Title: Pirates: Scourge of the Seas
Author: John Reeve Carpenter
Publisher: Sterling Publishing
Date of Publication: August 2008
Reading Level: 13 and up
From WorldCat (Books in Print didn’t have this book listed) –
Pirates - History
Keywords I Thought of:
Pirates – Non-Fiction
Colonization of Americas
Awards and Recognition:
None (that I could find)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) -You won't need a bottle of rum to enjoy the exploits of these famous and fearsome swashbucklers. There's a galleon's worth of action in this awesome exploration of pirates—their weapons, adventures, legends, language, and lost treasures.
See what life was really like aboard a pirate ship. Meet Blackbeard, Calico Jack, and a host of other villainous adventurers as they sail through the high seas in search of plunder. Learn about their ships, flags, and weaponry, from cutlasses to blunderbusses, sangrenels to musketoons
If you are looking for exotic desert islands and sword-wielding desperadoes, they are here, but you will also learn what life was really like for the scourge of the seas: what motivated them, what kept them together, the hardships they had to endure, and the adventures they sought
Comments: This is a good non-fiction book for anyone interested in pirate lore and history. After reading “Powder Monkey” a few weeks back, this was a good book to follow-up with for more information on seafaring history in the 18th and 19th centuries. There was lots of good information on pirate life and dispelling popular myths (for instance - pirates really didn’t go around with parrots on their shoulders unless they were looking to sell them as exotic pets) and some nice illustrations of ships and weapons used at the time.
I’ll admit, I’m not really one to read non-fiction books from cover-to-cover, so I don’t know how to comment on whether or not it was well-written. Plus, this seemed to be a cross between an encyclopedia and a regular historical narrative (I think I’m getting my genres right) and it's sort of difficult for me to get engaged in that sort of thing. However, Carpenter did cover a good amount of history and presented it in a way that teens would get something out of it. This might just be a good book to thumb through the pictures or to find isolated facts and stories about pirates.
Up Next: Evermore and Blue Moon by Alyson Noel (I’m reviewing them both together and I’ll explain why in my post next week)