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Children's LiteratureAnother book in National Geographic's "How to Be A" series, this one focuses on becoming a pirate and provides a very real look at the not-very-clean or well-fed life of an 18th century pirate. As with other books in the series, the humor found in the text, the detail in which the information is presented, and the very detailed and well drawn illustrations are sure to keep young readers' attention, especially those who may have been termed "reluctant readers." This will be a very popular book with those youngsters who liked the movie Pirates of the Caribbean and Captain Jack Sparrow. However, with this book, they will also understand the challenges of actually being a pirate, how real pirates dressed and ate, and how they interacted with each other. A fun activity for parents or teachers might be to do a comparison between the book and the movie. Regardless, there will probably be a fair number of readers who will be disappointed that their interview quiz at the end of the book does not result in being hired as a pirate. As with the better nonfiction books, this series also utilizes a strong glossary and suggestions for further reading. A definite winner. 2005, The Salariya Book Company, Ages 8 to 12.
—Jean Boreen, Ph.D.