Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
Piracy & Plunder: A Murderous Business

Piracy & Plunder: A Murderous Business

Fall 2001 Non-Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Milton Meltzer
Illustrator: Bruce Waldman
ISBN: 0525458573
Hardcover Price: $24.99
Edward Every is rumored to have offered to pay off Great Britain's national debt in exchange for a pardon -- he was a pirate and one of the richest men of the day. Piracy is one of the world's oldest professions, and Milton Meltzer traces its history without romanticizing it. Bruce Waldman's bold illustrations in somber colors, which are markedly different from the familiar Wyeth illustrations of Long John Silver and his cohorts, complement the text. Female pirates Ching Shih, Grace O'Malley, and Ann Bonny are discussed. The distinction between pirates and privateers, blurred though it might be in actuality, is described. Make no mistake, these were cruel people in a cruel business; Meltzer's mention of rape, torture, murder, slave trading, and other savageries might be too intense for some readers in the suggested age group. That caution aside, Meltzer provides the reader with a riveting look at a business that thrives to this day.
Mike Brown   ©2001 Parents' Choice

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