Hook's Revenge (Hook's Revenge #1)

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
1763 0
Hook's Revenge (Hook's Revenge #1)
Author(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
September 16, 2014
ISBN
9781423198673
Buy This Book
      
Captain Hook's feisty daughter hits the high seas to avenge her father's death at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile in Heidi Schulz's spirited middle-grade debut. Twelve-year-old Jocelyn dreams of becoming every bit as daring as her infamous father, Captain James Hook. Her grandfather, on the other hand, intends to see her starched and pressed into a fine society lady. When she's sent to Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecomb's Finishing School for Young Ladies, Jocelyn's hopes of following in her father's fearsome footsteps are lost in a heap of dance lessons, white gloves, and way too much pink. So when Jocelyn receives a letter from her father challenging her to avenge his untimely demise at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, she doesn't hesitate-here at last is the adventure she has been waiting for. But Jocelyn finds that being a pirate is a bit more difficult than she'd bargained for. As if attempting to defeat the Neverland's most fearsome beast isn't enough to deal with, she's tasked with captaining a crew of woefully untrained pirates, outwitting cannibals wild for English cuisine, and rescuing her best friend from a certain pack of lost children, not to mention that pesky Peter Pan who keeps barging in uninvited. The crocodile's clock is always ticking in Heidi Schulz's debut novel, a story told by an irascible narrator who is both dazzlingly witty and sharp as a sword. Will Jocelyn find the courage to beat the incessant monster before time runs out?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Girls Can Be Pirates Too, Obvs
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
What Left Me Wanting More:
Let’s get the detraction out of the way first. Last year at BEA, I got a copy of Caroline Carlson’s Magic Marks the Spot and absolutely loved it. That book is about a girl who wants to be a pirate, even though the pirate league doesn’t allow girls and her father expects more feminine behavior from his heir. She is sent to a finishing school for ladies, but escapes to be a pirate. The first half of Hook’s Revenge is practically identical, adding in the difference that Jocelyn’s father is a pirate (Captain Hook) and her grandfather is the one who sends her to finishing school. Though I don’t think these similarities are nefarious, they did keep me from being as impressed with Hook’s Revenge as I otherwise might have been. I’m sure that by the time Magic Marks the Spot came out, Schulz was already well into writing Hook’s Revenge. It’s just one of those odd coincidences. I do think both are fantastic middle grades, so I suspect readers will prefer whichever one they happen to read first.

What I Liked:
Schulz makes use of a framing device, wherein the narrator of Hook’s Revenge is an irascible old pirate. Generally, I’m not one for such framing techniques, preferring to get the story more directly. Think, for example, of the horrible framing in Wuthering Heights. In this case, though, I found the conceit amusing. This poor old pirate is forced to speak to obnoxious children, aka the reader, about Jocelyn Hook’s adventures. No one who knows me is shocked that I enjoyed the pirate’s insults of kids, and I imagine young readers appreciate them as well. Plus, it’s pretty powerful that this pirate was won over by Jocelyn, despite the unfortunate fact of her being a child.

Hook’s Revenge truly is a funny read and a fun take on Peter Pan. It’s refreshing to throw a girl like Jocelyn into a story that is so boy-focused as Peter Pan. Yes, Wendy and Tiger Lily and Tinkerbell are all around, but two of them essentially work for the boys in one capacity or another. Jocelyn has much more agency and dreams of a non-traditional gender role. That’s actually one of my favorite things in fiction, particularly middle grade. I love when authors show that it’s totally cool for kids to enjoy activities that historically were not deemed acceptable for their gender. This is how minds are opened.

“I have been the headmistress of this school for nearly three decades. In that time many a young lady has appeared at my door, unrefined in either manners, appearance, or both. Not once have I failed to turn the girl into a lady worthy of her class and distinction. No exceptions.”

Miss Eliza stood a moment longer, silently appraising the girl.

“You may go now. I expect you are feeling tired from your journey.

Jocelyn gave Miss Eliza her most irksome smile and replied, “Actually, I’m feeling rather exceptional,” then turned heel and followed the chambermaid to her room, taking care to scuff her shoes on the polishes wood floor the whole way.

Quotes like this one are why I enjoyed Hook’s Revenge. There’s a lot of clever repartee. Not to mention the fact that Jocelyn is sassy as can be. She will defend her right to be who she is until her last breath, which is basically what Hook’s Revenge is about. Don’t let people put you in a box if your dream is to be on a pirate ship.

The plot is fairly episodic in nature, though with the overarching goal of becoming a pirate and obtaining Hook’s revenge on the crocodile. Along the way, Jocelyn will encounter many of the real world’s and Neverland’s dangers. She tackles each one with her adventurous spirit and clever mind. The lessons are good ones and delivered in an entertaining fashion. I think I enjoyed best the interactions, rather than the actual adventures, but that’s probably just me.

The Final Verdict:
Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz is cute and funny, an adventure for those looking for humor or who dream of the pirate life. You might, however, need to pick your poison: Magic Marks the Spot or Hook’s Revenge.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"more forgetting time. more midnight dances with yourself."...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
It’s been years since eighteen-year-old Becca Hart believed in true...
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Members of the secret mermaid community have learned to trust...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In a world where single combat determines the fate of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In a world where single combat determines the fate of...
Ashes (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #3)
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
"The truth was, I wasn’t on anyone’s side except Claire’s....
Fire (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #2)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After being killed by demons, former angel Adam wakes up...
Spark (The Wings Trilogy: Adam, #1)
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
"It came out of nowhere. A sweep of emotions. Love,...
The Twin
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
After their parents divorced, 10-year-old twins Ivy and Iris were...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain sight...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo, a...

Latest Member Reviews

Jonny Lambert's Construction Site
 
5.0
"JONNY LAMBERT'S CONSTRUCTION SITE tells the story of how a house is made, with a focus on the many trucks..."
 
5.0
" This book doesn't meet the expectations of most kid's books about the ocean with their bright and..."
 
5.0
" John Glenn is unlike any other public figure before or after him. His story isn't simply a..."
 
5.0
"The first time my niece saw me do a yoga video, she was obsessed. She's five years old and it..."
 
5.0
"We all know crafting stuff can be expensive and when it comes to kid's crafts, it creates more waste than..."
Cub
 
5.0
"Cindy finds that middle school in the early 1970s is fairly stressful-- all the cool girls are wearing elephant bells..."
The Story of Inventions
 
3.0
"THE STORY OF INVENTIONS is a simple, accessible introduction to some of the breakthroughs that have shaped the world across..."
Paint by Sticker Kids: Christmas
 
5.0
"PAINT BY STICKER KIDS: CHRISTMAS is a fun activity book for elementary-aged children (and maybe older toddlers). The book features..."
Baby, Find the Shapes! (Indestructibles)
 
4.7
"BABY, FIND THE SHAPES! is a fun addition to the Indestructibles book series. The best feature of this book is..."
Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis' Fleet-of-Foot Girl
 
4.3
"Born in 1927, Althea Gibson experienced the racial and gender disparities that were prevalent at the time, but were in..."
Welcome to Jazz: A Swing-Along Celebration of America’s Music, Featuring “When the Saints Go Marching In”
 
5.0
"WELCOME TO JAZZ is a truly delightful and entertaining children's book. The book teaches about jazz in terms of history,..."
National Geographic Student World Atlas
 
5.0
" A wonderful representation of the world for teaching kids to love the earth they live on. With bright,..."
Ralph Masiello's Alien Drawing Book
 
4.7
"A cute way for kids to learn how to draw. This book takes kids through a step by..."
Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind
 
5.0
"This is a must read book that shows the lives of Japanese American children who ended up being taken from..."
Cub
Cub
 
5.0
"Cindy finds that middle school in the early 1970s is fairly stressful-- all the cool girls are wearing elephant bells..."
Close Calls: How Eleven US Presidents Escaped from the Brink of Death
 
5.0
"There was a recent Jeopardy! champion who apparently got himself up to speed on many areas of knowledge by reading..."
All You Need Is a Pencil: The Totally Sick Sick-Day Activity Book
 
5.0
"THE TOTALLY SICK SICK-DAY ACTIVITY BOOK is exactly what the title describes. There are crossword puzzles, places to doodle, word..."
Animazes
 
5.0
"ANIMAZES shows the migration patterns of fourteen different creatures. It shows that there are several different paths these creatures can..."
Baby Loves the Five Senses: Hearing!
 
4.7
"BABY LOVES THE FIVE SENSES: HEARING teaches everything you need to know about how hearing, the ears, and sound all..."
Hard Work, but It's Worth It: The Life of Jimmy Carter
 
5.0
"Before reading this, I didn't know much about Jimmy Carter except that he had been one of the presidents. I..."