Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pirates by John Matthews

Title: Pirates
Author: John Matthews
ISBN: 9781416927341, Atheneum, 2006
Genre: History
Rating: A

First Line: They have many names: pirates, buccaneers, corsairs, Brethren of the Coast.

This book is gorgeous, with its cover showing a glittering ruby eye and a gleaming gold tooth; it's informative; and it's fun. Printed on thick stock, Pirates is loaded with illustrations, history and facts about... pirates.

The movie Pirates of the Caribbean provided some inspiration for this book, and there are a few stills from the film scattered throughout. I didn't mind a bit because not only am I a pirate at heart, Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the movies I watch whenever I want to laugh and have fun.

As you can see in the illustration above, it's a large book. This particular photo shows that there is quite a bit of detail given on the various parts of seventeenth- or eighteenth-century ships commonly used by pirates as well as many of the flags they flew under. Since the pages are printed on such heavy stock, Matthews has had attached throughout small pamphlets on pirate slang and weapons as well as envelopes containing facsimiles of such items as the Articles (laws), Licenses, and treasure maps.

Adults and children alike can enjoy Pirates. The book is so beautifully illustrated, so accessible, and so much fun that you might just read it and think you didn't learn a thing.



  1. Oh, I'm a sucker for a history book. This one looks *really* appealing!

  2. This looks like so much fun! :)

  3. I actually purchased this book when I taught Treasure Island. It is definitely beautiful and very informative.

  4. OMG -- I love the look of this book.

  5. I think my husband and son would love this one!

  6. That looks like an awesome pirate book!

  7. Margot-- It is!

    Katy-- It is a lot of fun. :)

    Mary-- Very very cool!

    Molly-- I love it when someone tells me they own the same book and love it, too! :)

    Beth-- And it's got so much to look at!

    Kathy-- Not a pirate at heart yourself, eh? Too bad. You'd be a good'un. ;)

    Alyce-- Aye, matey!


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