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Children's LiteratureWho would believe that two ships full of mean and rotten pirates would actually save a baby? It happened here, in Violet and the Mean and Rotten Pirates. A baby girl is saved by pirates after her parents and the other passengers in her boat walk the plank. The captain of these pirates claims to be the meanest man in the seas. He definitely does not feel that babies belong on his ship. Neither does he feel that toddlers belong on his ship, but he never does take Violet back to shore. After many years of living aboard, Violet lives the ways of a pirate. She dresses, talks, and acts like one. Finally, the captain accepts her and grows to love her. He cares so much that he finally retires and discovers that being a pirate is not all that he is good for, and Violet finds a place in society. How silly can an author get? Richard Hamilton takes the cake in this book—who would believe that a bunch of pirates would kill everyone on a boat except a baby? Then go on to have another ship of pirates save the baby? This story has a slow beginning, but young readers need to keep reading, for the story picks up and delivers a terrific ending. 2003, Bloomsbury Books, Ages 8 to 10.
— Julia Beiker