Cover image for Pirates! : the true and remarkable adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kington, female pirates
Title:
Pirates! : the true and remarkable adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kington, female pirates
Author:
ISBN:
9781582348162
Edition:
1st U.S. ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury, 2003.
Physical Description:
379 p. ; 21 cm.
Reading Level:
800 L Lexile
Genre:
Summary:
In 1722, after arriving with her brother at the family's Jamaican plantation where she is to be married off, sixteen-year-old Nancy Kington escapes with her slave friend, Minerva Sharpe, and together they become pirates traveling the world in search of treasure.
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Summary

Summary

It is the dawn of the eighteenth century, when girls stay home and sew while men sail the high seas finding adventure, danger, and gold. But two unusually adventurous girls-a rich merchant's daughter, Nancy Kington, and her former plantation slave, Minerva Sharpe-take to the high seas from Jamaica on a ship the crew renames Deliverance . Not just any trading ship, the Deliverance flies black flags from its mast, proclaiming to all that the newly named, hijacked ship is a pirate vessel, striking fear into the hearts of those she approaches. Or so they hope.
For Nancy, the Deliverance is her escape from an arranged betrothal to a controlling and devilish man. For Minerva, it is escape from slavery, as well as from the fearsome overseer on Nancy's family plantation. But in the end, the money, the adventure, the companionship, and the chance to see the world not as women, but as bold and daring pirates, is an opportunity neither can ignore.
A powerful, thrilling, and ultimately inspiring journey of two women who break the bonds of gender, race, and position to find their own way to glory.
Recognition
A Book Sense Top Ten Children's Pick A PW Daily Editor's Pick An ALA Best Book for Young Adults A YALSA Top Ten Teen Book An International Reading Association Young Adult Choice VOYA's Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age A Texas Tayshas Reading List Book A Michigan Library Association Teen Services Division "Thumbs Up" Award A Kentucky Bluegrass Awards Reading List Book Nominated for the 2006 Nevada Young Reader's Award in the YA category
Pirates! has been awarded the 2004 Michigan Library Association Teen Services Division Thumbs Up! Award.
The American Library Association chose Pirates! as one of 2004's Best Books for Young Adults. A 15-member committee compiles the list from over 900 submissions. Chosen books meet the criteria of both good literary quality an


Author Notes

Celia Rees is the author of many books for young readers including bestseller Witch Child and Sorceress . Her first book was published in 1993, a thriller for teenagers. She now divides her time between writing, talking to readers in schools and libraries, and teaching creative writing. She gets her inspiration from the world around her: newspaper stories, people she meets, places she visits. Celia lives in Leamington Spa, England with her husband and teenage daughter, Catrin.


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

A wealthy young woman escapes an arranged marriage by posing as a pirate. In a starred review, PW wrote, "Fans of Rees's earlier Witch Child will relish this highly romantic cross-dressing romp on the high seas in the early 18th century." Ages 12-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Horn Book Review

(Middle School, High School) Two eighteenth-century women, one a servant and the other the privileged daughter of a wealthy merchant, leave their petticoats and their prescribed roles behind when they join the crew of a pirate ship and embark on adventure on the high seas. Both are fleeing slavery: one as a Jamaican plantation worker and the other as the prospective wife of an enigmatic and evil plantation owner. Narrator Wiltsie chooses a gravely ladylike voice for Nancy Kington, the matter-of-fact narrator; Minerva Sharpe, Nancy's maid-turned-companion, speaks in slightly deeper tones quickened by a Caribbean lilt. Rees's brisk pacing keeps the plot moving despite the sometimes tangential side trips into historical minutiae. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Gr. 7-10. In eighteenth-century England, teenage Nancy, whose mother died in childbirth, has been groomed for an arranged marriage that will secure her family's fortune, which is in ruins following the death of her father, a sugar merchant and slave trader. When Nancy's brothers secretly broker her marriage to a ruthless Caribbean plantation owner, Nancy travels to her family's estate in Jamaica. As she bonds tightly to two slaves, Phillis and her daughter, Minerva, she confronts the source of her family's wealth for the first time and realizes what slavery really means. Fleeing her would-be husband and the unspeakable inhumanity on the plantation, Nancy escapes the island with Minerva, and together they join the crew of a pirate ship, traveling the seas and sword slinging with the men. Rees ties her sprawling, swashbuckling story together with numerous contrivances, and descriptions of violence on the plantation and on the ship veer into territory that may be too mature for some middle-schoolers. But as in Witch Child (2001), Rees evokes the times with stunning precision, and in Nancy's fierce, period-appropriate voice, she tells a riveting, full-speed adventure filled with girl-powered action, magic, and love, even as it explores the brutality and horror of dark historical times. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2003 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-9-This swashbuckling adventure features all of the elements of a grand pirate tale: sword fights, duels, charming rogues, true love, murder, and the odd severed head. Narrator Nancy Kington joins a pirate crew to escape an arranged marriage to a deliciously evil Brazilian, a former pirate himself. She takes along Minerva, a slave who not too surprisingly turns out to be her half sister. The pirates, in one of many happy coincidences, are captained by Mr. Broom, who had already befriended Nancy on an earlier voyage. Quickly adapting to the life, the two young women survive storms, capture, mutiny, and more. This crew manages to steal with little or no bloodshed, except when the victims are clearly villainous themselves. Nancy comes to relish the excitement of sea life, but still hopes to reunite with the young man she loves, who serves with the British Navy. The narration is well paced and engrossing, giving readers a strong feel for the times without bogging down in details. Nancy describes the practice of slavery and the rights of women perceptively, but fairly convincingly for a 1725 character of her background and experience. The first 100 pages are less exciting than the rest of the book, but they set the stage nicely for the involving exploits that follow. The inevitable showdown with the Brazilian provides a satisfying page-turner of a climax. While a few of the supporting characters seem a bit wooden, and some plot twists stretch credulity, this is a rip-roaring adventure with an engaging female heroine.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

A rambling, romantic 18th-century tale features a teenaged British heiress who, along with her African half-sister, avoids Terrible Fate by becoming a pirate. In the wake of her father's sudden death, Nancy finds herself hustled from comfortable Bristol to the family's Jamaican sugar plantation, where she forms an alliance with Minerva, a strangely attractive body slave. Following the shocking discovery that her thoroughly vile brothers have sold her to cruel, swarthy ex-buccaneer Bartholome, Nancy stops the plantation's vicious overseer from raping Minerva by blowing out his brains--whereupon both young women don men's clothing and go to sea. Minerva and Nancy both demonstrate facility with fist, blade, and pistol as they survive storms, battle, attempted mutiny, leering suitors, and other hazards--climaxed by a confrontation with Bartholome, who pursues her relentlessly from the Caribbean to Madagascar. Minerva's true identity comes out eventually, and in the end, both she and Nancy acquire suitable mates without losing their yen for adventure. An ambitious but fundamentally conventional tale, closer to Ann Rinaldi's historical novels than the more rousing likes of Avi's True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. (Fiction. YA) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.