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Grade 2-5–Ahoy, Mateys! The publisher of Dugald A. Steer's Egyptology (2004), Ernest Drake's Dragonology (2003), and Master Merlin's Wizardology (2005, all Candlewick) offers up myriad facts and stories about piratica. Written as the ship's log of a fictitious pirate hunter in the early 18th century, this lavish, oversize volume chronicles his efforts to track down the notorious Arabella Drummond. Through entries that span nearly three years, Captain William Lubber reveals tidbits of information on such topics as ocean navigation, tying sailor's knots, weaponry, battle tactics, and the Jolly Roger. Spreads made to look like worn parchment are chock-full of sidebars, maps to unfold, packets of gold dust to examine, and various artistic renderings of notorious real-life pirates. As the tale grows, the elusive pirate, her dogged hunter, and readers travel the globe, reaching destinations such as China, Madagascar, and Nova Scotia. Quick facts about each place as well as the local pirate scene are included, but the primary focus is on the Caribbean-based pirate. The format invites exploration and is perfect for reluctant readers. Young pirate enthusiasts will find plenty here to keep them engaged, but may well desire further sources for more in-depth information. Pair this title with J. Patrick Lewis's Blackbeard: The Pirate King (National Geographic, 2006), Richard Platt's Pirate Diary (Candlewick, 2001), or Moira Butterfield's Pirates and Smugglers (Kingfisher, 2005). A strong addition to most collections.–Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
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Similar in format to Matthews' Pirates (2006), this large tome professes to be the journal of Captain William Lubber, an early-eighteenth-century pirate hunter. Lubber unfolds the story of Arabella Drummond as he chases her ship around the world. Besides his notes and reflections, the large parchmentlike pages are filled, scrapbook style, with pictures of various pirates and ships, maps of islands, and information on topics such as navigational charts, pirate flags, and sailors' knots. Several artists contribute a profusion of handsome illustrations, including maps, shaded pencil drawings with a period look, and colored-pencil drawings of pirates in action. Many double-page spreads include an interactive element. With a compass set into the front of the book and a large red jewel set into the back, this has tactile appeal as well as plenty of information for vicarious buccaneers. Earlier volumes in the series include Dragonology (2003) and Wizardology(2005). Carolyn Phelan
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