Ahoy, Matey! Pirate Books Dead Ahead!

Arrr! Avast, me hearties! Before ye knows it, International Talk Like a Pirate Day will arrive with a yo-ho-ho on September 19th! Pirates are fascinating characters we associate with bravery, cunning, adventure, and, of course, treasure, and many books have been written about them and their daring deeds, including the ones in our list below. For those young scallywags wanting to know how they can celebrate, the creators of this holiday have curated some resources such as a pirate song and party kit specifically for Junior Pirates. There are even translation services online such as https://speakpirate.com/ to help you not feel like such a landlubber for the occasion. And if ye be brave enough, now’s yer chance to check out some tales of pirate glory that will have you shivering yer timbers and singing boisterous sea shanties!

To find more books about pirates and swashbuckling adventures, try searching the catalog using a combination of search terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “pirates” or a specific pirate’s name like “Blackbeard.”

Butterfield, Moira.
Dirty Rotten Pirates: A Truly Revolting Guide to Pirates and Their World. 2014 (Nonfiction Picture Book)
Describing the types of pirates, the history of piracy, daily life, the pirate code, and more, this is a book pirate enthusiasts won’t want to miss. The exploratory format showcases full-page illustrations with sections to pick and choose from that satisfy every curiosity. This guide places pirates into the context of history and doesn’t hold back from the gross or scary!
[S-Collection Q. S.910.45 B9821d]

Carlson, Caroline.
Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1). 2013 (Middle Grades Novel)
When Hilary Westfield is accepted to the Piracy Apprenticeship Program, she is overjoyed to be able to finally pursue what she sees as her true calling. However, when her application is suddenly denied upon the realization that she is a girl, she is enrolled instead at Miss Pimm’s Finishing School for Delicate Ladies, which is exactly as dreadful as it sounds. With her best friend the gargoyle by her side, Hilary answers an unusual advertisement for a pirate crew and is soon on the adventure of a lifetime as she tries to find a magical treasure alongside a crew of misfits before it falls into the wrong hands.
[S-Collection S. C19712m]
Be sure to check out the sequels – The Terror of the Southlands (S. C1972t) and The Buccaneers’ Code (S. C19712b) – also found in the S-Collection!

Fayers, Claire.
The Voyage to Magical North (The Accidental Pirates #1). 2016 (Middle Grades Novel)
Brine Seaborne was found with a piece of the rare starshell that is needed for spell casting with no memory of her past. She’s lucky that the magician Magus took her in as a housekeeper all those years ago, but when he makes a decision that would uproot the only life she has ever known, she and his annoying apprentice Peter must band together. Brine and Peter soon stumble upon the infamous pirate ship the Onion and find themselves sucked into a quest to find the mysterious Magical North. With a believable cast of characters, humor, and adventure, this is sure to be a hit with young readers!
[S-Collection S. F292v]
Check out the sequel, The Journey to Dragon Island, also found in the S-Collection (S. F292j)!

Ferry, Beth.
Pirate’s Perfect Pet. 2016 (Picture Book)
One day, Captain Crave gets a message in a bottle from his mom that includes a checklist she found for the Perfect Pirate Captain. When he discovers that the only thing he’s missing is a pet, he sets out on a search to find one with his faithful crew! He looks on the beach and at a farm, visits the zoo, and finally goes to a pet store, but none of the animals seem quite right. Will he ever find his perfect pet so he can finally be a Perfect Pirate Captain? Told with humor and beautifully textured illustrations, readers of all ages will enjoy this treasure hunt to find the perfect companion.
[S-Collection SE. F4181p]

Isern, Susanna.
Daniela the Pirate / Daniela Pirata. 2018 (Picture Book)
What Daniela wants most in the world is to be a pirate, but Captain Choppylobe of the Black Croc doesn’t believe that a little girl has what it takes. So he presents her with a series of tests to prove her worth, and readers watch as Daniela takes on each challenge with bravery and intelligence. This fun picture book explores the idea of girl power and how you can do whatever you set your mind to. The Spanish language version is also available.
[S-Collection Q. SE. Is22egda2018:E (English version) and Q. SE. Is22egda2018 (Spanish version)]

LaReau, Kara.
The Jolly Regina (The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters #1). 2017 (Middle Grades Illustrated Chapter Book)
Jaundice and Kale Bland of the town of Dullsville like to avoid excitement of any kind. They darn socks for a living, eat the same meals every day, read the dictionary to each other every night, and create rules to live by to prevent anything unexpected from happening. However, their world is turned upside down when they are kidnapped by a band of female pirates and unwillingly become a part of an exciting adventure on the high seas. The dry sense of humor reminiscent of A Series of Unfortunate Events, dictionary definitions at the beginning of each chapter, and whimsical illustrations will charm readers of all ages.
[S-Collection S. L323unjo]
Be sure to check out the sequels – The Jolly Regina (S. L323unun) and Flight of the Bluebird (S. L323unfl) – also found in the S-Collection!

Lewis, J. Patrick.
Blackbeard, the Pirate King: Several Yarns Detailing the Legends, Myths, and Real-Life Adventures of History’s Most Notorious Seaman: Told in Verse. 2006 (Nonfiction)
Short biographical poems tell the tale of the infamous Blackbeard with powerful language that characterizes him in all his pirate glory. Each two-page spread of the book showcases a poem masterfully paired with an artist’s interpretation of Blackbeard, ranging in date from the 1700s to today. To further add to the story, explanatory tidbits about the history and context of the poems are included. A map of some of his most famous voyages and a timeline of his life at the end round out this book to make it an entertaining and informative account of Blackbeard’s life for young readers.
[S-Collection Q. SB. B628l]

Matthews, John.
Pirates Most Wanted. 2007 (Nonfiction)
This book promises to deliver the tales of 13 of the most bloodthirsty pirates, and it doesn’t disappoint! With collage-esque illustrations that are full of historical objects, pictures, maps, newspaper clippings, and more that are fascinating to explore, readers will learn about some of the most famous pirates in history through both facts and legends. As added bonuses, there is a foldout page depicting a captain’s cabin and a “Little Book of Pirate Records” at the end, and the fun trivia facts sprinkled throughout will definitely hook readers from the beginning.
[S-Collection S.910.45 M424p]

Murray, Diana.
Ned the Knitting Pirate. 2016 (Picture Book, Told in Verse)
A fierce band of pirates aboard the Rusty Heap can’t accept that Ned likes to knit – it’s just not what pirates do. So they go about their pirate-y business, finding treasure and singing sea shanties, trying their best to ignore Ned and his fuzzy knitted hat. But when a scary sea monster shows up to feast on their ship, can Ned’s knitting save the day? Readers will love this unique pirate tale and be singing along to the pirate’s song by the end.
[S-Collection Q. SE. M9612ne]

Peet, Mal & Graham, Elspeth.
The Treasure of Pirate Frank. 2018 (Picture Book)
In a repetitive style reminiscent of the memory game “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…,” readers follow a young boy and his dog, who has an eye patch of course, as they follow a map to the treasure of Pirate Frank. Colorful full-page illustrations with details that are fun to explore enhance the adventure as the suspense builds with each page turn. You’ll never guess what he finds at X marks the spot!
[S-Collection Q. SE. P3472t]

Books ahoy!

Avast, ye landlubbin’ readers! September 19th be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and if ye be hankerin’ for tales o’ swashbuckling adventure, weigh anchor and check out this booty from the S-Collection.

“Talk Like a Pirate Day” Resources

To learn more about International Talk Like a Pirate Day, visit http://www.talklikeapirate.com/ (warning: some salty language). Here, you can read about the history of this dubious holiday, get ideas for celebrating, and even find lesson plans (http://www.talklikeapirate.com/juniorpirates.html).

A dictionary to boost your piratey vocabulary can be found at http://www.the-pirate-ship.com/piratedictionary.html.

To “translate” something from English to Pirate, or even to translate an entire webpage, visit

Search Tips

To find more children’s books about pirates in our collection, search our catalog using the keywords “juvenile fiction” (for fiction books) or “juvenile literature” (for nonfiction books) as well as “pirates,” or a specific pirate, such as “Blackbeard.”

Picture and Intermediate Books

Benton, Lynne
Pirate Pete. 2008.
When Pirate Pete sails to an island in search of buried treasure, he finds something even better.
[SSHEL Storage SE. B446p]

Bunting, Eve
Pirate boy. 2011.
As Colin imagines himself in a series of adventures beginning with joining a pirate crew, his mother assures him that she will always be there to help if he needs her.
[S-Collection Q. SE. B886pir]

Carretero, Mónica.
Pirate Handbook. 2010.
With humor and illustrations, explains everything anyone might want to know about the world of pirates, including different types, the pirate oath, pirate gear, pirate ships, the crew, vocabulary, secret codes, and other details of pirate life. Includes games and activities.
[S-Collection SE. C2332mp:E]

Crimi, Carolyn
Henry & the crazed chicken pirates. 2009.
When the Buccaneer Bunnies receive a note from an unknown enemy, Henry researches and writes a book called “Plan for Impending Danger from the Unknown Enemy Who Wrote the Scary Note,” which helps him when the enemy finally arrives.
[S-Collection Q. SE. C868h]

Demas, Corinne.
Pirates go to school. 2011.
A rhyming tale of pirates who go to school accompanied by their parrots, learn arithmetic and letters, and want to hear sea stories at storytime.
[S-Collection Q. SE. D392p]

Dorman, Brandon
Pirates of the sea! 2011.
Cap’n Bones and his crew face sharks, a sea serpent, and more as they follow a map toward a real treasure.
[S-Collection Q. SE. D7352p]

Duddle, Jonny
The pirate cruncher. 2010.
A mysterious old pirate lures a group of rowdy sailors to an island with buried treasure, but there is a surprise awaiting them when they get there.
[S-Collection Q. SE. D861p]

Kramer, Andrew
Pajama pirates. 2010.
When night falls, pajama-clad pirates set out in search of treasure but soon find themselves surrounded by foes.
[S-Collection SE. K8601p]

Lyon, George Ella
The pirate of kindergarten. 2010.
Ginny’s eyes play tricks on her, making her see everything double, but when she goes to vision screening at school and discovers that not everyone sees this way, she learns that her double vision can be cured.
[S-Collection, Center for Children’s Books SE. L9942p]

Masters, Anthony
The desert pirates. 2008.
Tod and Billy are attempting to reach Paradise Island, where there is rumored to be water that could save their people, when they are captured by sand pirates on a ship powered by slaves.
[SSHEL Storage S. M3936d]

Preller, James
A pirate’s guide to first grade. 2010.
A young pirate and his crew embark on a grand adventure when they board the bus for the first day of first grade.
[S-Collection Q. SE. P9152p]

Quattlebaum, Mary
Pirate vs. pirate: the terrific tale of a big blustery maritime match. 2011.
One pirate from the Atlantic Ocean and one from the Pacific Ocean meet and have a contest to see who is the best pirate in the world.
[S-Collection Q. SE. Q29p]

Root, Phyllis
Lilly and the pirates. 2010.
Ten-year-old Lilly, a worrier who greatly fears the sea, leaves the home of her librarian great-uncle and sets out with an old woman pirate to rescue her parents, who were shipwrecked while seeking the elusive frangipani fruit fly on an uncharted island.
[S-Collection S. R678li]

Segal, John
Pirates don’t take baths. 2011.
A young pig tries to avoid taking a bath by claiming to be a variety of characters, from an astronaut to an Eskimo, as his mother tries to lure him into the tub.
[S-Collection Q. SE. Se372p]

Smith, Danna
Pirate nap: a book of colors. 2011.
Two brothers use their imaginations to turn their surroundings — from a white bandana and yellow coins to a red blanket and even their baby sister — into a colorful pirate adventure before naptime.
[S-Collection SE. Sm542p]

Storms, Patricia
The pirate and the penguin. 2009.
A penguin seeking Caribbean adventure and a pirate seeking a little icy relaxation team up and discover the lives they’ve been looking for all along.
[S-Collection Q. SE. T5661s]

Thomson, Sarah L.
Pirates, ho! 2008.
Pirates Peg-Leg Tom, Angus Black, Dreadful Nell, and One-Eyed Jack chase ships on the high seas, tell ghost stories, and fall asleep counting gold instead of sheep.
[S-Collection Storage SE. T386p]


Clifford, Barry
Real pirates: the untold story of the Whydah from slave ship to pirate ship. 2008.
The Whydah was built to transport slaves, but was captured by pirates. After sinking during a nor’easter off Cape Cod, she lay, packed with plunder, until being rediscovered in 1984.
[S-Collection S.910.45 C6121r]

Gilkerson, William
A thousand years of pirates. 2009.
From the days of the Vikings to the present and in all the oceans of the world, pirates have made their presence known and feared. Recorded here are their stories along with striking images of ships, storms at sea, and secret harbors where “black ships” could be re-stocked and refitted.
[S-Collection S.910.45 G397t]

Hamilton, Sue L.
Bartholomew Roberts. 2007.
Discusses the life of pirate Bartholomew Roberts and examines the history of pirating and details daily life aboard a pirate ship.
[SSHEL Storage SB. R643h]

Rubin, Susan Goldman
Jean Laffite: the pirate who saved America. 2012.
A high-action portrait of the infamous historical pirate who pursued high-seas ambitions as a youth before settling down in New Orleans describes how he became a respected businessman, made pivotal contributions to the War of 1812 and exposed a British invasion plot.
[S-Collection Q. SB. L132r]

Young Adult

Caveney, Philip
Sebastian Darke: Prince of Pirates. 2009.
Sebastian Darke, his opinionated buffalope, Max, and the fierce fighter Cornelius are heading to the port of Ramalat to begin a search for the fabled lost treasure of the pirate King, Captain Callinestra. But they must overcome the dark evil that follows them.
[SSHEL Storage S. C3157se]

Engle, Margarita
Hurricane dancers: the first Caribbean pirate shipwreck. 2011.
Quebrado has been a slave on captain Bernadino de Talavera’s pirate ship for years, but when a hurricane sinks the ship and kills most of the crew, Quebrado escapes to safety and finds acceptance and refuge in a nearby village.
[Center for Children’s Books, S-Collection S.811 En35h]

Platt, Richard
Roman diary: the journal of Iliona of Mytilini, who was captured by pirates and sold as a slave in Rome, A.D. 107. 2009.
When Iliona’s ship is boarded by pirates, she ends up in Rome as a slave. Separated from her brother, Apollo, Iliona is soon at the whim of her owners, and the chance of regaining freedom seems like a distant dream. Iliona’s life as a slave isn’t as bad as she feared: her new family provides clothing, food, and even schooling, and best of all, she is free to explore the wonders of Rome.
[S-Collection Q. S. P697r]

Vaughn, Carrie
Steel. 2011.
When Jill, a competitive high school fencer, goes with her family on vacation to the Bahamas, she is magically transported to an early-eighteenth-century pirate ship in the middle of the ocean.
[S-Collection S. V4658s]