by Captain William Lubber and Dugald Steer
Back in 2003, Dragonology hit bookstore shelves, launching the “Ologies” series. I remember thinking at the time that it was the perfect Christmas present for a kid. Every year, a new book would come out, and the quality of each volume was such that in spite of the fact that I was well outside the intended audience age range, I had to check them out. This year, I thought it would be fun to look back and review some of my favorite volumes from the series.
Previous “Ologies” book reviews can be read here.
Captain William Lubber has been charged by the governor Samuel Shute to locate and capture Arabella Drummond, a fierce woman who seems to be a hybrid of Anne Bonney and Captain Kidd. The fiery pirate leads the captain on a merry goose chase across the seven seas. As he travels from one port to the next, Lubber records his observations in his diaries, as well as local history and tales of pirate activity in that area. It seems that he will never catch up with Arabella Drummond, but there are often clues that she is closer than she appears...
This is a fun book for kids. Almost every page has some sort of interactive feature, be it a fragment of a treasure map or a piece of string so that the reader can practice the knot-tying techniques featured on the page. It focuses not just on the quest to capture Arabella and piratical activities, but tries to educate about navigation techniques and life on a ship in the 18th century. But, of course, pirates are the star attraction. The focus is not just on the pirates of the Caribbean – pages are also dedicated to Chinese pirates and the corsairs of the Mediterranean, which is valuable since I think most kids aren't aware that there are pirates outside of the Golden Age's buccaneers.
Other neat features include a compass in the front cover, a bag of “gold dust”, and several letters and mini-booklets that bring the 18th century world to life. A li'l pirate who enjoys this book will no doubt enjoy the adventures of Jacky Faber when he or she is a few years older.
When I first read this book soon after its release, I noted that it was very similar to another book, published about a month earlier, called Pirates. Pirates is a much more straightforward book that focuses on the real men and women who sailed during piracy's golden age, and I thought it superior to Pirateology. It's worth checking both books out before purchasing to see which will best suit your needs.
3.5 out of 5 stars
To read more about Pirateology, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.
Peeking into the archives...today in:
2011: Angel Time by Anne Rice
2010: Kill Shakespeare, Vol. 1 by Conor McCreery and Del Col
2009: Going on hiatus...
2008: Contest: Patrick Rothfuss and Heifer International