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The Pirate Captain's Daughter

The Pirate Captain's Daughter

4.0 4
by Eve Bunting

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"I always knew my father was a pirate and I always knew I wanted to be one, too."

At age fifteen, Catherine's life is about to change. Her mother has just died and Catherine can't stand the thought of being sent to live with her aunt in Boston. She longs for a life of adventure.

After she discovers her father's secret life as captain of the pirate ship


"I always knew my father was a pirate and I always knew I wanted to be one, too."

At age fifteen, Catherine's life is about to change. Her mother has just died and Catherine can't stand the thought of being sent to live with her aunt in Boston. She longs for a life of adventure.

After she discovers her father's secret life as captain of the pirate ship Reprisal, her only thoughts are to join him on the high seas. Catherine imagines a life of sailing the blue waters of the Caribbean, the wind whipping at her back. She's heard tales of bloodshed and brutality but her father's ship would never be like that.

Catherine convinces her father to let her join him, disguised as a boy. But once the Reprisal sets sail, she finds life aboard a pirate ship is not for the faint of heart. If her secret is uncovered, punishment will be swift and brutal.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After her mother dies, 15-year-old Catherine is determined to join her father, a pirate captain, on the high seas. She romanticizes his secret life and yearns for adventure (having been cooped up for most of her life), but Catherine is in for a rude awakening. With her father's help, Catherine goes aboard the Reprisal ("The shining, sleek shape of her. The way she seemed to lean forward, headed for adventure and ports unknown," swoons Catherine) disguised as a boy. While headstrong Catherine is capable of holding her own, challenges remain: the men are coarse, she falls for William (the ship's cook), and the constant threat of being found out hangs over her head. Additionally, the creepiest pirate, Herc, is after a mysterious object her father possesses. While Bunting's story and characters may seem tame to readers who have grown up with the over-the-top portrayals of pirate life in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, the book is fast-paced and offers sufficient action, intrigue, and romance to hold interest. There are several scenes of violence, but they are not gratuitous. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—When 15-year-old Catherine's mother dies, she cajoles her father, a pirate ship's captain, to take her along on his impending three-month voyage. In exchange, she promises to live as a boy and never reveal her true gender (bad luck on a pirate ship). She immediately feels threatened by the roguish crew, especially when she learns that two of the shadier characters are after a treasure her father has hidden in their home. The 15-year-old cabin boy, Will, who learns her secret, tries in vain to protect her from the bullying and threats of the most menacing pirates. But bad weather, bad luck, treachery, and tragedy arrive together and create a life-and-death dilemma for Catherine and Will. After they are marooned on an island, their growing love keeps them hopeful for a chance at life together if they are lucky enough to be rescued. Bunting's pirates have every known stereotype including a peg leg, an eye patch, and a pet parrot (there is even an Arrgh! thrown in), and the vernacular in the dialogue is straight from a Popeye cartoon. But the pacing and the coming-of-age angst keep the story skipping along to a satisfying, if predictable ending. Chapter titles featuring the Jolly Roger hovering over Blackadder script are a nice touch.—Karen Elliott, Grafton High School, WI
Kirkus Reviews
After her mother's death, 15-year-old Catherine's pirate-captain father allows her to cut her hair and pretend to be his son in order to join the crew of his ship. Once readers suspend their disbelief about this, they will find that the plot quickly kicks into high gear. While barely maintaining her disguise, Catherine discovers a plan to steal a valuable gemstone from her father. Though it jeopardizes her secret, Catherine falls for the cabin boy, William. Having a girl onboard violates the pirate Code and spells bad fortune to the superstitious crew, imperiling all who participate in her charade. Two particularly evil sailors provide a constant menace. Brief, easily read chapters permit only superficial character development in this plot-driven, first-person narrative. Ample gritty details abound, though: Weevil-studded hardtack, a deck alive with roaches and vulgar, scheming crew members provide a sharp contrast to Catherine's naive adventure. A salty tang pervades this fast-paced pirate yarn, which provides a sometimes swashbuckling—but more often believably disgusting—perilous cruise across the high seas. (Historical fiction. 11-15)

Product Details

Sleeping Bear Press
Publication date:
Eve Bunting
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

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The Pirate Captain's Daughter 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But only gals should read this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
When Catherine's mother died and her father made plans to send her away to live with relatives, she came up with a plan of her own. After years of listening in on her father's conversations, she learned that instead of operating a legitimate shipping business, he is really a pirate. Fascinated by her images of life on a pirate ship, Catherine begs her father to let her join him. Despite his reservations, he agrees to allow Catherine to become a member of his crew. There is one requirement. It is well known among pirates that the presence of a woman on the ship will bring bad luck to everyone on board. Therefore, Catherine must dress and act like a boy and use the name Charlie. The captain introduces her as his son, and the voyage begins. Life aboard the ship is not the glamorous existence Catherine imagined. Conditions are deplorable. Washing clothes means simply laying the garments on the deck and hoping for rain. The food is bug-infested and toilet conditions are extremely primitive. Although she shares her father's cabin, he quickly makes it clear that a captain's door is always open, giving her absolutely no privacy. Complicating matters is the fact that one crew member believes the captain is hiding a valuable gem from the rest of his crew. This crew member is a constant threat to the captain's safety, and should he discover the captain is hiding his daughter on board, both their lives would be in danger. Author Eve Bunting takes readers into the world of sailing ships and pirates with THE PIRATE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER. There is constant suspense, as Catherine worries about being discovered and at the same time attempts to find out the truth about the hidden gem. Although the idea of a woman on a pirate ship is not unheard of, it is unusual and makes for an exciting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago