Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Ballad of the Pirate Queens

Author: Jane Yolen

First line: The autumn seas are dark and deep In Port Maria Bay: The tunney fish all leap and sport Around the bustling cay.

Why you should read this book: Based on the very true story of female pirates Anne Bonney and Mary Reade, this tale of adventure, betrayal, and women in men's clothing relates the last days of the pirate ship, Vanity, which was taken down by the governor's ship, Albion. While the ten men of the crew gamble and drink below deck, the two women valiantly try to fight off the invaders, and while history is not completely agreed on the fate of the women, this story ends on a high note, with the two "pleading their bellies" and being spared the gallows for the sake of the pirates' children they will bear. Lush painted illustrations by David Shannon bring the world of the eighteenth century to life, with both light and dark moments.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You're sailing off the coast of Somalia.

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