HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Blackbeard and the Golden Goblet: The Mystery of the Sunken Treasure Ships, JPM Mystery Series Book 2
Author: Faith Reese Martin
Publisher: American Literary Publishing, 2013
Related websites: http://www.faithreesemartin.com (author), http://www.JMPMysterySeries.com (series), http://www.AmericanLiteraryPublishing.com (publisher)
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Martin, Faith Reese. Blackbeard and the Golden Goblet: The Mystery of the Sunken Treasure Ships, JMP Mystery Series Book 2 (published in 2013 by American Literary Publishing, an imprint of Life Reloaded Specialty Publishing LLC, Lancaster, PA). Have you ever wished that you could travel in time? Young teenagers Max Myers, who lives in New York, and Margaret (Jinx) MacKenzie, who lives in Pennsylvania, have inherited some unusual abilities. They can communicate with each other telepathically, they can talk with animals, they have dreams or visions that seem to predict what they are going to experience, and they can travel in time. After meeting each other, they formed the JMP History Mystery Detective Agency, along with Jinx’s Jack Russell terrier Petey and now Max’s new cat Poppy. In Blackbeard and the Golden Goblet, they go to Sebastian, FL, for spring break and are captured by modern-day pirates.
Travelling into the Time Tunnel is their only escape. However, heading back in time to the Golden Age of Pirates lands them in another perilous situation and they come face-to-face with Edward Teach, or Blackbeard, one of the most fearsome pirates of them all. Along the way, they learn something about Max’s ancestors and the golden goblet that has been in his family for generations. How will they deal with Blackbeard and his men? And upon their return, what will happen when they are recaptured by the modern pirates? Though there are some obvious fantasy elements in the plot, author Faith Reese Martin combines two real situations, the Great Spanish Plate Fleet Disaster of 1715 off the coast of Florida, and the activities of Blackbeard the Pirate whose home base was Ocracoke Island near Bath, NC, to provide a lot of historical information in an exciting fictional setting.
Some might object to the use of the word “psychic” to describe the kids, but there is nothing occultic here. They just have unusual abilities. There are some references to drinking wine, grog, sherry, and rum, and even to being drunk, but these kinds of things were usually true of pirates. Also, a few common euphemisms occur such as blasted, drat, heck, and dog gone it—Jinx seems to say “omigosh” an awful lot. However, good family relations are portrayed, and I like the way trust in God is mentioned. When Max is captive on the modern pirates’ ship, he “likes to think about God. I need a little miracle here, please….” And Max learns important lessons about friendship. In the back of the book, there are eight appendices which contain a great deal of further information about pirates and the historical characters in the story. The first book in the series is White Doe in the Mist about Roanoke Island, and the third one is Ghost Train to Freedom about the Underground Railroad. There are free study guides available at the JMP website so that educators can use the books as novel studies.