Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: The Long-Lost Secret Diary of the World's Worst Pirate

The Long-Lost Secret Diary of the World's Worst Pirate The Long-Lost Secret Diary of the World's Worst Pirate by Tim Collins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

[I received this as a digital advance reader copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.]

Thomas is a young man traveling by merchant vessel with his parents in the 18th century. They are traveling to one of the Carribbean Islands where his father is to be the new Govenor. But Thomas does not want the aristocratic life of a politician's son. Instead, he fantasizes about being a pirate, singing bawdy songs, hunting for treasure, and living in total freedom.

When real pirates sieze their ship and force everyone to transfer to the sinking pirate ship, Thomas decides that this is his chance to be a pirate and hides down in the cargo hold instead of going with his parents. After he is discovered, the Captain decides to let him join their crew, and Thomas discovers that the pirate life is not at all like his romanticized fantasy!

This is a story told in the diary style that has been popular with middle-grade readers every since Diary of a Wimpy Kid came out. It is a quick and easy read, and is fairly entertaining, though the language and writing style sound very modern, rather than true to the 18th century setting. While I found that to be an annoyance, I don't think the intended audience would be bothered by it.

I did like that it portrayed pirate life to be hard, full of violence, and often meeting a gruesome death (but in an age-appropriate way), rather than overly romanticized as fun and adventurous. I also liked that there are snippets of factual information interspersed throughout the book, and then a great deal more factual and historical information about pirates at the end of othe book, as well as a glossary.

I would recommend this for ages 8 to 12, and for readers who enjoy diary-style novels as well as those who are interested in pirate stories, and anyone looking for a quick and easy, somewhat light-hearted read with a little adventure.

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