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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: Jem Fitzgerald hated boarding school. When his uncle invited him to go on a treasure hunt, it was a no brainer. Except it was boring. Uncle Finn was always trying to teach him about exotic plants. When pirates kidnap them and throw Uncle Finn overboard, Jem got more adventure than he bargained for. Lucky for him 12-year-old Captain Scarlet McCray was nearby. She rallied her pirate troops and rescued Jem. Lucky for Scarlet, Jem had the treasure map! Together, they set off to find the King Aberhard's treasure. This is the first in a middle grade series about a ship of orphans who are good pirates.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book, dormant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 8 and Up; read yourself: 10 and Up
Interest Level: 9 and Up
Reading Level: 5.2
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: I was hooked by page two! The story is fun and fresh, the characters engaging, and it's pretty wholesome, too. Scarlet and Jem are the main characters, but it is the cast round them that really help them shine.
Pros: Lots of fast-paced action, a motley crew, and some twists and turns make this fun and leave you looking for the next adventure.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a fun read and there are humorous moments you'll want to go back to read when you need a laugh.
Educational Themes: This is a book to read for fun. Scarlet is a great character to talk about. She is a realistic person, with doubts about being a leader, and also having to make tough choices. This would be a great choice for a book club.
Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She received the Advance Reader Copy (ARC) from a friend.
Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, pirates, series
Date(s) Reviewed: January 2013
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.