The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked & Found by Martin W. Sandler


     The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked & Found by Martin W. Sandler, Candlewick Press, 9780763680336, c2017.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book? A lost pirate ship, wrecked off of Cape Cod along the Massachusetts seacoast full of pirate loot, discovered over 250 years after it sank, what’s not to love?!

This well written story of The Whydah goes back from the ship’s history as a slave ship starting in 1715, to its historic life as a pirate ship, to one of the most valuable salvages ever discovered, in 1984.

The Whydah was one of the fastest ships on the seas and that made it valuable for all the trade it could carry swiftly. Sadly, it’s first cargo was human beings, Africans stolen from their homelands to become slaves in the New World. The author does not gloss over this part of the ship’s history, but delves into it. We also learn about the myths and truths of the seafaring life and the lives of pirates in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Included in the story are sidebars about specific topics, like slavery, Cyprian Southack, a map maker and early hunter for The Whydah, and preserving artifacts, to name but a few.

This is an excellent book and it will keep young and old readers interested up until the last page.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Anyone who enjoys an adventure story with a local background and, of course, pirates will love this book!

Who should buy this book? Middle and High School libraries will want this and so will Public libraries!

Where would you shelve it? Non-fiction in Dewey, either 910.45 or 974.492

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Maria Touet, Pope John XXIII High School, Everett, MA

Date of review: March 26, 2017

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