Trailblazers: Treasure Hunters

Ages: 7 and upPublisher: Silver Dolphin Books Author: Phillip Steele


For adventure-loving youngsters, and anyone who likes a good pirate history, this is a breezy, compelling look at the treachery on the high seas in the heyday of piracy. Emphasis is on images and illustrations while the text stays brief and to the point, covering the pirate lifestyle, pirate towns and bases, weapons, variety of ships, flags and symbols, routes across the Seven Seas, treasures and bounty, and, most fascinating, the famous pirates themselves—both male and female).

Readers learn what pirates were and what they sought in attacking other ships and plundering coastal towns, from the British Isles and the Barbary Coast of Africa, to the Colonial America and Caribbean Islands. The history here traces piracy and its main culprits from the Greek islands in 500 BCE to the Vikings and their dragon ships 1,200 years ago, from Medieval pirates such as the Frenchman Eustace the Monk and the English privateer Harry Paye to the iconic swashbucklers of the Caribbean.

And there’s a hint of treasure: on the final page of images of Spanish gold coins is a red gemstone which, when pushed, springs loose a hidden drawer that contains a short journal by a Royal Navy First Lieutenant whose ship awaits near Virginia’s James River to confront Blackbeard himself, along with a folded map that shows key pirate-history locations worldwide.

A tantalizing and enjoyable introduction for young readers fascinated by the lost world of pirates.

Don Oldenburg ©2018 Parents’ Choice

A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of “The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion” (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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