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Author: Amanda Litz

Illustrator: Jamie Pogue

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Publisher: Traveler's Trunk Publishing,

Material: paperback

Summary: Jacob and Sierra were thrilled to finally arrive at Great Grandma Addy's house. It is such a long drive, and it has been a long time since they saw their cousin Brent. As soon as they got together, they ran to hear one of Grandma Addy's stories. She told them about a great pirate adventure, and, when she was finished, sent them off to play. Up in the attic they found an old trunk filled with just what they needed to create their own pirate adventure. Just as they were closing their eyes to imagine how the story would unfold, they heard real pirates talking. What happened? How did they get here? Now the real adventure begins. This is an adventure series for transitional readers.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 10 to 13

Interest Level: 6 to 12

Reading Level: 5.8

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is an enjoyable story and kids will instantly connect with the idea of being "dropped" into a real adventure. The story builds slowly, offering the reader a chance to meet the characters and explore the attic; this part of the book makes everything seem real/authentic. Once the pirate adventure begins, the story is rushed, with the events happening too fast with too many gaps in logic. The Mad-Lib type fill-in for creating your own adventure will be lots of fun for kids.

Pros: Kids will wish they could visit Grandma Addy's attic and fall into real adventures. Short chapters and lots of action will keep them turning the pages.

Cons: The story gets choppy about halfway through, and where the kids seem like "real" kids, the pirates are stereotypical caricatures (including their names) and the events predictable.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Kids will enjoy the adventure.

If You Liked This Book, Try: PIRATE GOLD (The Three Pirates, #1) (Three Pirates Series)   ALEX AND THE IRONIC GENTLEMAN   OLIVE'S PIRATE PARTY

Educational Themes: This is a fantasy story that can easily be the foundation of having kids write their own adventures. For newer writers or kids who aren't particularly creative, the author has an outline that kids can use to write their own story. She identifies three key parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective) that can be especially useful in elementary language arts.

Notes: The author donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub. This is an unsolicited donation. The Reading Tub reviewed the book in conjunction with an Author Showcase feature.

Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, fantasy, middle grade series, pirates, grandparents

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2009

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