Reviews for Pirate Captain's Daughter

Booklist Reviews 2011 February #2
After her mother's death, 15-year-old Catherine declares that she wants to disguise herself as a boy and join her father, the captain of a pirate ship, on his next voyage. He agrees reluctantly, warning that "a female on a ship can only be disaster." Though there are villains aboard, Catherine (now called Charlie) finds friends as well, and she falls into the rhythm of shipboard life. When her secret is discovered, though, disaster strikes again and again. The first-person narrative reads smoothly. A subplot of hidden treasure runs through the story, motivating the best and worst in the men aboard the ship. Readers looking for rollicking pirate adventures may want to look elsewhere, for though Catherine finds adventure and romance aboard the ship, the story's frequently dark tone is more in keeping with realistic piracy than the cheerful, choreographed swashbuckling familiar to moviegoers. Still, this historical novel delivers action, intrigue, and mild romance while hinting that a sequel may follow. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
Following her mother's death, Catherine joins her father's pirate crew, facing the brutality of pirate life disguised as a boy. After her father is killed, Catherine's identity is revealed, and the wicked crewmen dump her on a desert island. The story offers few surprises, but pirate fans may enjoy the tale's lingo in addition to the pillaging-and-plundering action. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 January #2
After her mother's death, 15-year-old Catherine's pirate-captain father allows her to cut her hair and pretend to be his son in order to join the crew of his ship. Once readers suspend their disbelief about this, they will find that the plot quickly kicks into high gear. While barely maintaining her disguise, Catherine discovers a plan to steal a valuable gemstone from her father. Though it jeopardizes her secret, Catherine falls for the cabin boy, William. Having a girl onboard violates the pirate Code and spells bad fortune to the superstitious crew, imperiling all who participate in her charade. Two particularly evil sailors provide a constant menace. Brief, easily read chapters permit only superficial character development in this plot-driven, first-person narrative. Ample gritty details abound, though: Weevil-studded hardtack, a deck alive with roaches and vulgar, scheming crew members provide a sharp contrast to Catherine's naive adventure. A salty tang pervades this fast-paced pirate yarn, which provides a sometimes swashbuckling—but more often believably disgusting—perilous cruise across the high seas. (Historical fiction. 11-15) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 January #4

After her mother dies, 15-year-old Catherine is determined to join her father, a pirate captain, on the high seas. She romanticizes his secret life and yearns for adventure (having been cooped up for most of her life), but Catherine is in for a rude awakening. With her father's help, Catherine goes aboard the Reprisal ("The shining, sleek shape of her. The way she seemed to lean forward, headed for adventure and ports unknown," swoons Catherine) disguised as a boy. While headstrong Catherine is capable of holding her own, challenges remain: the men are coarse, she falls for William (the ship's cook), and the constant threat of being found out hangs over her head. Additionally, the creepiest pirate, Herc, is after a mysterious object her father possesses. While Bunting's story and characters may seem tame to readers who have grown up with the over-the-top portrayals of pirate life in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, the book is fast-paced and offers sufficient action, intrigue, and romance to hold interest. There are several scenes of violence, but they are not gratuitous. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 March

Gr 6-8--When 15-year-old Catherine's mother dies, she cajoles her father, a pirate ship's captain, to take her along on his impending three-month voyage. In exchange, she promises to live as a boy and never reveal her true gender (bad luck on a pirate ship). She immediately feels threatened by the roguish crew, especially when she learns that two of the shadier characters are after a treasure her father has hidden in their home. The 15-year-old cabin boy, Will, who learns her secret, tries in vain to protect her from the bullying and threats of the most menacing pirates. But bad weather, bad luck, treachery, and tragedy arrive together and create a life-and-death dilemma for Catherine and Will. After they are marooned on an island, their growing love keeps them hopeful for a chance at life together if they are lucky enough to be rescued. Bunting's pirates have every known stereotype including a peg leg, an eye patch, and a pet parrot (there is even an Arrgh! thrown in), and the vernacular in the dialogue is straight from a Popeye cartoon. But the pacing and the coming-of-age angst keep the story skipping along to a satisfying, if predictable ending. Chapter titles featuring the Jolly Roger hovering over Blackadder script are a nice touch.--Karen Elliott, Grafton High School, WI

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VOYA Reviews 2011 June
Bunting has a skill for crafting historical fiction with magnetic and inspiring characters. The Pirate Captain's Daughter is no exception. Fifteen-year-old Catherine is very familiar with being on her own. For the past few years, she has been caring for her ill mother while her father has been on long trips at sea. Catherine suspects that her father is a pirate captain from the looks of his clothing and associates when he returns home for visits. When her mother passes away, rather than be sent away to live with her aunt, she begs her father to take her with him on the next voyage of his ship, The Reprisal. In order for him to do so, she must pretend to be his son, as females are thought to bring bad luck to the ship. She soon discovers that pirate life is bloody and violent, and there are certain members of the crew who are conspiring against her father. Catherine is tested both physically and mentally as she tries to protect herself and her father. There is an element of romance when she meets William, a young crew member. She must struggle with concealing her identity while still maintaining her composure as his peer The ending is a bit too neat and predictable, but, despite that flaw, this is a gripping and entertaining novel that will have readers sucked in until the last page. Even teens who are not fond of historical fiction will enjoy The Pirate Captain's Daughter.--Victoria Vogel $8.95 Trade pb. ISBN 978-1-58536-525-8. 4Q 4P M J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.