Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Whydah by Martin W. Sandler - ADVISABLE

Sandler, Martin W. The Whydah : A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked & Found, 176 pages. NON-FICTION. Candlewick Press, 2017. $20. Language: PG (2 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (discussion of amputations and wounds).

In the early 1700s, a pirate named Black Sam Bellamy “traded up” to a slave ship called the Whydah.  It was a huge pirate ship, with room for lots of men and lots of booty.  It was a fast ship, heavily armed  and easy to maneuver, so it made pirating (attacking other ships and stealing their stuff) profitable. They plundered as many as 4 ships in a day.   Besides telling the story of Bellamy and The Whydah, the reader is educated on the history of pirates, the rules of piracy (called The Articles of Agreement), and jobs on a pirate ship - did you know they had musicians who played aggressive sounding music during battles, to frighten the opponents and urge on the pirates?  The Whydah sank and was lost under the ocean off Cape Cod for over 200 years, until it was discovered again in 1984.  The final chapters tell of the discovery/recovery process, and the technology used to find the wreck.  

I loved all the information about pirates!  This was so fun to read, and kids who are Pirates of the Caribbean fans will eat this up.  The format had some major issues for me.  I felt the historical sections, slipped in when it was happening in the story, broke up the text too much.  I found them very informative, but the placement was weird.  Also, the period maps were difficult to read - maybe it’s my old eyes but there was so much tiny text in them they weren’t all that helpful except in a general sense.  Full of drawings, pictures and maps, this well documented resource includes a long bibliography and an index.

MS, HS - ADVISABLE  Lisa Librarian

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