Seven Dead Pirates: A Ghost Story

304p. ebook available. Tundra. Sept. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781770498150.
RedReviewStarGr 4–7—There is little joy in lonely Lewis Dearborn's young life. He's the only child to older, overprotective parents, shy to the point of becoming selectively mute at school, and friendless. One bright spot is his relationship with his eccentric great-grandfather, who lives in Shornway, a run-down mansion by the sea. When his great-grandfather dies, Lewis and his parents move into the ramshackle estate. He chooses the tower bedroom, with its ocean views, old toys, and creaky floorboards. He is thrilled with the room despite the fact that the middle window won't stay shut even if he latches it; there's a slightly fishy odor; and there are noises, which are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. In a hilariously cinematic scene, Lewis discovers that he has roommates—seven dead pirates who have been waiting for him. They want Lewis to help them navigate the terrifying roads filled with cars to the local museum so that they can retake their ship and sail to Libertalia, a pirate utopia. But first he needs to read aloud to them. This rollicking tale moves apace with a vivid setting, surprising depth, great humor, and memorable characters. Readers will root for Lewis as he finds his sea legs and the courage to make friends, both spectral and human.
VERDICT Ahoy, ye maties: don't miss this treasure of a middle grade yarn.

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