Pirates: Books for Talk Like a Pirate Day

Of piratical books there is no end. However, here are a few of my favorites. Here’s a more exhaustive list of pirate fiction.

Picture Books:
Obadiah the Bold by Brinton Turkle. A young Quaker boy on Nantucket Island decides to become a pirate when he grows up, but he’s dissuaded after he’s forced to walk the plank (pretend) by his older siblings. Semicolon review here.

The Dark Frigate by Charles Boardman Hawes. Semicolon review here.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Classic story of the boy, Jim Hawkins, and the pirate, Long John Silver.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.

Children’s Fiction:
Mystery in the Pirate Oak by Helen Fuller Orton. I used to read Ms. Orton’s mysteries when I was a kid of a girl. Good children’s mystery books.

Captain Kidd’s Cat. The True Chronicle of Wm. Kidd, Gent. and Merchant of New York as narrated by His Ship’s Cat, McDermott, Who ought to know by Robert Lawson. Not as well known as Lawson’s other animal-narrated historical chronicles, Ben and Me and Mr. Revere and I, but this story of Captain Kidd is written in the same style and just as fun and informative. By the way, I think I may be related to Captain Kidd. At least I have some Kidds in my family tree.

Ghost in the Noonday Sun by Sid Fleischman. Oliver FInch, because he was born exactly at midnight, has the ability to see ghosts. And the pirates who kidnap him need his help to to get to a treasure guarded by . . . ghosts, of course. Fleischman wrote lots of funny adventure stories just right for a rollicking good time.

Isle of Swords by Thomas Wayne Batson. I thoroughly enjoyed this pirate tale from last year. Semicolon review here.

Jade by Sally Watson. This one falls in the category of great story but hard to find because it’s out of print. In fact, Sally Watson is an author worth keeping in mind at used book sales and the like. Her books, first published in the 1950’s and 60’s, seem to be available here in reprint editions. Jade is the story of sixteen year old Melanie Lennox, an anti-slavery crusader, who joins the pirates who capture her ship so that she can continue her fight against slavery on the high seas. If anyone has an extra copy of this book lying around, I’ll certainly take it off your hands. I have fond memories of it from my childhood.

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.

Young Adult Fiction:
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. Air pirates in an alternate world. Semicolon review here.

Pirates! by Celia Rees, reviewed by Carrie at Mommy Brain. YA fiction about a couple of girl pirates and about the evils of slavery.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi.

Sea Queens: Women Pirates from Around the World by Jane Yolen, reviewed by Matt at The Book Club Shelf.

3 thoughts on “Pirates: Books for Talk Like a Pirate Day

  1. Thanks for the list! I have to teach diagramming to a group of junior high students this afternoon and I’m going to use one of these books for examples of well-written sentences.

  2. I love this list. I’d totally forgotten it was Talk Like a Pirate day….

    I’m glad I’m not the only person whose only recommendation for the Cybil’s panel is “mom” and “reader”. 🙂 I’m not so totally intimidated now… Looking forward to working with you.

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