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The Pirate's Son Library Binding – September 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 890L (What's this?)
  • Library Binding: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Trade (September 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590203444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590203449
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,606,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Three children leave Georgian England for Madagascar in this colorful, episodic pirate yarn. When his father dies and his boarding school expels him for unpaid debts, 14-year-old Nathaniel Gull, a pious boy who has nonetheless dreamed of a pirate's life, is befriended by an older classmate, Tamo White, son of a notorious deceased pirate captain. Tamo offers to bring Nathan and his sister, "mousy Maud," to his homeland, Madagascar. Maud is the most sympathetic of the three adventurers, and her story is also the most interesting. She blossoms in the little fishing village where the children settle, becoming fluent in the language and re-evaluating her beliefs. The boys respond differently: Nathaniel clings to his Christianity, while Tamo, told by a fortune-teller that he'll follow in his father's footsteps, becomes a pirate, doing battle with the corrupt traders who visit the village. A cast of raucous pirates creates a number of crises from which the clever children emerge victorious. Point of view shifts rapidly among the three characters (and even, occasionally, to the perspective of the villains), and readers who don't pay close attention could get a little disoriented. More than the plot, McCaughrean's (The Golden Hoard: Myths and Legends of the World) capacious and descriptive style is the biggest lure; her prose has the dramatic flair of an expert storyteller's. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-Sent to England in the early 1700s by his dying pirate father for a proper education, Tamo White decides to return a few years later to his Madagascar birthplace. He invites two new friends, Nathan and Maud Gull, who have just lost their own father, to join him onboard his guardian's ship. When they reach Madagascar, Captain Sheller turns out to be a villainous trader and tries to sell Maud to a band of cutthroats. The three barely escape and settle in a small village. When King Samson, a pirate, arrives to take over the community, accompanied by Tamo's Malagasy mother, now Samson's wife, the boys pose as buccaneers in a show of strength. The lifestyle appalls Nathan, but Tamo, feeling betrayed by his mother, seems to embrace the life his father led. A rousing climax involves the return of Captain Sheller and an exciting ship chase. Maud and Nathan seem to lack depth at first, but as events progress readers see more of the girl's hidden adventurous spirit and her brother's surprising courage. Tamo shifts personas several times, from school boy to Malagasy to pirate captain to doctor. Even though events spur these changes, they sometimes seem too extreme. The conclusion is satisfying and convincing. Descriptions of characters, customs, and settings stall the action initially, but the novel develops into a vivid picture of a time and place new to most youngsters. -Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

It's 30 years now since I first got published, and 50 since I found out how writing let me step outside my little, everyday world and go wherever I chose - way back in Time, to far distant shores, towards my own, home-made happy ending. Not that all my books are an easy ride. I write adventure, first and foremost, because that's what I enjoyed reading as a child. But since I have published over 150 books now, there are all manner of books in among that number - gorgeously illustated picture books, easy readers, prize winners, teenage books and five adult novels.
The White Darkness won the Printz Award in the USA, which, for as Englishwoman, was the most amazing, startling thrill.
Then there was Peter Pan in Scarlet - official sequel to J M Barrie's Peter Pan, written on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hopsital for Sick Children. I won the chance to write that in a worldwide competition, and because Peter Pan is loved everywhere, my book sold worldwide too. I can't say I expected that when, as a child, I dreamed of being like my older brother and getting a book published one day.
These days I have a husband (who's good at continuity and spelling) and a daughter who is an excellent editor. But she's at the Royal Academy of Dramtic Art now, studying to become an actor. So, naturally, I have turned my hand to writing plays. (So many actors, so few plays!)
My Mum told me, "Never boil your cabbages twice, dear," which was her way of saying, "Don't repeat yourself." So I have tried never to write the same book twice. You'll find all my novels quite different from one another. I have also done lots of retellings of myth, legend, folk and fairy tales, and adapted indigestible classics such as El Cid, the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Moby Dick, Shakespeare and the Pilgrim's Progress.
Something for everyone, you see, my dear young, not-so-young, eccentric, middle-of-the-road, poetical, sad, cheerful, timid or reckless reader.
All they have in common is that they all contain words. If you are allergic to words, you'd best not open the covers.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cate on October 29, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a great book. It starts off with Nathan hearing the news that his father is dead, and that he is getting kicked out of Gray Lake School because his dead father had debts and didn't give the money the pay for school. Nathan goes back to his classes but the teached insists that he stays for his class period. When Nathan goes back to pack up his stuff, boys from the school start beating him up and stuff him into his chest, where he can't breathe. They stop when they see the Pirate's son, Tamo White with a sabre in his hand. Tamo saves Nathan and asks Nathan if he would like to go with Tamo to Madagascar. Right away Nathan's head is filled with thoughts of pirates. He agrees to go, than when they walk out of Tamo's apartment, Nathan sees his sister Maud. Maud agrees to go and their journey begins. First with a slave trader, and than pirates.

I love how this book just grips you. I seriously couldn't put it down. I always tried to find a little relationship between Tamo and Maud, but I'm not totally sure if there was one. This books is definitely great. It's kind of frustrating to see Tamo follow in his footsteps. I like how Maud becomes so strong, and I think it's funny how Nathan reacts to the villager's religion. I loved this book, it was great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I Hug Trees on August 28, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I absolutely LOVED this book! I love pirates and heroines-and Maud was such a perfect, sweet, fun heroine. Tamo was interesting, Nathan was uptight, but that just added to the plot. Also, I agree with the above comment that the author should tell us anxious readers what happened to Tamo and Maud!! I didn't care as much about Nathan as I did about Maud, and yet we know what happened to him. I am dying to know!! Did they get married? Did Maud stay in Madagascar? What happened to Tamo? PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE write another one!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By danielle on November 26, 2004
Format: Library Binding
In England 1717, Nathan and Maud Gull's father died, and with nothing else in their lives, they decide to leave with Tamo White, the son of a pirate, to Madagascar. They enjoy the freedoms of the Madagascar village, and Tamo, being half Madagascar, fits right in. However, their peace is disrupted by the appearance of real, ruthless pirates who threaten to destroy the villagers' way of life on the island. Tamo, Nathan, and Maud must stick together to thwart the pirates' evil schemes.

This book has a lot of scenes with action and adventure, but the book really needed some clear-cut transitions. One minute, they're trying to outwit pirates while in the next paragraph, I find that Nathan is ill. Also, the book is called The Pirate's Son, yet I don't really see Tamo grow and flourish in this book. Action, he does a lot, but I, as a reader, do not really see Tamo's inner mind, besides his hatred for his parents. Most of the maturing and changing is done by "mousy Maud" which was a nice journey to trace. She transforms from a pious Christian maiden to a strong, willful "Madagascar" island girl.

The Pirate's Son book was a good one-day read with pirate adventures, but I think it had so much potential to be much more than a good one-day read. I think that the author could have spent more time on character development because from beginning to end, my thoughts about most of the characters are still the same.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. Kent on December 9, 1999
Format: Library Binding
This book was an excellent book. It's about three white kids who travel to Madagascar to live with the natives. I love the way the author describes the natives as average height with dark leathery skin, big noses and lips. This description created a clear impression in my mind. The descriptions of the scenery and of the actions were great. The plot was very interesting and full of action. The one thing that I did not like about the book was the way the author stretched out the sentences with desriptions. Sometimes she would put too many descriptions in the paragraph and make it boring. I would get lost and my mind would start to wander. But other than that the story was great and I would recommend it to other teenage readers.
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