Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter


Adventure! History! Pirate Diary reveals life on the high seas in the eighteenth century—through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy.

Curious about life on a pirate ship? Climb aboard this account of adventure on the high seas as told by a feisty nine-year-old carpenter's apprentice, circa 1716. Historically accurate illustrations of ship and crew, a map of Jake's travels, and a detailed glossary and index vividly reveal the fascinating — and harsh...

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Adventure! History! Pirate Diary reveals life on the high seas in the eighteenth century—through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy.

Curious about life on a pirate ship? Climb aboard this account of adventure on the high seas as told by a feisty nine-year-old carpenter's apprentice, circa 1716. Historically accurate illustrations of ship and crew, a map of Jake's travels, and a detailed glossary and index vividly reveal the fascinating — and harsh —-life of a pirate in the eighteenth century. Ships ahoy!

The fictional diary of a nine-year-old boy who, in 1716 sets off from North Carolina to become a sailor, but ends up a pirate instead.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The duo behind Castle Diary returns with a swashbuckling sortie into pirate waters. Set in 1716, the tale unfolds through the diary entries of a nine-year-old North Carolina lad who goes to sea with his uncle. Young Jake's excitement dims when wicked Captain Nick exacts a cruel penalty for clumsiness (Jake accidentally drops a bucket overboard), flogging his Uncle Will in Jake's stead and setting him adrift. The tables are turned, however, when pirates capture the ship and abandon Captain Nick on an island. Jake and his shipmates take up with their captors, and there are adventures aplenty, including a mermaid sighting, a storm, a raid on a Spanish camp and an eventual reunion with Will. With seeming effortlessness, Platt weaves vast quantities of nautical information into a text as lively as it is absorbing ("In pirates' slang there are one hundred words for `drunk' and just one for `sober' "). While he does not romanticize piracy, the author displays a keen eye for the sort of gorier details that young buccaneers will relish, e.g., the primitive surgery performed by the ship's carpenter. Making exuberant use of the oversize format, Riddell's illustrations include spot illustrations, dramatic full-page and full-spread scenes and a detailed cutaway view of the ship. With their verve and puckish humor, they easily transport readers to high times on the high seas. Ages 9-13. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
In Castle, the author adopts a faux-medieval style to describe the life of a 13th-century page. PW called the second tale, set in 1716, a "swashbuckling sortie into pirate waters." Ages 9-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Sail away with young Jake in 1716 to exciting adventures on the high seas. His diary tells us about the ship and the work aboard, the capture by pirates, raids, whales, storms, hardships and his safe return home. Riddell's finely rendered drawings, frequently colored, are everywhere, adding visual specificity and details to the text. A series of vignettes demonstrates a cannon's firing;a double page explodes with the activity of a raid;a single page picture of two figures projects desolation on a bare, sandy beach;a double page details a cross-section of the ship. There is a glossary/index with rodents romping through, and extensive factual notes for background to the engrossing fictional journey. 2001, Candlewick Press, $17.99. Ages 8 to 13. Reviewer:Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-This oversized book follows the same format as Platt's Castle Diary (Candlewick, 1999). Here, young Jake Carpenter leaves home in 1716 and becomes involved in an adventure in piracy. His detailed journal entries provide many colorful stories of life on the high seas. There are whippings, threats of death, and maggot-enriched food. A crewmate's leg is shattered during a battle and later amputated, and there is a burial at sea. The boy's uncle (and crewmate) is cast out in a small boat with little hope of survival, and the ship's captain is marooned on a deserted island. Myriad ink-and-watercolor illustrations help illuminate the dramatic events. In one double-page picture, the ship Greyhound is seen in labeled cross-section; another depicts a huge wave sweeping over the deck, and there are two action-packed scenes of pirate attacks. A clear map at the back pinpoints where the story takes place. Although fiction, much of the book is based on fact, as explained in the appended notes. There's also a short history of piracy and mention of infamous rogues. Kids looking for adventure will certainly find plenty of it here.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763628659
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/9/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 740,932
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.48 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.27 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Platt has written more than thirty books, including many bestsellers, and is among the most prolific and successful nonfiction authors working today. His books include STEPHEN BIESTY'S CROSS-SECTIONS: CASTLE; STEPHEN BIESTY'S INCREDIBLE CROSS-SECTIONS; STEPHEN BIESTY'S INCREDIBLE EXPLOSIONS (which tied for the 1996 Cuffie Award for nonfiction with THE GREEK NEWS and THE ROMAN NEWS); STEPHEN BIESTY'S INCREDIBLE BODY; STEPHEN BIESTY'S INCREDIBLE EVERYTHING; IN THE BEGINNING; THE NEARLY COMPLETE HISTORY OF ALMOST EVERYTHING; DISASTER! CATASTROPHES THAT SHOOK THE WORLD; and the Eyewitness titles, FILM and SPY, among many others.

Chris Riddell’s glorious illustrations fill the pages of many wonderful books for children, including Richard Platt’s CASTLE DIARY, and Hans Christian Andersen’s THE SWAN'S STORIES, translated by Brian Alderson. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY called his illustrations for CASTLE DIARY "humorously dour" and "inspired."

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