"Pirates and Smugglers"

Pirates & Smugglers by Moira Butterfield: Book Cover


Book: Pirates and Smugglers

Author: Moira Butterfield

Publisher: Kingfisher, latest edition in 2008

ISBN-13: 9780753458648 (hardcover)

ISBN-10: 0753458640 (hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780753462485 (paperback)

ISBN-10: 0753462486 (paperback)

Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)

Reading level: Ages 10-14

Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

     Butterfield, Moira. Pirates and Smugglers (published in 2005 by Kingfisher Publications PLC, a Houghton Mifflin Company imprint, 222 Berkley St., Boston, MA 02116). Usborne led the way in publishing colorful, eyecatching children’s non-fiction, but Dorling Kindersley (DK) and Kingfisher are not far behind. As a result of watching the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, our Jeremy (then age 10) became very interested in pirates, so Karen got him this book. It begins with what we know about the first pirates in ancient times, through the "Golden Age" of pirates, down to piracy and smuggling in modern times. The information is fascinating, and it does a lot to dispel the "romantic" notion of pirates as "good ol’ boys" at heart. For the most part, they were dangerous, cut-throat criminals. There are a few references that are somewhat graphically detailed, but nothing really unsuitable for children, just telling things as they actually were. Other titles in the "Kingfisher Knowledge" series include Animal Giants, Archaeology, Castles and Forts, Communication, Dangerous Creatures, Endangered Plants, Forensics, Genes and DNA, Life in Ancient Rome, Microscopic Life, Mummies, Spies, and Stars and Planets. We have generally found Kingfisher books fairly good, but in some of them you may have to look out for a little evolutionary bias.

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