Privateer's Apprentice

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3.0 (2)
 
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Privateer's Apprentice
Author(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
September 01, 2012
ISBN
9781561456338
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From Charles Towne, Carolina Territory, in 1712, thirteen-year-old Jameson Cooper, orphaned and indigent, is abducted by privateers working for Queen Anne, but proves himself worthy to be called a royal sailor through his writing and drawing skills, as well as his hard work and courage.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

This is one of those books I wish more people knew about
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Privateer themed books can so easily go the way of the ridiculous and over the top. Not so with Privateer’s Apprentice. As surprising as it is authentic, young Jameson’s story reaches out to grab the reader and pull them along on his exciting and sometimes harrowing adventure.

The cover and book description didn’t quite prepare me for the kind of book this is, so I let it sit on my TBR shelf a little longer than I would have had I known more what to expect. From this type of cover, I expected the voice of the novel to skew much younger than it actually does. And at a glance, it struck me as more of an educational, dry kind of historical fiction. I’m happy to say I was quite wrong but I do wish this book had a more exciting cover to really convey the story and genre more clearly to casual browsers.

Readers of all ages will enjoy this classic adventure tale set in the New World and the excitement of the Age of Exploration. Young Jameson has lived most of his twelve years in Charles Towne of the Carolina territory. Proud of his father’s trade as a printer, he fully expects to take over his father’s thriving business one day. Tragically, Jameson loses his family to illness and is left without means. After a series of terrible events leaves him among the most wretched of Charles Towne, Jameson finds himself on a ship sailing for Florida. To save himself, he must convince the men aboard Destiny that he is sixteen years old and can do the job of a full grown man. Captain Jack gives him the chance to prove himself Jameson rises to the challenge.

A realistic and historically accurate adventure, readers will enjoy a main character they can both identify with and aspire to be. Verrico offers up exciting descriptions of life aboard a British ship in her Majesty’s service, allowing her readers to experience battles at sea, frightening storms, secret islands, and concealed caves. An excellent book for young readers or for reading as a family. Children and parents alike will fall in love with Jameson’s story and they'll be begging the author for a sequel.
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Weevils on the High Seas
Overall rating 
 
2.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
2.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Jameson's parents mother and printer father die in the early 1700s, and after a bit of living rough he is auctioned off for stealing bread. The baker who ran him in purchases him as a helper in the bakery. At least there Jameson has food and clothing, but he is soon taken off the street by sailors from a privateering ship. The ship, under the command of the infamous Attack Jack, is in the service of Queen Anne, working to map the New World so that England can claim territory there. Life on board a ship during this time was unpleasant, and the book is filled with details of weevils in the flour, horrible wounds, and storms at sea. Despite having been press ganged onto the ship, Jameson eventually makes friends with the other sailors and ends up being a valuable crew member.


Good Points
I just had an 8th grade history class assigned to read a book set during this time period, and this would be a good one, since one of the assignments is to discuss events in the book and research what was really happening at the time. The life of a sailor was pretty gross, and middle school students love that sort of thing. This was a serviceable story set during this time period.
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