Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter
by Richard Platt & Chris Riddell
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-This oversized book follows the same format as Platt's Castle Diary (Candlewick, 1999). Here, young Jake Carpenter leaves home in 1716 and becomes involved in an adventure in piracy. His detailed journal entries provide many colorful stories of life on the high seas. There are whippings, threats of death, and maggot-enriched food. A crewmate's leg is shattered during a battle and later amputated, and there is a burial at sea. The boy's uncle (and crewmate) is cast out in a small boat with little hope of survival, and the ship's captain is marooned on a deserted island. Myriad ink-and-watercolor illustrations help illuminate the dramatic events. In one double-page picture, the ship Greyhound is seen in labeled cross-section; another depicts a huge wave sweeping over the deck, and there are two action-packed scenes of pirate attacks. A clear map at the back pinpoints where the story takes place. Although fiction, much of the book is based on fact, as explained in the appended notes. There's also a short history of piracy and mention of infamous rogues. Kids looking for adventure will certainly find plenty of it here.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
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