________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 4. . . .September 27, 2013


Piracy. (Crabtree Chrome).

Lynn Peppas.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2013.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $11.95 (pbk.), $21.56 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-1123-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-1103-2 (RLB.).

Subject Headings:
Maersk Alabama (Ship)-Juvenile literature.
Hijacking of ships-Somalia-Juvenile literature.
Piracy-History-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-7 / Ages 7-12.

Review by Ian Stewart.

*** /4



Modern day pirates do not live at sea on large ships for long periods of time. They use small speed boats with large motors so they can travel quickly. These fast boats help them catch larger ships.

Modern-day pirates hold ships and hostages captive for days, weeks and even months at a time. Pirates threaten to destroy, large expensive ships that hold expensive cargo. They also threaten to kill hostages unless they get their ransom.
(Guided Reading: L)


Piracy, a high interest title designed for reluctant readers, is part of Crabtree’s “Chrome Series” and is meant for grade 4-6 students who are reading at a beginning to middle grade two level (Guided reading levels L & M). Each title in the series is colourfully illustrated and contains captions of important and interesting facts, a bibliography, glossary and index.

     Students expecting the good old days of 17th century pirates will be surprised to find there are no swashbuckling escapades in Piracy which is a factual story of modern pirates and piracy. Today’s pirates, readers learn, find their booty terrorizing and capturing multimillion dollar super-tankers transporting valuable cargos to major ports around the world.

     Piracy tells the exciting story of how, in 2009, Somali pirates attacked the American cargo ship Maersk Alabama as it was sailing off the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean. The crew kept a close watch for pirates because this area of the world is notorious for pirate attacks. However, the heavily armed Somali pirates attacked the ship, climbed aboard and took control of the vessel.

     The crew was able to capture the pirate leader, but the pirates took the captain hostage and demanded $30,000 for his release. It looked like a stalemate; however, the United States Navy ship Bainbridge came to the rescue. In a daring operation involving the highly trained US Navy Seals, the captain was rescued, three of the pirates were killed and the leader was captured and taken to the United States where he was convicted of piracy and kidnapping.

     Young readers will be gripped by this exciting story and will certainly want to learn more about modern pirates, where and why they continue to harass world shipping lanes, and how the seafaring nations of the world, including Canada, attempt to curb their activities.


Ian Stewart is a Reading Recovery teacher at Cecil Rhodes School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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