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The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate

The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate

3.9 13
by Scott Nash, Dan John Miller (Read by)

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The captain and his crew cross swords with the villainous crow, Teach, and his dastardly gang of thieves; outrun sharp-toothed predators and furry fiends; explore hidden lairs and secret hideouts; witness strange hatchings and astonishing courage; and encounter heroes of every size, shape, and species—all set forth in this volume, artfully penned by Scott Nash


The captain and his crew cross swords with the villainous crow, Teach, and his dastardly gang of thieves; outrun sharp-toothed predators and furry fiends; explore hidden lairs and secret hideouts; witness strange hatchings and astonishing courage; and encounter heroes of every size, shape, and species—all set forth in this volume, artfully penned by Scott Nash, Gentleman.

“Listen or be hanged!” —Blue Jay the Pirate, Captain of the Grosbeak

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Picture book creator Nash (The Cat in the Rhinestone Suit) offers a charming illustrated novel set in a world filled with anthropomorphic avian pirates. Blue Jay, the notorious captain of the airship Grosbeak, has been collecting eggs for years as he robs from the evil oligarchs in Thrushia. He rarely lets them hatch (and is happy to perpetuate the myth that he cannibalistically consumes them), but when his navigator, Junco, is compelled to nurse one particular egg, the entire crew has to care for Gabriel, a rare gosling. Their adventures take them into contact with everything from dangerous fisher cats and a dirt-loving mole on the ground to bats and crows in the air. Nash creates a wholly original and fully realized world in its own right, though it's hard to avoid comparisons to previous anthropomorphic animal tales; as with Redwall, scenes of violence and death intermix with the whimsy of the concept. That neither element overwhelms the other is a testament to Nash's aptitude, and readers should long remember the novel's endearing characters, which appear throughout in his gracefully integrated full color pen-and-ink art. Ages 9–13. (Sept.)
School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 4–7—Blue Jay the Pirate and his crew of motley birds set sail on a quest for adventure in this high-flying, action-packed adventure (Candlewick, 2012). When the mysterious egg that was taken aboard hatches to reveal a gosling, some of the crew rebel, but Captain Jay insists that Gabriel be kept on board the ship. Not long after Gabriel's arrival, Jay's ship, the Grosbeak, crashes in a dangerous section of Thrushia controlled by a group of thieving crows. Gabriel and his caretaker, the kind-hearted Junco, are separated from the rest of the crew and must take shelter with a group of tormented sparrows. Meanwhile, the remaining crew head underground to escape the crows and make a surprisingly helpful friend in the nearly blind mole, Hillary. By working together, the birds in this oppressed society find a way to defeat the crows, save the ship, and head for the free skies above. Dan John Miller does a nice of voicing this unique cast of characters and paces the telling well. There is tough pirate talk and some significant violence which suggests an older audience than one might expect for an animal fantasy tale. Still, Miller's unique voices combined with loads of action will appeal to many listeners.—Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Public Library, UT
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Captain Blue Jay, notoriously feared pirate captain of the flying ship Grosbeak, loves to collect eggs, giving him a revered reputation as a cannibal. When his latest treasure hatches, revealing a fast-growing gosling, the feathered crew bickers as to what to do with him. Motherly Junco takes young Gabriel under her wing, teaching him the ways of pirate life, much to the chagrin of the other birds on board who fear his burgeoning size will be their downfall. The avian society faces oppressive taxes and the Thrush government forbids migration, which forces the pirate birds to flee skyward. Bigger issues soon ensue as they find themselves not only trying to escape the oppressive Thrushian government, but also thieving crows and murderous weasels and fishers. When the Grosbeak becomes shipwrecked and Gabriel (who cannot yet fly) falls from the ship, he and Junco escape attacks, finding refuge at the tavern of Poppa Fox. With his help and a nearly blind mole named Hillary, Gabriel and Junco set off to find their shipmates before the crows murder them all. This swashbuckling adventure is Nash's first novel, and the numerous full-color illustrations are spot-on, adding charm and whimsy to the motley crew of characters. With a sophisticated vocabulary, a certain amount of violence, and colorful pirate language, the book requires fairly competent readers. A pirate adventure with birds as heroes and villains might have limited appeal to older readers, but animal fantasy fans not quite ready for Brian Jacques's "Redwall" series (Philomel) may want to walk the plank and jump in.—Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Renowned illustrator Scott Nash’s first novel features a tale of animals that succeeds in being both an original and a page-turner. The main characters are well developed, and the world in which they dwell is fantasy as its best. Nash vividly illustrates many of the characters and the action, which adds to the quality of the book. Fans of Brian Jacques’ Redwall series will love this story.

Referencing Robert Louis Stevenson and hearkening back to classic animal adventures of yore, this has the tone and style to appeal to thoughtful young readers; a coming-of-age element to gratify older ones; and drama, battles, and triumphs to entice the rest.

A beautifully illustrated novel for readers ages 9 to 12 who relish scenes of stealth and swashbuckling.
—Wall Street Journal

Meet the Author

Scott Nash has illustrated more than forty children's books, and now - inspired by his childhood readings of classics like Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe, his lifelong love of bird-watching, and an urge to take on a new challenge - he has created his most ambitious project to date, his first novel and his first foray into an entirely new and technically precise style of artwork. He lives in Peaks Island, Maine.

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The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi" he moewed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This clan is seriously inactive..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cloudspots of Lightclan died from a bad cough. Please make sure she makes it here safely. Hawkfyre and couple others say she should go to the dark forest, even though she was always a good clanmate. Thanks. Bluestar of Lightclan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She dozed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hiya....i'm not gonna rp this cat for a couple of days. Busy irl and csnt keep trak of all rps. So im gonna come back laer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I meant go to High Sky result 5. Its about a cake.
beanandbear More than 1 year ago
My daughter and I are thoroughly enjoying the suspense and adventure of this book. It is intended for slightly older readers (9 and up) with a few darker scenes and an impressive vocabulary, but is providing a great challenge for her and I look forward to reading it with her every night. The characters are interesting and colorful, fun to imagine and match up with Scott Nash's pen and ink illustrations, and the dialogue is fun to read. I highly recommend it for readers who love adventure stories--or who may not realize yet how fun adventure stories can be!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good so suspensful. Just lost a molar
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its good ive got the hard cover book of it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Captain Blue Jay has a hearty pirate crew, a sturdy ship named the Grosbeak, and, curiously, an egg collecting hobby. Birds all around claim he is the most bloodthirsty and fearsome of pirates, and especially so because of his cannibalism of eggs. However, he only collects eggs like he does treasure; he doesn’t eat them, he just enjoys the different colors and textures of them. This adventure begins with Junco , the ship’s navigator, hatching the largest egg the captain has ever brought on board, even though she is threatened with treason for abandoning her post to do so! The hatching turns out to be a rare gosling, a Branta goose. They name him Gabriel. Being the giant bird that he is—and eating a lot of food, things seem awkward with Gabriel on board until the fateful day when the crew runs up against the evil, pirate crow Captain Teach. Captain Blue Jay, who really isn’t a terrible pirate he’s rumored to be, and his kind and devoted crew find themselves shipwrecked in a tree and in a face to face fight for their life! This story takes place in an interesting world, filled with good and evil, fisher cats, moles, sparrows, and crows. Gabriel needs to learn to fly and to find the courage to help his family of pirates. This is a great story for fans of pirate novels, and it’s filled with wonderful drawings and exciting adventure!