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Heart of Steele (Ready-For-Chapters) Paperback – July 1, 2003

Book 3 of 3 in the Pirate Hunter Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-In this third book in the series, the search for villainous Jack Steele takes an evil twist when 12-year-old Davy Shea and the crew from the Aurora discover a derelict ship plundered, its crew murdered, and a placard giving the credit to the Aurora's Captain Hunter. Determined to capture the pirate, the men follow the trail of similar murderous sites, only to find themselves the target in equally fierce battles. Davy helps his Uncle Patch, the ship's surgeon, but the casualties mount until Captain Hunter is forced to return to Sir Henry Morgan for more men. There he forms an alliance with his former enemy, the Spanish captain Don Esteben, and together they spring a trap on Jack Steele. But though they destroy Steele's armada of pirates, the Red Queen slips away, and the hunt continues. The battles take center stage here as the Aurora seems to fight her way out of one and straight into another, with lots of fighting and no concept of the time necessary for recovery and healing. Still, this is a fine yarn, exciting and believable in the authors' depiction of the lives of sailors in the 1680s.
Linda Bindner, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. In the Guns of Tortuga [BKL F 1 03], 12-year-old Davy Shea, his uncle Patch, and Captain William Hunter try to track down the elusive and evil pirate Jack Steele. At the beginning of this latest installment in a series about nineteenth-century swashbucklers, Davy and his team discover that Steele has been engaging in a sort of high-seas character assassination; while attacking ships, he leaves clues that point to Captain Hunter. Davy and his compatriots once again team up with an experienced Spanish pirate hunter, and they manage to discover Steele's secret hideout. But, once again, Steele proves difficult to capture. As in the other books in the series, the authors nicely balance a host of seafaring facts with plenty of action. The battle scenes are particularly exciting and somewhat gory; the authors aren't averse to describing the deadly effects of a cutlass, for example. A solid high-seas adventure for fans of pirate stories. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Series: Ready-For-Chapters
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; 1st Aladdin edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689852983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689852985
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 6.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,361,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born on October 27, 1947, in New Holland, a mill village about 50 miles north of Atlanta. In 1964, I had the good fortune to become a student in the Georgia Governor's Honors Program, where my love of reading and writing grew deeper.

My very first professional story, "The Third Grave," was bought by ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE and appeared in that publication in 1966. Then it was over thirty years before I published again.

But eventually I did begin to write for publication. Alone and in collaboration with my wife Barbara, my late friend Thomas E. Fuller, and fantasy artist and writer Joe DeVito, I have now written some 75 published books. I'm also a professor of English at the University of North Georgia in Gainesville, GA--about six miles from where I was born.

It's probably no great secret that I am also Ken McKea, writer of the Jim Dallas series of Florida thrillers. McKea is kind of an alter ego who lets me write stories a little different from a standard Strickland tale.

Barbara and I have two wonderful grown children, Jonathan (married to Rebecca), who is the Jonathan Strickland of FW: THINKING, a weekly Webcast. He is also Senior Writer for howstuffworks.com. Our daughter Amy (married to Tim Sweeney) is the Head Puppeteer for the Puppetry Arts Center in Atlanta.

The nest isn't empty. Barbara and I also have three cats and two dogs, and that's enough to keep us busy.

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