Showing posts with label sail the seven seas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sail the seven seas. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Worse Things Happen at Sea! A Tale of Pirates, Poison, and Monsters by Alan Snow - ADVISABLE


Snow, Alan.  Worse Things Happen at Sea! A Tale of Pirates, Poison, and Monsters.  332 pages.  Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2013.  $17.99.  Language: G.  Adult content: G.  Violence: G.  Author/illustrator Alan Snow concocts an unforgettable, zany pirate tale with plenty of cheese.  The Ratbridge Nautical Laundry, a rat-pirate ship that cleans and starches clothes, is in trouble when they are sued by someone who saw drying underwear on the rigging.  Arthur’s grandfather owns the ship and is very sick.  Arthur takes his grandfather to a doctor who gives out his special medicine, Black Jollop, for free.  Grandfather is immediately better, but the doctor is out of Black Jollop and needs to sail off to find the secret ingredient.  Arthur and his boxtroll, Fish, stowaway and have an exciting adventure including: mechanical monsters, poison, and forbidden cheese.  The ink illustrations abound with quirky personality and whimsical personality.  A fun read that will have boys asking “Arrrghhh there anymore?”

EL/MS: ADVISABLE.  Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein-ADVISABLE


Patterson, James and Grabenstein, Chris, Treasure Hunters. Pgs. 451. Little, Brown Company, 2013. $14.99. Content: Language: G, Mature Content; PG, Violence: PG

One stormy night, the Kid family loses their father in the storm. With their mom missing as well, Tommy, Beck, Bick, and Storm Kid find themselves in a sinking ship in the middle of nowhere. Determined to finish what their parents started and hopefully find their parents, the Kid family sets out to follow their father’s cryptic clues, treasure map, and finish what their dad started. Dangerous, mysterious people like a pirate king and their father’s enemy, Nathan Collier, however, are determined to stop the Kid family succeeding at any cost. Will the Kids succeed? What really happened to their parents?

A fast-paced, must-read adventure for any treasure seeker at heart. The characters are funny and easy to connect with. The illustrations are amazingly detailed and fun to look at. Readers who are fans of James Patterson or who like adventure, pirates, and treasure will enjoy reading this book. EL, MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson - ESSENTIAL

Patterson, James and Chris Grabenstein with Mark Shulman.  Treasure Hunters.  Illustrated by

Juliana Neufeld.  Language: G, Sexual Content: G, Violence: PG (death threats, guns, peril, but everyone is okay). Imagine Diary of A Wimpy Kid, slightly less wimpy and on a sail boat—with a little CIA, pirates, and treasure.  Bick and Beck are twins.  Bick is the storyteller and Beck is the artist.  Their older brother is Tommy, who is very handsome, a great sailor, but not that bright.  Their sister Storm is brilliant, but a little self-conscious because she’s very overweight.  At the beginning of the book their mom is missing and their dad presumably has been swept overboard in a storm.  Determined to stay together on their boat and keep sailing, they continue the family business—treasure hunting.  They meet some shady dealers, evil girls in bikinis, and an old family friend.  Who can they trust?  Are the clues leading them to treasure or to their parents?  A quick, plot driven read that will definitely keep boy’s attention with plenty of action and piratey peril.  The illustrations are frequent and fun in a comic book style.  Great for reluctant readers.

EL/MS - ESSENTIAL.  Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.

Monday, September 2, 2013

New Lands: The Chronicles of Egg, book 2 by Geoff Rodkey - ADVISABLE

Rodkey, Geoff.  New Lands: The Chronicles of Egg, book 2.  G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin), 2013.  $16.99. 325 pages.  Language – G (plenty of made up swear words).  Violence – PG.  Sexual content – PG (references to loving a pig).  

Egg memorized an ancient map to a treasure (Deadweather and Sunrise) and now he is terrified that he will forget it.  He also terrified of Roger Pembroke, a powerful, wealthy man who wants to kill him for the map; who just happens to be the father of Millicent the girl he loves.  Egg and his one-handed partner Guts are sailing to the New Lands where they hope to find a member of the Okalu clan to translate the map.  They learn that the Okalu tribe was overran and enslaved by the Moku tribe.  By chance they meet a young lady who is a language translator and Okalu, but she doesn’t read the language.  They plan to travel into old Okalu territory and find someone to read the map, when Egg is captured.  He meets an old friend and on his journey discovers that several people he thought were dead are very much alive—goddesses even.  

Egg continues to be an engaging and relatable narrator.  Guts and the girls are interesting characters too.  Throw in a few twists and turns and you have another book that boys will be begging to read.  

EL/MS-ADVISABLE.  Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Lost Princess (Mermaid Tales Book #5) by Debbie Daley –OPTIONAL

Daley, Debbie The Lost Princess (Mermaid Tales Book #5) 128 pgs. Aladdin, 2013. $13.03.  Content: Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.

The students of the Trident academy are shocked to find out that a real princess is a student at the school. Will this princess discovery go to her head, shocked as she is herself, or will she be able to find a way to use her new status for good? What about the secret part? Why would her grandfather lie to her? Can this new princess be herself or is she just a typical princess?

To be brutally honest I have really disliked this series, it came off as sickly sweet and candy coated. But it has been so popular with the students, that I gave it another shot. Once my grown-up brain got past all the slangy ocean converted words, this was a fun story with even some character building included. Add this series if you need some safe entertaining filler.

EL –OPTIONAL Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Big River’s Daughter by Bobbie Miller –OPTIONAL

Miller, Bobbi Big River’s Daughter 200 pgs. Holiday House, 2013. $10.87.  Content: Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G ;  Violence: PG.

River is a young girl raised on the Mississippi river by her famous pirate fathers. When a natural disaster separates them, she must hold her own. Quickly she is ensnared into the politics of the river, as numerous factions try to capture her, hoping to gain the knowledge of her fathers connections. But River has her own mind and her own plans. She is brave and snarky and quickly joins forces with the in-famous Annie Christmas and her sons. Together they not on have their hearts set on a famous long lost treasure but apparently the means to possibly make it happen!

This was a fantastic book! The tone is set bright and vivid  with larger than life characters and a fast pace. There are lots of references to tall tales, both the people, like Mike Fink, and in the delivery of the story. It’s a fun intrigue-filled adventure that was so fun to read. That being said, the language is so authentic that I think students would give up fairly quickly. It was fairly challenging!! Students old enough to fall into the story regardless of that, might not be that interested in the story of such a younger girl.

EL, MS –OPTIONAL Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pirates vs. Cowboys by Aaron Reynolds –ESSENTIAL


Reynolds, Aaron and Illustrated by Barneda, David Pirates vs. Cowboys 40 pgs. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2013. $13.24.  Content: Language: G (0 swears);  Mature Content: G ;  Violence: G.
Burnt Beard the Pirate decides on Old Cheyenne as the place to bury his treasure. But resident bad guy, Black Bob McKraw isn’t thrilled to see a pirate in his western town. With their own unique ways of speaking –the two find out they can’t understand each other –and the misunderstanding looks to be leading to an all out battle. Fortunately Pegleg Highnoon comes to town –the world’s only pirate cowboy –with an idea how to bring peace to Old Cheyenne.
My newest favorite book –its reading was a highlight at our Cowboy Campfire Night at the Library. It is hilarious, fun to read aloud, fun to listen to, well-written and marvelously illustrated. Students love pirates and they love cowboys, and this story brings them together in a fantastic way. Be prepared to bring your best pirate and best cowboy voice, because this story will require both. Students will be fighting over this book!
EL –ESSENTIAL Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Shiver Me Timbers! by Douglas Florian - ADVISABLE


Florian, Douglas  Shiver Me Timbers!  Illustrated by Robert Neubecker  Beach Lane Books, 2012.  $16.99  PICTURE BOOK  Content: G.  

This is a picture book full of poems about what it means to be a pirate.  The poems are about what pirates wear, what pirate words mean such as scallywag or cutlass or different names for pirates.  A couple of the poems are about famous pirates such as Blackbeard or Captain Kidd.  Mostly they are funny simple rhyming poems about what it means to be a pirate.  This is a great book for little kids that are interested in everything pirate.  The illustrations are fun with lots of different pictures of pirates and there is an illustration for each poem.  The poems mostly rhyme so they are fun to read out loud.  

EL (K-3)-ADVISABLE.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Deadweather and Sunrise: The Chronicles of Egg, book 1 by Geoff Rodkey - ADVISABLE


Rodkey, Geoff.  Deadweather and Sunrise: The Chronicles of Egg, book 1, 296 pgs. G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin), 2012.  $16.99.  Sexual Content: G; Language: G (2 swears and a couple of made up ones); Violence: PG.  If it isn’t bad enough to have a name like Egbert, thirteen-year-old Egg is stuck with the two meanest siblings ever: Adonis and Venus.  His mother is dead and is father owns a fruit plantation on Deadweather Island, a desolate place full of pirates.  They go on a trip to the island of Sunrise and his dad makes a secret appointment with a lawyer.  After the whole family meets the wealthy Mr. Pembroke and his daughter Millicent, who takes them to his mansion and gives them a ride on his balloon.  Egg leaves the balloon the last minute and the family flies away and is lost.  Egg stays with the Pembroke’s and learns that there is something sinister behind their kindness—Pembroke is looking for a treasure.  Someone tries to throw Egg off a cliff, so he stows away on a ship only to be caught by pirates.  His adventures continue with a one-handed cabin boy and none other than Millicent.  Their courage and cunning will be put to the test to save not only their lives but the treasure from Pembroke and pirates.  This is a great adventure book for boys.  The pirates are real enough to be interesting, but not too scary.  There is plenty of fighting, but not too much blood.  The plot has several twists and turns and Egg is an engaging narrator. EL, MS – ADVISABLE.  Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate by Scott Nash –ADVISABLE


Nash, Scott The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate 368 pgs. Candlewick, 2012. $10.79.  (Rating: G)
Birds are the pirates in this book, and their ship sails in the sky. Captain Blue Jay obtains a rare egg. It hatches, a bird that will change the course of their adventures. On the ground Sparrows are just trying their best to get by. The two worlds collide when the pirates must take refuge with the peaceful, but bullied sparrows. Together they must face the Crows that plague their land. A bit of help from a mole and their hatch-ling, might just even the odds.
Honestly, I am way over the animal adventures (like Redwall, I think I read myself half to death on that series when I was growing up). But this book really surprised me. I found myself really liking the characters and the story. There are some really nice illustrations all throughout. I think students will enjoy this pirate story!
ELEMENTARY–ADVISABLE Reviewer: Stephanie School Librarian & Author.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Pirates Next Door by Johnny Duddle - ESSENTIAL


Duddle, Johnny The Pirates Next Door.  Templar (Candlewick), 2012.  $16.  PICTURE BOOK.  

Tilda’s life is decidedly dull until the Joell-Rogers pull in with their pirate ship next door.  Neither her parents, her fellow students, nor any of the townspeople are happy with the pirates and event he town council tries to force them out.  When the pirates do finally depart, they leave secret somethings behind them.  

Duddle’s illustrations alone are a big reason to buy this book.  The great story is just gravy.  And who doesn’t need more excuses to talk like a pirate?  

EL (K-3), EL – ESSENTIAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pirateria by Calef Brown -ADVISABLE


Brown, Calef Pirateria 40 pgs, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012. $13.98.  (Rating: G)
This is a great picture book Pirate story –its all a very special story -the Pirateria. Which is stuffed with everything a person needs to be a pirate. The text includes every pirate word imaginable.
This is a must have for September’s Talk Like a Pirate Day! Its going to be a fun storytime read and there are lots of sill words! The artwork is big, interesting, and colorful. I love that the book features girl pirates as well!
EL -ADVISABLE Reviewer: Stephanie MLS graduate & Author.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sailing to Freedom by Martha Bennett Stiles -ADVISABLE


Stiles, Martha Bennett Sailing to Freedom 256 pgs. Henry Holt and Co, 2012. $10.19.  (Rating: G)
Ray wants nothing more than to go to sea with his father. But instead his dad gives him a monkey, Allie, and goes to sea without him. Ray ends up getting his wish anyway, sailing with his Uncle Thad’s crew. When Ray finds out that the ship is carrying a stowaway, he wants to help but knows they are all in danger. In the meantime a young slave boy named Ogun and his mother are escaping by land, trying to find freedom. The two stories eventually meet up in a wonderful way.
This book has a very authentic historical fiction feel, including complex language. At time I had a hard time following Ogun’s story part of the time because of this. So I think that might make this book a better read for older elementary students. I loved the character of Allie the monkey, she made the story as far as I am concerned! Not a pirate story, but will appeal to those students interested in that genre.
ELEMENTARY–ADISABLE Reviewer: Stephanie MLS graduate & Author.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Mark of the Golden Dragon: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Jewel of the East, Vexation of the West, and Pearl of the South China Sea by L.A. Meyer - ESSENTIAL

Meyer, L.A. The Mark of the Golden Dragon: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Jewel of the East, Vexation of the West, and Pearl of the South China Sea 378 pgs. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011. Language-PG; Violence- PG; Sexual Content- PG. $16.99.

The ninth installment of the epic Mary "Jacky" Faber series, readers will be no less disappointed with the hilarious, scandalous, ever-in-a-bind Jacky Faber. Wriggling out the grasp of the Crown once more, Jacky eagerly sets sail for England in the company of friends and her beloved Jaimy. But, just as one would suspect with our ever adventurous Jacky, trouble arises and this time it is in the form of a typhoon. Jacky is thrown overboard and is believed to be dead by all her crew. Her faithful love, Jaimy, turns mad at the news and promises vengeance upon those he believes responsible. Jacky, on the other hand, is not dead. True to her nature, she bobs back up and, using her trademark ingenuity, makes her way to Rangoon then back to London where she must once again wield all of her charms and connections to preserve her freedom and save her own dear Jaimy.
A huge fan of the Bloody Jack series, I was no less disappointed in this book. Although Jacky does get herself into heaps of hard-to-believe trouble, you can't help but find yourself at the edge of your seat, hardly daring to believe she can make it out of this next scrap. With loyal, lovable characters and intriguing, hilarious plot lines, Meyer leaves his readers waiting with bated breath for the next installment of the Bloody Jack series. MS/HS - ESSENTIAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mistress of the Storm by ML Welsh -OPTIONAL

Welsh, M.L Mistress of the Storm, 320 pgs. David Fickling Books, 2011. $13.25. (Rating: G in all categories)
This story is about a 12yo girl named Verity whose life is changed by appearance of an evil grandmother. She now must learn more about her family’s dark history, in seafaring and smuggling, in order to save her family. Luckily she has a few allies –the mysterious librarian, her elderly friend Alice, and two misfit from school –Henry and Martha.
I am finding it hard to pinpoint exactly why this book was such a dreaded chore to read. It could be the dated time period without the charm to back it up, the boring characters, the stereotypical evil grandmother plotline, the overload of mysterious anticipation which fails to deliver, or simply the flow of the story. But the bottom line is that despite the magic and pirating, I found this book to be readable yet somehow tedious. I think students will find this a disappointing read.
EL – OPTIONAL Reviewer: Stephanie MLS graduate.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Steel by Carrie Vaughn - ADVISABLE


Vaughn, Carrie Steel, 304 p. HarperCollins, 2011.  Content: PG (blood, swords and fighting, one very sad scene).  Jill is a little worn out by her fencing competitions.  On a family trip to the Caribbean, she finds a piece of a rusty sword and when she falls overboard during a boat trip, she resurfaces to find herself pulled back through time and onto a pirate ship – with a female captain.  Jill will have to work hard and fight for her life if she ever wants to find her way home.  Vaughn is a little kinder to pirates and life-choices than most pirate books; there is plenty of danger, but not so much scurvy or peglegs or parrots. I could have done without the time travel element, but I still was drawn into the story.  There are some great sword fights and the book is reminiscent of Charlotte Doyle.  MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pirates of the Sea! by Brandon Dorman - ADVISABLE


Dorman, Brandon.  Pirates of the Sea! Greenwillow Books, 2011. $16.99  PICTURE BOOK. Cap’n Bones and his crew man the sails looking for treasure.  Along their journey they come across mermaids and a big storm, but they make it through it all to find their buried treasure.  With all the money one of the pirates suggest that they start a new life, but once back on the ship they decide to stay pirates.  Great illustrations.  EL, ADVISABLE.  Reviewer, C. Peterson

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Price of Freedom by A.C. Crispin - OPTIONAL


Crispin, A.C. The Price of Freedom (Pirates of the Caribbean), 653 p.  Disney, 2011.  $23.  At 25, Jack Sparrow has been pursuing an honest job as a sailor with the East India Trading Company, belying his roots and upbringing in the pirate community.  In a series of flashbacks, we learn not only about Jack’s past and why he broke with the pirates, but also about the youth and growth of a man important to Jack’s future.  Of course beautiful women (two), treasure and supernatural doings populate Jack’s life and he rushes towards the future we know awaits him – Captain of the Black Pearl.  This is a very weighty tome and doesn’t ever give the reader a chance to take a breath.  Beyond the Jack Sparrow children’s books and what little we know of Jack’s past from the movies, Crispin stuff’s the remainder of Jack’s back story into one book.  This is way too much book for children to read – maybe if it were divided into two or three.  It took me many days, reading the book in short sections to make my way through it.  Maybe your best high school students who are enamored with the movies?  Adults who love Pirates and books about sailing are a much better audience.  HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Dagger Quick by Brian Eames -ESSENTIAL

Eames, Brian The Dagger Quick, 336 pgs. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2011. $11.67. Language-G, Violence-PG; Sexual Content-G.
Set in the 17th century, this pirate story starts with a boy named “Kitto”. He is training to be a cooper, but spends his days watching the ocean and looking at boats, wishing he didn’t have a clubfoot. When his previously unknown Uncle William comes to visit, it sets off a chain reaction of events. Soon Kitto finds himself at sea, separated from his family, and the whole lot of them in grave danger. He must find a way to come to terms with his handicap, and put all his bravery and intelligence to the test if he is to survive.
I thoroughly adored this well-paced pirate adventure. The characters and their evolution, were so well written that I became nervous right along with them as the bad pirate Morris moved onto the scene. The plot is intriguing, clever, and authentic in many ways, I will absolutely be purchasing the second book when it come out. Even after the pirate craze dies down, students will love this story of a boy finding out what it takes to grow up and be incredibly brave.
Elementary -ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Stephanie MLS graduate.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

May by Kathryn Lasky -- ADVISABLE

Lasky, Kathryn. May, 336 pgs. Scholastic Press, 2011. $16.99. Sexual Content-G; Language-PG (3 swears); Violence-PG. When May is fifteen years old, she learns that she isn’t the daughter of the lighthouse keeper and his tyrannous “invalid” wife. She also discovers that she is a mermaid. May tries to solve the mystery of her past. She finds a chest in her father’s closet. The chest has three small mermaids inscribed on the outside and inside is a letter to her father about where the HMS Resolute sunk. May starts to study books about tides and currents to find more about the sunken ship. She meets a young Harvard student named Hugh and she is instantly attracted. Their relationship isn’t smooth sailing. Their lives are in danger by her increasingly deranged “mother” and a jealous fisherman who she has spurned. This is the second book in the Daughters of the Sea series, and although you do not necessarily need to read the first book before this one, the stories collide towards the end of the novel. This novel has romance, adventure, mystery and mermaids – sure to catch the interest of teenage girls. The ending is rather abrupt, most likely to prepare for the sequel. MS/HS – ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.