Review sponsored by Suzanne Westgate
The Children’s Book Review | November 2, 2018
Written by S. L. Westgate
Age Range: 9 and up
Paperback: 295 pages
Publisher: MoshPit Publishing (2018)
What to expect: Siblings, Pirates and Adventure
Blimey! The three Jones children, Elizabeth, Emily, and James, are destined for adventure and excitement in this first swashbuckling installment of The Joneses & the Pirateers. The children are in search of the infamous pirate ship Phantom Lady, skippered by the dreaded Captain Silverbeard. Their widowed father has been taken hostage for use as the ship’s doctor, and they will do what it takes to rescue him.
After being stranded on a deserted island, the children are found by the friendlier crew of the Jolly Roger and quite luckily taken to the secret island of Tortuga, a hideaway known only to pirates. They are taken in by some pirateers and cautiously adapt to the ways of pirate-island living, biding time to devise a plan to save their father. There are riddles to solve, seas to cross, and battles to win, as the Jones children make new and unlikely friends that just may end up being part of the rescue mission. All the while, a mysterious old man and his crow, known only to the reader, want the Joneses dead.
The emotional pacing of this adventurous novel is just right for tweens on up: the grit and darkness that add to the vigor of the storytelling typically linger for a page or two, before being countered with some hearty, pirate humor. The contrast between well-mannered Elizabeth and the pirateers creates much amusement as she becomes frustrated with their language—because, of course, this novel is rife with well-chosen pirate talk.
Author SL Westgate’s sentences are imaginatively worded, creating shipshape pictures in the mind of the reader. Readers will enjoy visualizing scenes like those that take place on the bustling Main Street of Tortuga—chickens roam free and you can purchase pillaged clothing, no-rot wooden legs, and rust-free hooks. And talking of hooks, they might be the author’s specialty: darkness still looms in the final pages, setting the scene effectively for book two, Escape from San Lazaro.
Complete with a map of Tortuga, a little bit of real pirate history, and a glossary of pirate words, there be plenty of reading treasure found within the pages of The Joneses & the Pirateers: Search for the Phantom Lady.Pirateers and landlubbers alike will do well fillin’ their treasure chest with this bounty.
About the Author
Suzanne Westgate is a mother and lawyer who never let go of her inner pirate. She grew up in a small harbourside town, often kayaking to shelly islands after school. In her early twenties, Suzanne backpacked through South America and Asia, and her adventures—sailing, caving, mountaineering, surfing, diving in the Caribbean with a crew of prisoners on parole, abseiling, skiing down a live volcano (mostly on her bottom), blowing things up with dynamite, and very nearly getting kidnapped—helped inspire the Joneses and the Pirateers.
Suzanne and her family live in Sydney, where they enjoy their own adventures, treasure hunts, dance-offs, booby traps, and pirate-themed birthday parties.
For information, visit: www.thejonesesandthepirateers.com
To make it count, all royalties from this book are donated to charities for real lost children – starting with Project Futures – which supports safe houses for trafficked children (and women) in Cambodia and Australia.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. Suzanne Westgate sponsored this non-biased review of “The Joneses & the Pirateers: Search for the Phantom Lady.” Learn more about getting a book review …
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