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Real Pirates

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There’s mystery in her history; there’s gold within her hold…

This vivid picture book takes readers through the swashbuckling tale of the Whydah. One of the most advanced sailing ships of the early 18th-century when she first set sail from London in late 1716, this vessel brought adventure, wealth, and doom to all who sailed on her.

The Whydah was christened after the West African trading post of Ouidah. Commissioned as a slave ship, the Whydah...

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2008 Hardcover Good Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not ... include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority! Read more Show Less

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2008-03-11 Hardcover Very Good Minor shelf/edge wear, binding tight. In very good condition. Text clean & unmarked.

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Overview

There’s mystery in her history; there’s gold within her hold…

This vivid picture book takes readers through the swashbuckling tale of the Whydah. One of the most advanced sailing ships of the early 18th-century when she first set sail from London in late 1716, this vessel brought adventure, wealth, and doom to all who sailed on her.

The Whydah was christened after the West African trading post of Ouidah. Commissioned as a slave ship, the Whydah was built with a deep cargo hold to pack in her human cargo, African captives bound for sale to Caribbean planters. The Whydah would make only one such voyage, before being captured by pirates off the Bahamas in February 1717. She fell into the hands of captain Sam Bellamy who soon replaced the English flag with the Jolly Roger.

Fate had still more in store for the Whydah. During one of the worst nor’easters ever recorded, she sank off Cape Cod on April 26, 1717. Packed with plunder, she was lashed to pieces by the storm and sank rapidly. There were few survivors.

The sea swallowed the Whydah along with her treasure, yet the fascinating saga of this storied ship was far from over. Centuries later, underwater explorer Barry Clifford, raised on legends of the sea around Cape Cod, set out to find the wreck. His quest literally led him into the history books, and he located the first authenticated pirate ship ever in 1984. Illustrated with dramatic color artwork by Greg Manchess, and awash with Ken Garrett’s dazzling photographs of the artifacts raised by Barry Clifford, this book captures the golden age of piracy in all its glory. Real Pirates will delight rambunctious pirates-at-heart and armchair treasure hunters alike.

Thanks to Barry Clifford, the multifaceted story of the ship that lay hidden in a watery grave for more than 250 years can now be told. Driven by a lively narrative and illustrated with such stunning photography, this book is pure gold.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
Hooked on pirates by his uncle's tales when he was a boy, Clifford became a diver. Drawn to the Whydah, a wrecked pirate ship off the shore of Cape Cod, he located the ship after two years of searching and began bringing up her treasure. Built in 1715, the Whydah traveled only once to Africa, filled her hold with slaves and sailed on to the Caribbean, where she was captured by "Black Sam" Bellamy, a successful pirate. Bellamy captured much booty as he sailed north over the next two months but was caught in a storm off the Cape. The Whydah, her treasure, and most of her crew were lost. Clifford, who calls himself a history seeker not a treasure seeker, uses the Whydah and her fate to discuss piracy and its connection to the slave trade. The succinct yet detailed text covers outfitting a pirate ship, life on board for Bellamy's multi-ethnic crew, and their somewhat democratic articles of piracy. The latter part of the book describes Clifford's experience when he found the Whydah's treasure and the underwater archaeological efforts, including the cleaning and preserving of artifacts, recordkeeping, and the study of the objects. The book is well written and well designed. Double-page spreads include drawings, maps, and other primary documents and artifact photographs. Informative, interesting, and attractive, the book should have wide appeal. Reviewer: Peg Glisson
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7

Clifford, an underwater archaeological explorer, used research and the artifacts recovered from the Whydah to tell the story of its life as a slave galley and pirate ship. In the process, he dispels many myths about buccaneers. Beginning when it was built in 1715, the author provides brief background information on the horrendous conditions under which people were sold and transported, and the Whydah 's part in the trade. However, when it was captured by Sam Bellamy, its use shifted to piracy. Clifford profiles several members of the pirate crew, including 11-year-old John King. He outlines the pirates' organization and adherence to "Ye Articles of ye Gentlemen of Fortune," a list of laws covering such matters as how decisions will be made and prizes divided. Photographs of artifacts (cufflinks, buttons, utensils, weapons) and the recovery crew at work combine with large visually appealing paintings of dramatic battle, storm, and courtroom scenes. Unfortunately, the text font is small and difficult to read, complicated by the textured background of the pages. Nonetheless, the book is a fascinating blend of history, ocean-diving recovery, and archaeology, and demonstrates archaeology in action and the role artifacts play in informing us about the past.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426302794
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 3/11/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1020L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.71 (w) x 10.66 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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