From School Library Journal
Grade 4–7—Clifford, an underwater archaeological explorer, used research and the artifacts recovered from the Whydah
to tell the story of its life as a slave galley and pirate ship. In the process, he dispels many myths about buccaneers. Beginning when it was built in 1715, the author provides brief background information on the horrendous conditions under which people were sold and transported, and the Whydah
's part in the trade. However, when it was captured by Sam Bellamy, its use shifted to piracy. Clifford profiles several members of the pirate crew, including 11-year-old John King. He outlines the pirates' organization and adherence to "Ye Articles of ye Gentlemen of Fortune," a list of laws covering such matters as how decisions will be made and prizes divided. Photographs of artifacts (cufflinks, buttons, utensils, weapons) and the recovery crew at work combine with large visually appealing paintings of dramatic battle, storm, and courtroom scenes. Unfortunately, the text font is small and difficult to read, complicated by the textured background of the pages. Nonetheless, the book is a fascinating blend of history, ocean-diving recovery, and archaeology, and demonstrates archaeology in action and the role artifacts play in informing us about the past.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.