Friday, January 6, 2017

The Jolley-Rogers and the Ghostly Galleon

By Jonny Duddle
Templar Books, 2016.  Intermediate. 137 p.

Matilda lives in a seaboard town named Dull-on-Sea.  But lately, it's been anything but dull.  Every time there's a full moon, a spooky pirate ship comes to port, and the town's treasures are stolen during the night.  Matilda sends a message in a bottle to her best (pirate) friend, Jim Lad, and he and his family sail into town to help solve the ghostly mystery.  This is a great transitional book for lads who love scurvy pirates and swashbuckling adventure!

Intermediates can tend toward the formulaic, but Dudley has hit on something here.  Having a male/female protagonist duo provides expanded kid appeal (think Jack and Annie from Magic Treehouse), and the illustrations are fantastic.  There's also some solid vocabulary--not too hard, but difficult enough to keep it interesting.  Even better, books two and three are already on the shelves!

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