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Posted July 6, 2013
This is a great summer read for mid-grade readers. The characters of Silky and Sly are loveable and believable. I love their spirit of adventure and appreciate the fact that they aren't afraid to do a bit of background work before starting out on their adventure. I cheered for them when they discovered an underwater treasure and I hoped they would make the right decisions leading to their own reward. Aunt Maude and Uncle Henry are wonderful additions to the cast of characters. One thing I love about Dr. Pirnot's books for children is that the children learn so much along the way. They grow in ways that are responsible and natural. There is never any violence - only love and respect coupled with a natural imagination.
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Posted August 26, 2013
Reviewed by Jean Hall for Readers' Favorite
Who wouldn't like to go on a treasure hunt? Fifth-grade friends Silky and Sly discover a haunted ghost ship and buried treasure. Dr. Karen Hutchins Pirnot in The Ghost of Gasparilla: A Silky and Sly Adventure makes a children's dream come true.
Silky, a curious but bored little girl, writes a paper about the pirate Gasparilla. She tells the story to Sly, an eager but distracted little boy. The kids spend a summer with Silky's Aunt Maude and Uncle Harry in Port Charlotte, Florida. They snorkel in the reefs, find sand dollars, and encounter colorful characters. As they are snorkeling, they discover a 150-year-old ship called Floridablanca. As the discovery turns to a salvage operation, the ghost of Gasparilla is released and his specter is felt and seen. He has gone down with the treasure-laden ship rather than be captured.
The characters explore their imaginations by studying pirate history and then those ideas and images become part of their actual summer vacation. The frequent dialogue and descriptions make the incredible tale easier to believe. There are occasional pictures of a pirate, a ship, a chest of buried treasure, and a scary image of the sunken ghost. The children learn many things as they go on this exciting adventure.
The Ghost of Gasparilla is geared for a pre-teen audience but adults can enjoy the story too. Dr. Hutchins Pirnot is a retired clinical psychologist and she brings her insight to this somewhat tall tale.