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Terry and the Pirates

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Overview

"You mean she isn't going to walk the plank?"

As soon as Terry's mom mentions sending her to boarding school to "spread her wings," Terry takes matters into her own hands and catches a ride out of town on the yacht belonging to a super-rich adventurer. It turns out someone else had the same plan, and Terry finds herself in the company of the billionaire's bizarre son.

It's a strange series of fortunes and misfortunes, but hurricanes, ...

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Overview

"You mean she isn't going to walk the plank?"

As soon as Terry's mom mentions sending her to boarding school to "spread her wings," Terry takes matters into her own hands and catches a ride out of town on the yacht belonging to a super-rich adventurer. It turns out someone else had the same plan, and Terry finds herself in the company of the billionaire's bizarre son.

It's a strange series of fortunes and misfortunes, but hurricanes, modern-day pirates, olden-day buried treasure, split personalities, and blossoming love combine ridiculously and hilariously in this rip-roaring new book by Julian F. Thompson.

When sixteen-year-old Terry Talley stows away on a yacht, she doesn't expect to encounter another runaway and end up shipwrecked on a tiny island with a bunch of oddball pirates who are looking for some buried treasure.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Thompson (A Band of Angels) writes a fast-paced and pleasingly far-fetched adventure story. When 16-year-old Terry learns that her parents plan to send her to boarding school, she decides to stow away on the ship of millionaire adventurer Maitland Crane. But to her shock, it's Maitland's stuttering son Mick (named for Mick Jagger) steering the boat--he's stolen the vessel to get attention from his neglectful dad. When a severe storm lands Terry on Isla Muela Negro (Black Molar Island) in the Bermuda Triangle (with Mick presumably overboard), she becomes prisoner to a group of pirates. She must pretend to play along with their ransom scheme and plan an escape before the marauders make her into "fish food." Thompson throws in an inexplicable twist: Mick's split personality (sometimes he's a smooth-talking 15th-century French marquis from one of his past lives) shifts gears at random. Yet the outlandish plot and the outrageous group of bandits make this story work. Short Bill Gold wears a powder blue leisure suit, and preteen twins Cherry and Buddy have been raised to think that drug-smuggler shoot-outs and plank walking are normal ("Dibbies on doing the blindfold," Cherry shouts when they take Terry captive). The romantic relationship between Terry and Mick is predictable, but well-developed, and readers will appreciate their mutual respect. All in all, this tale will elicit hearty laughter, and an as-yet-unrecovered buried treasure hints at a possible sequel. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
What do you do when you are almost seventeen years old and your well-intentioned mom and long-distance dad decide to send you off to boarding school? You run away and become the star of your own fantasy adventure. That is exactly what Terry intends to do. She and her best friend, Connie, have it all worked out—Terry will stow away on a yacht and reveal herself to the handsome helmsman with enough sophistication and finesse to enjoy an exotic vacation far from home. The high-seas adventure is filled with the unexpected and nothing goes as planned. Her handsome partner-in-crime turns out to be a dorky boy with a stuttering problem. The heroine soon finds herself held hostage on an island by a family of temperamental pirates who have misplaced their treasure map. While Terry courageously plans to save herself from the Dragon Lady and her man-eating pet, Bubba, she happens to notice that the boy behind the stuttering just might be very cute. Middle school readers will really get into this exciting and playful story. 2000, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $17.00. Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer: Jessica Becker
KLIATT
To quote KLIATT's September 2000 review of the hardcover edition: When resourceful 16-year-old Terry hears of her parents' plans to send her off to boarding school, she hatches a scheme of her own. She stows away on a fancy yacht, seeking adventure, and then is shocked to discover that the owner isn't on board—instead, his 15-year-old son, Mick, a runaway himself, is captaining it, hoping to get his father's attention. But Mick is swept overboard in a monsoon, and Terry soon finds herself the captive of modern-day pirates. The pirates consist of randy Short Bill Gold; his foul-tempered sister, known as the Dragon Lady, who keeps a huge Komodo dragon as a pet; her two young but bloodthirsty children, Cherry and Bud; and a British pilot. They hole up on a small island in the Bermuda Triangle, holding Terry for ransom, while all the men (even young Bud) fall for Terry. Mike reappears, to Terry's delight, and as romance blossoms between them they plot to escape the island with the treasure Mick has found. This is silly fun with a rather arch tone, combining adventure, humor and romance in a swiftly moving tale that both respects and tweaks traditional pirate tales. Lots of talk of nudity and a swear word here and there would make it a PG-13 rated movie; it's quite cinematic in style, actually. Entertaining for junior high school age and younger high school students, especially girls, as it's all told from Terry's viewpoint. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse, 310p.,
— Paula Rohrlick
VOYA
Sixteen-year-old Terry Talley, having completed her junior year of high school, decides to set out on an adventure and stows away aboard the Cormorant, millionaire Maitland Crane's thirty-something-foot yawl. Seeking adult experience, Terry finds that the boat has been stolen by Crane's teenage son, Michael, whose mind is alternately propelled by the persona of the smooth-talking Marquis de Framboise (a contemporary and confidant of Joan of Arc) and by stuttering-Michael, as he learns to cope with his problems. After surviving a storm at sea wherein Michael (and his alter-ego, the marquis) disappears, the Cormorant is boarded by an unlikely pirate crew, and Terry becomes their captive on a tropical island. Teen readers who buy into this tale will enjoy Terry's series of misadventures and the coincidences that save her. A letter addressed "Dear Connie" that is set adrift in a wine bottle from within the Bermuda Triangle actually reaches the vague addressee in northern Cape Enid, beginning a chain of events that leads to the rescue. An awkward sequence of vignettes might trouble readers from the opening pages, but by the seventeenth chapter, the story is engaging and entertaining. Thompson's breezily conversational style, which might irritate adults but engage teens, invites readers to share his view of the motley collection of characters. Clever historical, cultural, and literary allusions will entertain when interest flags. Who can resist the line "Call me Ishmael," especially when uttered by a seafaring myna bird? When remaindered or available in paperback, add a copy to your collection—some teens will enjoy it. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P J S (Readable without serious defects; Broad generalYA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Atheneum/S & S, 272p. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Cynthia L. Blinn VOYA, February 2001 (Vol. 23, No.6)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Funny and irreverent in tone, Thompson's latest offering is a lighthearted romp set on an island in the Bermuda Triangle. When 16-year-old Terry Talley ducks boarding school by stowing away on a yacht belonging to Maitland Crane, she finds the millionaire's teenaged son at the helm. She's not the only runaway; Mick has stolen his father's boat in order to get his attention. Surviving a storm that has swept Mick overboard, Terry encounters a band of eccentric modern-day pirates, a lascivious myna bird, the world's largest living lizard, and-of course-buried treasure. Though entertaining, this is a slight story with a cast of largely unsympathetic characters. After Mick is seemingly lost at sea, Terry cuts her grieving short in order to select a "drop-dead gorgeous" rescue outfit; she opts for an "engaging little sundress" and just a touch of eyeliner. By the end of the book, unfortunately, she's only a tad less shallow. Still, the teens' unlikely romance is touching. Terry and the Pirates also boasts an attractive cover and a satisfying, if unrealistic, resolution. The novel will appeal to those who fantasize about taking off to see the world on their own.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This latest from the author of The Grounding of Group 6 is a confusing jumble—hard to follow and based on an unlikely premise. Terry is 16 when her mother suddenly announces she has decided to send Terry away to boarding school. In response, Terry decides to stow away on the yacht of a rich older man, Maitland Crane. Upon breaking into the boat, she discovers that Maitland's teenage son Mick is stealing the yacht so he, too, can run away. What follows is an unbelievable series of events, culminating in Terry and Mick finding a lost pirate treasure. In between, the two are the victims of a pirate kidnapping, complete with peg-legged, parrot-toting, earring-wearing,"walk the plank" pirates, a man-eating Komodo Dragon, and an unmapped island hideout. Initially, Terry appears to be a strong female character, but she is really as helpless as so many girls in current books, allowing Mick to make the escape plans, while she uses her feminine wiles to distract the pirates. Mick is an odd character, claiming he was a French marquis in a past life and slipping into that persona frequently, another hard-to-follow device. Written in a flip, choppy style that seems aimed at emulating the voice and thoughts of a teenage girl, the frequent asides rapidly become annoying. And Terry's ruminations are peppered with sexist and racist comments as well. One passage has Mick searching the island for an escape, while Terry stays behind thinking to herself,"The hardworking man of the house was off to work before she'd even made it out of bed!" Another passage finds the pirates calling Terry a"princess." Terry wonders if they"thought that was Jewish." Comments like these, combinedwithshallowcharacters, a weak premise, and outlandish situations make this an unappealing book in any case. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689830761
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2000
  • Pages: 272
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 980L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.89 (w) x 8.57 (h) x 1.04 (d)

First Chapter

Teresa Fremont Talley, more often known as Tee or Terry, was sixteen years and eight months old the day she polished off her junior year at Cape Enid High School.

At about 8:15 P.M. nine days later, she pretty much decided that the time had come for her to change her life dramatically, to stow away aboard the Cormorant, a thirty-four-foor yawl, and by so doing to sample "life" as an adult, some distance from the town that she'd grown up in.


For more than two years, Terry Talley'd been in love with a man named Kirt Manwaring, who was a catcher on the San Francisco Giants baseball team. Not being tolerant of ridicule, she'd never told a soul, however.

What drew her to him was his name, of course: Kirt Manwaring. She came upon it in the paper, underneath a photograph of two men, baseball players, colliding near home plate. Up until then, she'd never had much interest in the paper's sports section, but that photo caught her eye and held it.

One man, whose name had no effect on her whatever, was sailing through the air, about to do an awful belly flop, apparently. The caption said the other one was Kirt Manwaring. Crouching low, with the baseball in his hand, he'd caused the first man to go airborne by knocking his legs out from under him. You couldn't see his face, but Terry didn't have to, once she'd read his name. She knew he had to be good-looking. Also powerful, but gentle; a champion, yet humble; supersensitive, although robustly masculine.

Terry wasn't counting on the Cormorant to sail around the Cape, or through the Panama Canal, and up the other coast to San Francisco. Although she was in love with him, she didn't plan onever meeting Kirt Manwaring. She didn't fantasize a life with him, or even an orgasmic, blush-all-over half an hour. She pitied girls who said they couldn't get their minds off Eddie-this, or Johnny-that, or Antonio-the-other-thing. No, Kirt Manwaring was different. He filled a role she'd needed somebody to play: He set the standard. She would never, she decided, be the girlfriend of a boy who didn't measure up to him.

That didn't mean she didn't date — go out with many different boys — or check out the members of that other gender in the halls of ol' Cape Enid High. She did, she did. But no one she saw, or met, or chastely cuddled with seemed fit to even carry K. M.'s chest protector, shin guards, mask, or other catcherly deflectors.

In and of itself, that might have been sufficient reason for her to sneak on board the Cormorant: the total lack of Kirt Manwaringness in what her mother called "your age group." But there was more, much more.


Maitland St. Ansgar Crane was thirty-six years old and the owner of the Cormorant, as well as many other playthings. In the paper he was sometimes labeled "an adventurer." He was a mountain climber, race-car driver, and a single-handed sailor on a lot of different seas.

Out of his earliest adventures, at the age of twenty-one, was a marriage to a woman whose name he wished he could forget. It (or, as he often put it, "she") had caused him to become the father of a boy he didn't have much use for.

Though he'd surely noticed Terry Talley's bright red hair at the Cape Enid Club, he had no interest in the girl's existence.


Monica Fremont, Terry's mom, had taken back her maiden name soon after her divorce from Terry's father, David. But the two of them had stayed good friends. They talked, long distance on the telephone, once or twice a week, and met on neutral ground — in Minneapolis, New Orleans, or Chicago (even Kansas City, once) — for "weekend get-togethers," as they called their every-other-monthly assignations. David lived in Eugene, Oregon, these days.

It was, in fact, a phone chat that her parents had, nine days after school let out, that triggered Terry's big decision.

That year Monica — called "Mone" by friends, and sometimes by her daughter — had become an aromatherapist. What that involved was her prescribing different fragrances that would either counteract or heighten clients' moods — or sometimes "cure" what ailed them. Mone believed she was "a natural" at this.

"I'm supersensitive to smell," she said to Terry once. "It's a matter of nose-brain coordination." Another feature of aromatherapy she liked was that you didn't have to take a test to practice it.

There were basically two ways aroma did its therapeutic work, Tee Talley's mother told her. Essential oils (the source of the aromas) could go straight onto the client's body, ideally on his or her "thin membranes," Mona said. (Terry never asked where they were.) Or the oils could be "infused into the air" by heating carefully counted drops of them, added to some water in a small ceramic cup, that was then placed over one pure, steady candle flame. On the night in question, after dinner, Monica had set some lavender to heating. That got Terry's guard up right away. She remembered lavender was "calming."

"Your father rang me up this morning," Mone began, once her number two child, Richard, twelve, had gone up to his room. Probably to count his money, Terry thought. Richie was notoriously frugal. "He said we ought to talk about your...situation."

Monica, with demitasse in hand, was sitting on the sofa. Terry put one knee on a chair and turned to face her — not absolutely staying, but not going, either. "Situation," used by Daddy David, was not a word she liked to hear with "your" in front of it. It was not, for him, synonymous with "unbroken series of successes."

"And?" she answered, warily. She and her mother hardly ever had a conversation they regretted afterward. But it paid to be alert when her absent parent got some big idea, concerning her.

"He thought, and I agree," her mother said, "that possibly a change of school would be a good idea for you, next year."

"A change of school," repeated Terry solemnly, picking at one copper-colored eyebrow.

"Yes," continued Mone. "Not that there's anything wrong with the high school, or the way you've handled it..."

"I'm on the honor roll," said Tee. I have a host of loyal friends. I'm active in school publications and presidenta of the Spanish Club. Next year I will be manager of the boys' varsity baseball team."

"Er, Yes," her mother said. She couldn't for the life of her imagine why her daughter chose to be involved with baseball. It was, she felt, a game marked principally by spitting, and by boring, boring periods, called "innings," in which almost nothing happened.

"But what your father and I believe is that you ought to have the opportunity to spread your wings a little. To take off and fly."

"Away to boarding school," said Terry.

"Well, of course to boarding school," her mother said. "There aren't any first-class day schools near Cape Enid, as you know. And what's so bad about the 'boarding' part, pray tell? Almost everybody 'boards' at college."

Terry knew her mother knew that boarding school and college were quite different institutions, when it came to...well, controls. Her mother'd brought her up to be extremely self-sufficient, to take care of herself and make her own decisions. In a rare moment of anger three or four years before (when left alone again and told, "Just don't let your brother burn the house down"), she'd accused her mother of practicing the "cross your fingers for luck and sashay out the door" school of childrearing. But now that she was almost seventeen, she was glad she'd learned resourcefulness so well so young — and had a taste for independence. Her mother must have known she wasn't "boarding school material." Her father, on the other hand, wouldn't have a clue. This whole thing had to be her dad's idea.

"So, have you two picked one out for me already?" she inquired, pleasantly enough. Because she really liked her mom, she saw no need to "make an issue" out of this, not yet. Perhaps the subject would expire in a day or two. She knew she wasn't going to go to any boarding school, but that didn't mean she couldn't talk about them for a little while. She took a big deep breath of lavender.

"No, not at all" her mother said, emphatically. "I'd never do a thing like that — you know I wouldn't. We talked about some possibilities, is all."

"For instance," Terry said.

"Well, Cramer was the one that came to my mind, right away," Mone said. "It's co-ed — naturally — and in Vermont, and quite — from what I've heard — free-wheeling." She said that last word awkwardly, the same way she said, "rock and roll."

"Your father said he'd go along with Crame — by which I'm pretty sure he meant he'd pay for it — but it wouldn't be his number one first choice."

"He thinks I'd be better off at...?" said Tee, obligingly.

"Oh, possibly an older, more established school, like Newburn Hall," her mother said. "A school with some traditions and more...structure."

"And ivy on its structures, I presume," said Terry.

"Another possibility would be a place like Ogden Manor," Mone went on. "All girls, but absolutely gorgeous, I've been told. It'd be like living on a huge estate, surrounded by attractive friends — on horseback!"

Terry pawed the air in front of her with hands made into fists, and whinnied.

"But regardless of the school" — her mother was a masterful ignorer — "there is one little, teensy-weensy problem."

"Let me guess, Mone," Terry said. "If it isn't money, then let's see....Is it that I'm too — or maybe not sufficiently — religious?"

"Time," her mother said. "We're starting awfully late on this. Your dad and I are going to make some calls, and find out who has what connections where. But time is of the essence."

"And there's thinking that I have to do," said Tee.

"Absolutely," said her mother. "What I'd do right now, if I were you, is take a nice hot bath and think about your choices."

"Good idea," said Terry, standing up. "A bath. Of course, that means I'll have to make another choice, though. I hope you got more myrrh — we were almost out of it last time I looked. I'd hate to have to settle for wild ass's milk again."

"Good night, dear heart," said Monica. She thought her daughter had the most delightful sense of humor.

"Sleep tight," said Terry, starting up the stairs. It was exactly ten past eight. A young idea, another choice, was sprouting in her head, already.


At 8:16 Terry called up Connie Slavin on her private line and told her what her mother'd said, and what she'd just decided as a consequence. Connie was the loyalest of friends; she could keep her mouth shut, not let secrets dribble out of its corners.

"You don't know Maitland Crane, Tee," was Connie's first reaction. "Do you?"

"Of-course-I-don't-know-Maitland-Crane'" said Terry, imitating Connie's rapid-fire pooched-up way of speaking. "But I've seen him, same as you have, at the club. I think he's cool. And I'm pretty sure I read he's off to somewhere pretty soon, again. Aboard the Cormorant, I mean. Alone."

"Right. But let's suppose you can sneak on it, and he doesn't know you're there for a while'" said Connie.

"Don't you think he'll turn around and come right back as soon as he lays eyes on you?"

Connie took a breath and kept on babbling. "You're a minor, Terry. Guys can't go off with minors on a sailboat to another country. Guys can't take minors to a Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge or Pennsylvania, even."

"Maybe 'guys' can't," Terry said. "But Maitland Cranes sure can. Maitland Cranes can do most anything they want."

Connie sighed. "He could do most anything he wanted to with me," she said. "Maitland Crane is possibly the cutest member of his age group in the world."

"To me said Terry, calmly, "Maitland Crane is like a taxi driver. need someone to get me out of here, to take me someplace else. What he looks like doesn't matter beans. As long as he can drive the cab."

"Yeah, but just suppose he asks you for the fare," said Connie. She made a little gurgle sound. "Taxis aren't free, you know."

"Put it this way," Terry said. "I'm prepared to do whatever is required by the...situation."

She was only making Connie-conversation when she said that, saying what would get a rise out of her friend. But then she wondered, Am I? Would I? The truth was that she wouldn't have a choice, way out at sea, somewhere. But Maitland Crane...he wouldn't. Would he? Way out at sea, with no one else around?

"Hoo-ee!" Con was laughing up a storm. "Will you listen to the girl?" She cupped a hand and spoke into the phone through it, as if it were a megaphone. "One of the most sought-after virgins at Cape Enid High now says she'll work her way across the ocean, on her back if need be. Story at eleven."

"You laugh," said Terry. "But I'm serious. I'm not going to go to any boarding school, but Mom's quite right. It's time for me to spread my wings. And leave my little nestie-pie."

"Well, if you're really serious' " said Connie, "I'll do anything I can to help. How about I meet you at the club tomorrow morning? I could be there by eleven.

"Great," said Terry. "You can help me make a perfect plan."

She hung up the phone and rose from her bed. She felt terrific. She wished it were tomorrow, or next month, already. She was going to be a "woman on her own." That sounded so...exclusive.

She decided she would take a hot bath after all. A celebratory one. She undressed quickly, tossing most of her clothes in the direction of her chaise longue, but kicking her underpants into the closet. Before she went into the bathroom, though, she got a lengthy string of beads from off her dresser and looped them twice around her neck. They were black beads, shiny onyx ones.

She checked herself out in the full-length mirror on her bathroom door. Visible, already, were this summer's sun lines — she did not exactly tan — faint but definitely there. The winter's treats had metamorphosed into just a little flab, but sweating in the tropics would take care of that, she thought. She believed she looked like an adventuress, with heavy brows (one with a devilish slant to it), big light eyes, a small but definitely determined chin, and that jaunty sprinkling of freckles. She was afraid she might also look a little young for almost seventeen — but at the moment, anyway, she found herself quite striking, with her tousled mop of bright red hair and wearing only coal black beads that dropped between a pair of breasts that seemed, well, really perfect for the way she was: positive, and clearly there, but never ostentatious.

Terry slipped the beads back off her head. She'd get a haircut, she decided, maybe more than just a trim. something easy-care but stylish.

The beads sailed through the air and landed on her bed, and Terry walked directly at her own reflection and the bathroom just beyond it, taking graceful, rhythmic, straight-line steps, the way a model would.

Text copyright © 2000 by Julian F. Thompson

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2006

    A bit far fetched more so than intended...

    While I absolutely loved the plotline, the characters kind of killed it for me. Terry, first of all, does not behave as a teen girl should (who just goes up to their mom and says, 'Even though I want to, I won't sleep with him mom.'?) and really has no reason to 'flee'. SHe's basically rich, with good looks and a social life. And acts both too mature and IMMATURE for her age. THe rest of the characters are weak, except the twelve year old girl she befriends, who amuses me. A lot of the things that happen are predictable or too convinient. And some, while entertaining in the aspect, are annoyingly outlandish. Really, Marines? Though Mr Thompson is very good at descriptions and his voice is entertaining.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2003

    Terry and the pirates

    When Terry Talley was told to spread her wings, she went a little overboard. She decides to hop on a boat that belongs to Maintiland Crane. In the middle of the sea, she finds that it is not Maintland Crane on board with her, but his 15 year-old son, Mick. As terry gets to know Mick, she finds he thinks he is ze Marquis de Framboise, a member of the French Nobility during the time of Joan of Arc. After a tremendous storm, Terry finds she is now the only one on the boat. Terry sees a ship coming toward her and thinks they are coming to her rescue, however, she soon finds they are pirates. The pirates take her back to their island where she meets the crew. The crew consists of the Captain Bill Gold, his sister the Dragon Lady, Her two children Cherry and Buddy and Roger. Finding that the pirates are holding her for ransom, Terry writes a letter to her best friend, Connie, stuffs it in a bottle, and sends it out to sea. After a few weeks, Mick shows up on Terry's doorstep. Terry is overjoyed to see him and they start thinking of ways to escape. They make a plan and pray it will work. Terry is a very creative character and gets you thinking. She can get Cherry to steal Roger's clothes and all five pirates stuck in a tree. This book was exciting and fun filled. It was a journey of survival, as well as finding yourself. It keeps you on the edge of your seat until you are through reading it. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes action filled comedies.

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