Gregory Mone [j Mone]
Did you know there are both good and bad pirates?
by Gregory Mone, when Fish (whose real name is Maurice) is forced to join the
crew of The Scurvy Mistress, he doesn't know one kind of pirate from the other.
He also doesn't care. His sole mission is to retrieve the bag of gold coins
which Nate had stolen from him. Unfortunately, Fish gets caught. In the
interrogation that follows, Fish learns that some pirates are raiders while
others are seekers. The "raiding" pirates believe that attacking every ship in
the water is the swiftest way to fortune. (These are the bad pirates.) In
contrast, "seeking" pirates prefer to undertake challenging quests. The Scurvy
Mistress is manned by both types, a division which eventually leads to a mutiny.
Thus begins an adventure where Fish not only has to decide which pirates to
defend, he also faces other choices. For example, should he interfere with
Cobb's orders, when a fellow pirate is sentenced to walk the plank for betraying
the crew? Or should he fight when challenged to a duel, despite his abhorrence
of violence? Although Mone isn't blatant about themes, he does interweave into
the values of family, friendship, pacifism (which might seem like an oxymoron in
a pirate book) and being true to self. Their subtle inclusion is part of what
stand out from typical adventure stories. Time to talk treasure! Every good
pirate story must include it. Fish
is no exception. Initially, all that anyone on board knows is that head pirate
Cobb seeks a treasure that will render the ship's treasure chest of coins "as
worthless as pebbles and stones". Cobb also promises that every member of the
crew will receive a share large enough to buy a herd of horses. That's enough to
make Fish give up on the idea of retrieving that bag of coins his uncle gave
him. It's also enough to cause mutiny. What better adventure could one ask for
than a soaking-good seafaring pirate story about a treasure hunt? There's even a
dash of romance and humor. Just be sure that when you do borrow Fish,
you can curl up for a long read. It's that good! -- review submitted by Allison H.-F. - a customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
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