Title: How to Be a Pirate
Author: Cressida Cowell
ISBN: 0-316-01577-6, Little, Brown and Company, 2005
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, #2 in the series
First Line: Thor was seriously annoyed.
Now, I really know that pirates were a scurvy lot, not to be trusted. I really, really do know this. But something deep inside me has always wanted to sharpen my cutlass and hoist the Jolly Roger. A friend and I even co-wrote a story in which we were pirates, and the name of our ship was the PMS Hellborn Strumpet. (That has a ring to it, doesn't it?) Knowing all this, is it any wonder that when I first heard of Cressida Cowell's series of books about Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, young Viking and Pirate-in-Training, I simply had to have one of the books to read right now? Of course not!
Hiccup is a bit on the small side and completely unmemorable. His small dragon, Toothless, is a cowardly hypochondriac. Together they attend the Pirate Training Program, learning about Spitting, Senseless Violence, Frightening Foreigners, Weaponry, Pointless Graffiti, and other important pirate tasks. Being the son of Stoick the Vast, Chief of the Hooligan tribe, great things are expected of Hiccup, but it looks as though Snotlout (Hiccup's arch enemy and the resident bully) has other intentions.
School is interrupted by Alvin the Poor-But-Honest-Farmer who claims to know where the fabulous treasure of Grimbeard the Ghastly is located. Hiccup doesn't trust the handsome, smiling stranger, but of course he's outvoted and everyone boards a ship and starts counting their share of the treasure before it's found.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Lessons about deceptive appearances and inner worth, for example, are given in a humorous, tongue-in-cheek manner that takes away any medicinal sting. The illustrations are a delight-- looking like the pencil sketches of a grade school boy, hunched over his paper with the tip of his tongue clenched between his teeth. The book can easily be a hit with both children and adults.
Will I be reading other books in this series? You bet! Dragons, Vikings, pirates, swordplay-- I wouldn't miss all this for the world!
[Source: Paperback Swap.]
My Book Rating Scale:
A+...Don't delay, get your hands on a copy of this book!
A...I loved it!
B...I really liked it.
C...I liked it, with a few reservations.
D...I finished it, but it's not my cup of tea.
- Phoenix, Arizona, United States
- Hi! I'm addicted to books (especially crime fiction), laughter and traveling off the beaten path. In my free time, when my eyes aren't glued to the printed page, one of them is usually pressed against the viewfinder of my camera. Let's see... books, laughter, travel, photography. Anything else? Oh yeah-- my dream house wouldn't have a kitchen!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.