Monday, July 07, 2008

NonFiction Monday: Sea Queens

Dewey: 910.4

Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Christine Joy Pratt, Charlesbridge, 2008

I have had a soft spot in my heart for pirates. I loved reading Frenchman's Creek by Daphne Du Maurier as a teen. Then there was the Dread Pirate Roberts of The Princess Bride and any version of Treasure Island but especially, the Muppets Treasure Island. I always loved the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and all three movies about Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner.

Jane Yolen's new book details the true stories of women throughout history who have sailed the seas as pirates and privateers. She shares the history of piracy, the pirate code and the kind of "treasure" pirates were likely to capture (not so much the chests of jewels and gold.)

She covers the careers of several "not so famous" women such as Artemisia of Persia , who sailed from 500-480 BC. Alfhild of Denmark, Jeanne de Belleville of Brittany, Grania O'Malley from Ireland, and Pretty Peg from Holland. The American colonies and USA is represented with Anne Bonney, Mary Read and Rachel Well.

A list of 'helpful websites' and an index are included.

Pratt's woodcut style illustrations and book design evoke an earlier time.
With a nice balance of fun, high interest and facts, the chapters are short enough to keep the attention of readers. I would love to hand this to a student who needs a "biography" to read but wants something a little different.

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