginning – with the very development of the word buccaneer and works itself forward with little skips and jumps through the stories of six men – some pirates, some buccaneers, and some privateers.

First was the story of Peter Francis, one of the first buccaneers. Then came the story of Henry King’s courageous escape from the hands of a privateer. Third was the story of Captain Kidd, fourth Blackbeard, fifth Stede Bonnet, and sixth Silas Talbot.

Of the six I had only heard of the middle two – Captain Kidd and Blackbeard. I was interested to read that, although Blackbeard was every bit as bad as I’ve always imagined him to be (and possibly worse), Captain Kidd was not the monster he is made out to be. He was never even truly a pirate, but was instead a privateer who became the victim of politics.

The more violent actions of these men are gently described – there are lots of illustratsions, some of battles, but not of these are particularly scary.

Conclusion. Superb – a lovely resource for interested children.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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