Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pirate Treasure by Benjamin Flinders

Ahoy maties!

Before ye embark on this reading adventure, be ye warned.  This here tale be for young lads and lasses who like pirate songs, swash-buckling, disgusting food, and a cursed treasure chest.

If ye ain't afraid of being thrown in the brig with Fish Breath Cookie, or walkin' the plank, then come and join Ethan and Dallin, two stout-hearted lads, who stumble onto me pirate ship in the middle of our getaway with the gold.  Blast me mother-in-law witch for sending them after me and me crew!

Captain Bartelmy

(From the back of the book)

Being the beginning of a series, I was interested to see how this book played out.  The second book in the series, The Lost City of Atlantis, has just recently been released and the third book is due out for release in December.  The first book of the series can make it or break it, and in my opinion, it definitely made it.

The basic idea for this series is that two brothers, Ethan and Dallin, have a traveling trunk.  Through the use of their imagination and a few props, it can transport them back in time to any location they choose.  The characters are well-written and fun.  These books are represented as being for the 8-11 crowd, and I found that to be spot on.  There are several chapters, but each is only a couple of pages long and there are no difficult words.  Though the book is mainly an adventure book (and full of adventure it is!), I found several giggles throughout the book and I'm sure that children will as well.  I can't wait to find out how my 11 year old enjoys this series. 

For me, the best part of this book came at the end.  There's a pirate dictionary!  Several common pirate words/phrases are listed and then the boys explain what the words mean, even though they aren't always correct.  Most of the illustrations in the book I found to be a bit bland, but the illustrations that the boys have 'drawn' in the pirate dictionary are just too adorable and funny! 

I strongly suggest this first book (Hopefully the series!  We'll know more as I read on!) for children in the 3rd-6th grade range.  If your reader is able to comfortably read Magic Tree House or Series of Unfortunate Events, they should be able to read these with no issues.

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