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Yaakov the Pirate Hunter (Peretz Family Adventures) (Volume 1) Paperback – January 4, 2011
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About the Author
Nathaniel Wyckoff was born and raised in the beautiful San Fernando Valley of southern California. From an early age, he was interested in reading, writing and listening to stories. Though he works in a technical field, he counts storytelling among his favorite activities. Nathaniel's storytelling career took flight with the births of his children. His children enjoy all kinds of stories, but most of Nathaniel's stories for them are of the fantasy and adventure variety. Nathaniel's first novel, Yaakov the Pirate Hunter, was inspired by his son's request for a story about robots. It combines elements of science, adventure, and Nathaniel's beloved Jewish tradition. In addition to writing, the author also enjoys studying his Jewish traditions, reading, playing the accordion and the piano for his family, playing games and sports with his children, and taking his family on hiking trips, camping trips and other adventures.
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Top Customer Reviews
The boy Yaakov had a broad sense of adventure cultivated by his parents through books, and travel adventures that included museums, hiking etc.I find the boy and his enthusiasm for science such as robotics was interesting. I enjoyed watching his development in the subject and how he built a robot and liked to enhance its capabilities for tasks around the house.
I enjoyed the surprise map projection and had a certain flashback to Star Wars (Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi; you’re my only hope!) when that happened. Very interesting way of bringing something that screams adventure to the surface.
I so enjoyed the way the father had a light-hearted nature and quick wit in tedious situations. He was fun loving and adventurous. Also, just when you think the mystery is solved, and the excitement is done, there is something new to discover.
These characters are not complex in a sense that takes the reader down a path that is hard to imagine. These characters are designed with a certain ease of understanding from the visualization of who they are and what they appear like, to what they sound like when they talk. This is an important quality for a children’s book, in order for the young audience to be dragged into the scene and have a sense of believability.
So without giving the entire book away, I recommend reading it and give it a big 4 stars!
This is Arwin B. stepping into the next tome.
This first offering in the Peretz Family Adventures gives kid-friendly adventure without too much of the violence. Finding a hidden map projected from one of their robots was a great device reminiscent of the message hidden in R2D2 in Star Wars IV. The main character, Yaakov, is a likable kid genius inventor, who uses some impressive tech to help solve the mystery and catch the baddies. His siblings are mostly unlikable and spoiled, though Yosef does contribute from time to time. His father doesn't seem to have enough dimension but his mother is fire and steel, and when her babies are threatened she breaks out the Mama Bear.
The antagonists are for the most part off-screen, and therefore not well-developed or dangerous-seeming. This is not an issue with books for younger readers. However, the pacing in the story could have been smoother and quicker in places to hold the attention of kids (or adults). The frequent references to Jewish traditions like how they keep the Sabbath (Shabbat) were informative, and kids outside the Jewish faith might be interested, while kids inside the faith might be, like Yosef, a bit bored.
G - While the family is threatened by pirates at one point and robots in another, there's no real violence done at all, and no one is harmed at all in the story except a robot.
G. There's not even hand-holding by Mom and Dad.
The story is written from a Jewish point of view, and contains many references to the Sabbath, morning prayers, and other references to the Hebrew faith. There is a lot of attention given to the value of an ancient copy of the Torah, which is as it should be. Moral lessons like confession, repentance, and forgiveness are covered well. Family is portrayed positively and as a cohesive unit.
Yaakov and his mom are likable characters, and the tech set 10 years from now was interesting. Yaakov's siblings were not likable, which will probably develop in Character Arcs as the series progresses. The settings were fairly well-described and the action and plot in the story are entertaining. I found the book fun and informative. Four Stars.
* I received an electronic copy for an honest review.