Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

How to Be a Pirate

How to Be a Pirate

John Malam
Illustrator:  Mark Bergin 
Nonfiction Picture Book  Series
For ages 8 to 12
National Geographic Children's Books, 2005   ISBN: 978-0792274483

Are you at a loose end and are you thinking that it is about time that you had a career change? Are you interested in traveling to far-off lands and does the idea of getting rich attract you? If so then you might want to come to the meeting at the Singing Sailors Inn in Port Royal on the Island of Jamaica, for here the crew for the pirate ship Dolphin is going to be chosen and you could be one of the lucky men to be selected.

We are living in the 1700?s and it pays to remember that though the pirate life has its attractions, traveling on the high seas is not like going on a cruise vacation. You are going to be expected to work hard, to live by the rules of the ship, to fight bravely, and to accept any punishment that the crew sets for you if you break the rules. You will need to get used to doing boring jobs for hours on end and don?t expect that adventures are going to pop up around every wave. There may be months on end when nothing very interesting will happen. Of course there will be those times when your ship will attack and you had better be prepared to fight for your life.

This is just the kind of guide a person would need if piracy was a possible career choice. Amusingly written and packed with all kinds of pirating information, young would-be pirates will find the text easy to read and the annotated illustrations give a realistic view of what life on a 1700?s pirate ship might have been like.