Is the life of a pirate one for you? Then head to London’s V&A Museum of Childhood to see their exhibition on all things pirate. A Pirate’s life for Me is based on fictional pirates found in books, comics, games and toys. The exhibition looks at pirates from books such as Long John Silver from Treasure Island and Captain Hook from Peter Pan. There are short animations, mystery treasure maps, a Lego Pirate ship, a pirate ship you can explore, a tropical island, piratical items from 300 years ago and information about the golden age of pirates when they really were the scourge of the seas.
So haul up the mainsail, pull up your anchor and walk the plank to the V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London. The exhibition runs from 20 October 2018 to 22 April 2019. Admission free.
We have scoured the seven seas to make our own list of books where pirates sail the seas and X marks the spot!
The Secret Pirate (Swahbuckle Lil: The Secret Pirate) – Elli Woollard (Author) & Laura Ellen Anderson (Illustrator)
Recommended reading age: 5+
Lil is a pirate, a good sort of pirate, and when there is someone to save,
she’ll do what is right (if it takes her all night). Yes, she’ll always be bold and be brave.
When evil pirate Stinkbeard tries to kidnap Lil’s teacher, it’s up to schoolgirl and secret pirate, Lil, to come to the rescue. In story two it’s sports day, but there’s a very hungry croc on the loose. Can Lil and her trusty parrot, Carrot, scare Stinkbeard and his pet croc away?
Swashbuckle Lil: The Secret Pirate, by author Elli Woollard and illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson, is the first in an exciting series with two rip-roaringly rhyming, brilliantly illustrated stories in each book which make the perfect transition from parent-led to independent reading.
Pirate Diary (Diary Histories) – Richard Platt (Author) and Chris Riddell (Illustrator)
Recommended reading age: 7+
The twenty-third of September, 1716. I write this on my last day at home. Tomorrow I am to join my Uncle Will aboard his ship and become A SAILOR. Will has told me of sea monsters and mermaids and has sailed through a hurricane. Maybe I shall see these things FOR MYSELF! Nine-year-old Jake Carpenter does indeed see all this – and more, when his ship, the Greyhound, is captured by pirates and he discovers the thrills and perils of life at sea as he embarks on an exciting new life on the wrong side of the law.
Skeleton Island: Book 1 (Sam Silver: Undercover Pirate) – Jan Burchett (Author), Sara Vogler (Author) & Leo Hartas (Illustrator)
Recommended reading age: 7+
How to become an Undercover Pirate…
1) Have a pirate captain as your ancient ancestor
2) Find a message in a bottle and a magic gold doubloon
3) Get whisked back in time to join a pirate crew
4) When you get home DON’T TELL ANYONE. Remember – you’re undercover!
Sam Silver lives near the sea and enjoys beach-combing for pirate treasures. When he finds an ancient message in a bottle he thinks it will make a great new relic for his collection, but the bottle holds a very special secret…
Inside is a gold doubloon which whisks Sam back in time to 1706. Suddenly he’s on board a pirate ship – the Sea Wolf – surrounded by her fearsome captain and crew and sailing the Caribbean Sea. If Sam can’t think of a very good reason why they should keep him alive, he’ll be forced to walk the plank!
Race to the Bottom of the Sea -Lindsay Eager
Recommended reading age: 9+
Can a clever young inventor uncover a ruthless pirate’s heart of gold? Thrilling sea adventure takes on a hint of steampunk in the second book by the author of the acclaimed Hour of the Bees.
When her parents, the great marine scientists Dr. and Dr. Quail, are killed in a tragic accident, eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail is racked by grief — and guilt. It was a submarine of Fidelia’s invention that her parents were in when they died, and it was she who pressed them to stay out longer when the raging Undertow was looming. But Fidelia is forced out of her mourning when she’s kidnapped by Merrick the Monstrous, a pirate whose list of treasons stretches longer than a ribbon eel. Her task? Use her marine know-how to retrieve his treasure, lost on the ocean floor. But as Fidelia and the pirates close in on the prize, with the navy hot on their heels, she realizes that Merrick doesn’t expect to live long enough to enjoy his loot. Could something other than black-hearted greed be driving him? Will Fidelia be able to master the perils of the ocean without her parents — and piece together the mystery of Merrick the Monstrous before it’s too late?
The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate – Scott Nash
Recommended reading age: 9+
Hoist the Jolly Robin! Fly with a swashbuckling crew as they soar through the air in search of treasure and lofty adventure.
Captain Blue Jay, notorious and feared pirate of the skies, has a fondness for collecting treasure, especially eggs. Unfortunately, sometimes his treasure hatches: and this time the hatchling is the strangest one the Grosbeak has ever seen. Whether the chick is a young god or just an oversized bird who needs too much food, no sailor is certain. But one thing is clear: the winds over Thrushland are shifting, and dramatic changes are in store for all. Whether outwitting a gang of thieving crows, outrunning murderous weasels or rallying Briarloch’s beleaguered sparrows, this motley crew must do all they can to stay together … and stay alive.