Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter's Companion

Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter's Companion

Dugald A. Steer
Illustrator:  Ian Andrew , Anne Yvonne Gilbert , Helen Ward 
Novelty Historical Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Candlewick, 2006   ISBN: 978-0763631437

Captain William Lubber has been given a letter of mark to capture pirates and to bring them to justice. In particular he has been commanded to track down Arabella Drummond who has stolen a valuable treasure and who is considered to be a particularly "vicious and intemperate pirate." He and his ship, the Sea Cat, are now ready to set sail complete with a a crew of eighty men. It is believed that Drummond is on her way to the Caribbean via North Carolina so William is going to take that route. The only other real information William has is an incomplete treasure map which is believed to have belonged to Drummond.

As William follows in Drummond?s wake he visits many of the places where many famous pirates lived, fought, and in some cases died. He notes down in his journal how they spent their time, what their "customs and articles" of conduct were, what kinds of weapons they used, their personal histories and much more.

In Port Royal William hears that Drummond has headed for the Pacific - after press-ganging a surgeon to join her crew. Naturally he follows her. On a lonely shore William finds and rescues a man whom Drummond marooned two years previously. From this man he learns a great deal about the pirate. Apparently Drummond plans to retire soon after she buries some more plunder in her secret treasure cache.

What follows is a long and arduous journey full of all kinds of adventures. William Lubber is, alas, always one step - or more - behind Arabella Drummond who turns out to be a very wily foe indeed. Is he ever going to be able to catch her or will she disappear into obscurity taking her treasure with her before he can catch her?

This book is will delight pirate fans of all ages for not only does it tell a wonderful story but it is also packed with fascinating pirate history and lore. With maps to pore over, envelopes to open, a treasure map to decipher and decode and a mystery to solve, this ‘Ology title quite simply has it all. Furthermore fabulous illustrations fill the pages and give the book an authentic journal feel. Now if only we could find out what happened to Arabella Drummond and her treasure then…