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Women of the Sea: Ten Pirate Stories

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Little boys playing make-believe have pretended to be pirates ever since pirates roamed the Atlantic. They had sword fights and fired cannons while little girls just watched from the sidelines. Things will change after reading this book. The ten women profiled were successful pirates from all over the world. They were not just wives of pirates who backed their men up, but women who led men into battle and dictated what happened with the plunder. One of the cruelest pirates ever was Maria Cobham. She and her husband followed a "no survivors" policy and killed every sailor on every ship they captured. Profit was not the only motive; she and her husband once took over a ship because the mood hit them. Yes, this is a violent book. While the descriptions are not graphic, you cannot get away from the violence of piracy. Despite this, these are fascinating people. They were women who lived in a time when female independence was nonexistent. The book is not visually interesting and poor readers probably will not stick with it unless they have prior interest in the subject. Other readers, especially girls, will enjoy it. 2006, Morgan Reynolds, Ages 12 to 18.
—Heather Robertson
VOYA - Cynthia Winfield
These two short biographies from the Women Adventurers series, which address sixteenth- to twentieth-century female pirates and female aviators dating as far back as 1903, engage and invigorate readers interested in avant-garde women's tales of derring-do. Historical time lines following pirate's stories set the stage of world history, while maps excite readers' adventurous spirits and paintings of full-sailed ships evoke the dangers of the seas. Source quotes with archaic language call forth the times of each setting. Every pirate's story compels page-turning immersion sure to engross reluctant readers, and Web sites listed in the back matter offer such gems as pirate maps and flags, as well as audio and video clips related to pirating, including a clip about teenage pirates in Blackbeard's day and lessons in how to "talk like a pirate." Among the women profiled are Alfhild, Grace O'Malley, Lady Killigrew, Maria Cobham, and Mary Read. Likewise, the aviatrixes' stories are each accompanied by time lines of the women's lives, and old photographs depict the actual women pilots. Biplanes, open-air cockpits, and women wearing trailing scarves and panted flying suits provoke reader excitement. Web sites promote women in aviation and flight in general. In addition to Amelia Earhart, the book includes eight more compelling biographies of Ruth Nichols, Louise Thaden, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and Jacqueline Cochran, among others. These well-written and well-documented titles are worthy of classrooms studying women, adventurers, biographies, pirating, or aviation, and should be in libraries serving teen and young adult readers. A third book in this series profiles botanist Ynes Mexia.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This is essentially a reissue of the author's Women Pirates: Eight Stories of Adventure (Morgan Reynolds, 1998). Two additional pirates, Lady Killigrew and Lai Choi San, have been added, as have source notes that were lacking in the previous edition. Alternative names are not mentioned, so someone seeking information on Alwilda may not suspect Alfhild is the same person, or that Cheng I Sao is also known as Ching Yih Saou and Ching Shih. A distinct improvement is the use of spot color and colorized images. New visuals include line drawings, maps, and details from paintings, and time lines have been added. Unfortunately, most of them are too brief to give a sense of the women's lives in the context of their eras. Appendixes include an extensive bibliography and a short list of childish Web sites for pirate enthusiasts. An inherently interesting subject for collections that don't have the earlier book.-Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931798808
  • Publisher: Morgan Reynolds Pub
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Series: Women Adventurers Ser.
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 11 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.55 (d)

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