The Ship of Lost Souls

2012. 256p. 978-0-44845-577-5.
Gr 3-6–Twelve-year-old Scarlet McCray, a girl with a forgotten past, is the captain of the Margaret’s Hop, a pirate ship manned by orphans. Alone in the world save for one another, this band of unlikely pirates commands respect on the high seas. Their mission: to help children in need, which leads them to the daring rescue of 11-year-old Jem Fitzgerald, who was taken captive by the most notorious pirate around and his crew of scalawags. Unknown to Scarlet, Jem’s famous botanist uncle entrusted him with a map to the most sought-after treasure known, which sends the crew on the mission of a lifetime. On this journey, the children learn that the most valuable treasures in life are those that come from within. Readers will enjoy the quick pace and exciting escapades of this first novel. The vivid descriptions of the setting will place them in the dark, dank alleys and dirty, dangerous wharfs of old. The characters are well developed, and readers will root for Scarlet and her crew and be thrilled with the resolution. A glossary and an illustration of Jem’s treasure map will aid reluctant readers.–Amy Shepherd, St. Anne’s Episcopal School, Middleton, DE

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