Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: John Farndon
Illustrator: Taito Viana
Publisher: Hungry Tomato
During the Golden Age of Piracy, Jamie Flynn takes you on an adventure when he gets kidnapped by a pirate press gang and forced to work on Blackbeard’s pirate ship. Jamie explains what life on a pirate ship is like, from the basic layout of the ship to the things that pirates eat. He talks about other things involved with being a pirate such as Blackbeard and other famous pirates, punishments given to anyone who upsets a pirate, rules pirates are supposed to follow, pirate weapons, treasure, how pirates attack and profit off their enemies, and what happens if a pirate gets caught by the Navy. The back of the book includes ten additional pirate facts and a glossary.
This is a very basic introduction to what a pirate’s life would be like. Even though the book is very short and doesn’t contain a lot of information, it doesn’t shy away from some of the gruesome parts of pirate life, including descriptions of weapons, beheading, and losing limbs. Creating a character for the reader to follow along with falls somewhat flat because it struggles between trying to have a story and provide enough historical information. For children who need some extra motivation to read nonfiction it may help grab their interest, but there are plenty of other books that have either a better story or a better collection of facts on the subject.