It's We Recommend, in which we do our very best to solve book-related quandaries, needs, and other miscellany, and then turn them over to you, the readers, who really solve them. Need help finding the right book? E-mail us with some information about your reader, likes and dislikes, and anything else, and we'll do our best. Now, on to our challenge!
You want a specific request? I'll give you a specific request. Read on, for our latest book-lover's challenge.
My eight-year-old son, who's just finished third grade and is an enthusiastic reader, is aching to find a pirate book. A very specific kind of pirate book, which will be funny and full of fighting and probably monsters and treasure, or at least great swashbuckling adventures. Think 'Pirates of the Caribbean' in book form for elementary schoolers. The school librarian gave him The Giant Rat of Sumatra, which he read some of and then put aside, complaining it didn't have enough fighting, and a friend lent him The Pirates' Mixed-Up Voyage, which he hasn't started yet, but which I have been informed is very funny but completely without fighting, so while he'll doubtless enjoy it, I don't think it will quite satisfy this yen. I'm thinking of trying Peter and the Starcatchers on him, but I think the length might intimidate him, although we might try it as a read-aloud. Some great (non-pirate) hits for him this past year have been the Bunnicula books, a couple of Roald Dahl titles, and the Geronimo Stilton books.
OK: funny, fighting pirates. Let's see.
I must admit that at first I was stumped. I just haven't swum deeply in the pirate waters. Luckily, I have a team of readers here, and they were all ready to help. Chestnut hoped against hope that The Pirates of Penzance was a book, but alas it is (as far as I know) only an operetta. Diana suggested the fourth book of Keys to the Kingdom series, which is probably far too sophisticated for an 8-year-old, despite his sophistication as a reader. But it was my husband who said immediately, The Wonderful O.
Note the pirates on the cover. Note the funniness.
It's got it all, he promises (though he admits that it may be a bit light on the fighting). He also puts in a plug for Treasure Island, which he admits might be too much for him to read himself, but is eminently read-aloudable (Oh Lord, forgive my neologisms).
But readers, surely there is someone out there who knows of a book that features a fighting, funny pirate that an 8-year-old would want to read? Leave your suggestions in the comments.