To stay alive, to stay together, to realize that there’s more to life… to risk everything?
Killing a man ensures their place on the pirate ship, as dark-skinned Alfie’s little sister Flora becomes Florian in the Nameless Captain’s crew of cutthroats who enslave passengers and harvest mermaids in spite of the Pirate Supreme’s decree.
Daughter of Imperials, Evelyn has never pleased her haughty parents, only wishes to stay with her adored young maid, is sent away in arranged marriage to an officer far across the seas. The teen’s possessions are packed into her coffin, for she will never return to the capital.
Aboard the Dove, Florian is set as Evelyn’s guard against the rapacious crew, gradually becoming fond of the rich young lady (whose heart is captured too), hoping that the Captain’s command to imprison all passengers never comes, marveling at her rapport with the new-caught mermaid.
The Sea will punish those who steal her mermaids, the Witch will draw the tales from Florian’s blood, the Pirate Supreme will stop the Nameless Captain – but will Evelyn and Florian be alive to know?
Japanese names, clothing, and traditions strand through this newly-published debut novel of conquests, colonies, love beyond expectations, and undercover history-changers.
When do you know that your ‘you’ is right? **kmm
Book info: The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea / Maggie Tokuda-Hall. Candlewick Press, 2020. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Dimple wants to win the app development contest, Mom wants to arrange the ideal Indian marriage, and Rishi wants Dimple to agree with their parents that he is the one for her! Was a summer after graduation ever so complicated? (I recommended this fun book last May at https://booksyalove.com/?p=8797)
Just imagine a Gifted young woman navigating the Temptation and her interesting crew to any port present or past, nations long-swallowed by history, mythic lands – all so that her father the captain can find a way to undo her mother’s death… and perhaps undo Nix herself!
I listened to Heidi speak on a debut YA authors’ panel last week at TxLA, and she was just as funny in person as in this offbeat author interview video.
Sail into your local library or independent bookstore for the February 2016-published first adventure in this two-part sea saga (Heidi is indeed working on the second book now, she assured us!).
If you could travel to any place at any time, where would you come ashore?
My book talk: As her father seeks to undo her mother’s death, 16 year old half-Chinese Nix guides their time-traveling pirate ship to ports real and imagined, encountering mythic creatures and real robber barons, wondering if his quest will undo her as well.
She can guide the Temptation to any port on any map, fictional or factual, so onward goes the ship, seeking every possible cure that could keep Nix’s mother from dying in childbirth – if Slate could only find the map for the exact 1886 Honolulu where they lived.
A crowded 1774 Calcutta market where just-a-friend Kashmir rescues her, sugar barons who want to depose the king of Hawaii, today’s Coast Guard with questions for the grand wooden sailing ship in New York harbor – Nix, Slate, Kash, Rotgut, Bee and her ghost-wife Ayen travel through time and oceans on the captain’s quest.
If her mother survives childbirth in her timeline, what happens to Nix?
Is there room for love when a pirate ship can’t put down roots?
What treacherous waters must Nix cross to fulfill her own dreams?
First of a two-part adventure that spans time, tides, and every human emotion, The Girl From Everywhere wants to remain in existence, despite her father’s longing to undo her past. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
Find your own Pirate Name here, outfit your true Pirate self in style using this, choose what your fine piratical ship should be called using this site, and even translate your Twitter and/or Facebook posts into Piratese here.
All in fun and on a Saturday, too!
Searching the seven seas for new YA books with pirates… any sightings?
Curiosity? Improper in a young lady of good family.
Interested in things mechanical? How uncouth.
A potential assassin? Just right for Mademoiselle Geraldine’s school!!
Steampunk plus young lady spies-in-training – smashing!
I do so want a steam-powered mechanimal dachshund like Bumbersnoot, even if I would have to break his coal into tiny nibbles.
Read excerpts at io9 and at Tor to be properly introduced to Sophronia and her interesting world, browse politely inside the first pages of the Finishing School series: Book the First at the publisher’s site, then proceed in a stately manner to acquire Etiquette & Espionage at your local library or independent bookstore – posthaste, as it was just published last week!
And do watch for flywaymen and other air pirates along the carriage roads…
My Recommendation: She’d much rather disassemble the robot butler than learn etiquette, but well-brought-up young ladies in 1851 British society must have impeccable manners. How else to distinguish persons of quality from vampires, werewolves, and other beings of lower social class?
Tumbling out of the dumbwaiter covered with pudding was perhaps not the best way to meet the finishing school headmistress. However, Miss Geraldine accepted Sophronia to the Academy because of the 14-year-old’s curiosity and resourcefulness, despite her dreadfully subpar curtsy.
Surviving an attack by flywaymen on their carriage journey, Sophronia is somewhat startled to find that the Academy floats above the moors, that the Miss Geraldine who visited her mother is not the Miss Geraldine who heads up the exclusive school, and that dashing Captain Niall is a werewolf (with impeccable manners, it must be noted).
Aboard the triple dirigibles of the Academy, she meets the real Miss Geraldine (who seems quite unaware of the deadly classes being taught on board), teachers of non-quite-human persuasion (but excellent taste in fashion), and the sooties below decks who stoke the mighty furnaces powering this most unusual finishing school.
Classes for dance and the deadly uses of hatpins, the sudden appearance a darling mechanimal dachshund (which needs wee bits of coal to keep going) bearing threats from villains about handing over a prototype, and odd preparations for an outing at their allied school for boys keep Sophronia and the other young ladies quite busy – but not so busy that they can’t do a little sleuthing of their own.
Why does Miss Geraldine not know that her school is training spies and assassins?
What is the device whose prototype is coveted by so many?
Will Sophronia learn to curtsy properly in the few months before her sister’s debutante ball?
Book the First of the Finishing School series brings together steampunk and high manners with great success, inviting readers along on the astounding journey of clever Sophronia, her new friends, and her new enemies. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Historic voyage journal to find! Hidden treasure to uncover! Trigger-happy bad guys to avoid!
Somehow, Tom doubts that his parents expected Uncle Harvey to take him to Peru, but curiosity is a Trelawney family trait… how could he pass up the chance to find John Drake’s lost journal detailing the Golden Hind‘s voyage?
Visiting his uncle might have been boring for Tom, except for the mysterious journal and the sudden flight to Lima and the hidden treasure they’re seeking and the vicious killers after them. They just have to locate the island where the gold is buried and get it back to New York City in 5 days, before Tom’s parents get back from vacation – easy, right?
Uncle and nephew share the Trelawaney nose and family talent for unearthing interesting things, so away they fly to Peru, where Harvey had recently acquired a very old journal page that mentions gold buried on an island. As they search for more pages, they are chased by villains who think that Harvey already has the treasure in hand.
Dizzying mountain roads, scattered journal pages to sort and puzzle through. They know that the first journal page found is 500 years old – could this truly be a voyage log from Sir Francis Drake’s expedition?
Allies and enemies, double-crosses and unexpected assistance. Tom’s mom and dad will be at Harvey’s apartment to pick him up in a few days – can the adventurers really find the correct island in time?
Car chases and car crashes, boat trips through towering waves. The treasure has remained hidden for so many centuries – what other traps and tricks will nephew and uncle encounter along the way?
For adventure and intrigue, with a side order of Peru’s national dish, head for the Island of Thieves with the too-curious-for-their-own-good Trelawney guys, as the clock ticks toward their departing flight and perhaps to their own departure from the land of the living! (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Fitting in at high school is rarely easy,
but when you start breaking out (with barnacles),
and the cute new girl asks you to demonstrate your skills,
of course Teen Boat will transform into a small yacht,
right there in the high school hallway!
Ignatz Award winners Dave Roman (writer – you remember his 2011 Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity graphic novel) and John Green (illustrator) have finally published their popular webcomic in a full-color hardcover edition, including over 30 pages of new story. Don’t miss the “how we did it” section in the back of the book, detailing the creative team’s writing and illustrating process.
My Book Talk: Sure, every high school guy has some worries, but not every guy can transform into Teen Boat! When cute foreign exchange student Niña Pinta Santa Maria arrives, TB wants to impress her, so he agrees to help Harry by becoming a yacht for his party. TB’s longtime pal Joey (the girl next door) warns him that the big jock is only using him for some shady scheme, but the infatuated young man/boat doesn’t listen.
Offshore gambling, the Totally Pirates (seeking the legendary Tiene Bōt), and an iceberg attack make Harry’s party more memorable than TB would have liked. After-school detention, emergency rescue, student elections, and a part-time job all become adventures when Teen Boat is involved. Just imagine what the Yacht Club field trip to Venice, Italy, is like with this crew!
Will Teen Boat ever get over his paralyzing fear of entering a “land vessel” long enough to get his driver’s license?
Will he ever find the girl or boat or girl/boat who will love him?
Will the pirates ever stop chasing after him?
“The angst of being a teen – the thrill of being a boat” jumps off the pages of this graphic novel in vivid color, with new pages extending the webcomic storyline and an informative appendix that shows the step-by-step collaborative process that Roman and Green used in creating this sharply clever graphic novel. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
And you know about the brutal world into which the modern Shari has gone, bewitched into the pages of the “unexpurgated” Arabian Nights, where the king’s wicked behavior was not sugar-coated or glossed-over.
So on this World Wednesday, it will take a pair of bronze pirate bookends, a long-dormant wishing well, and all of Yeats’ courage and ingenuity to set Shari free from her enchantment and bring her back to her grandfather… will it be enough?
An exciting tale from the author of The Grassland Trilogy (reviewed here, here, and here) – are you ready to go Between Two Ends with Yeats? **kmm
Recommendation: Yeats wonders why his depressed father insists on returning to Gran’s house now – something dreadful happened there 20 years ago, something that is never discussed with him.
Meeting eccentric Mr. Sutcliff, stumbling upon that old wishing well in the garden, and uncovering a bronze bookend suddenly takes Yeats into the heart of his family’s mystery.
When his dad was a boy, he and adventurous Shari explored every inch of the garden and read every book in his poet-grandfather’s library, including one special copy of Arabian Nights. One terrible day, Shari was kidnapped from their garden, and William couldn’t stop the men as they escaped with her down the well. Losing his friend has kept him on the brink of madness for years and has turned her grandfather Mr. Sutcliff into a recluse, both certain that their Shari had been taken back in time, back into the oft-told story of her namesake Shaharazad, back to the realm of a king who killed his bride on their wedding night, night after night, bride after bride.
By finding the long-lost pirate bookend and sending a wish into the well, Yeats has reopened the portal into Shaharazad’s world. Does Yeats have the courage to venture into the realms of story and imagination with the pirates? Can a modern boy survive in that brutal ancient kingdom? Can he find Shari and convince her to come back to her grandfather?
This skillful combination of now and way-back-when will keep readers turning its 304 pages, traveling with Yeats to a far-off time and place where danger is the only certainty. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Ahoy, and welcome aboard on Fun Friday! But ’twere no fun for Maurice Reidy to give up country life and become an errand boy for his uncle in Dublin. The only swimmer in his large and impoverished family, he’s known as “Fish” and would certainly rather swim than fight.
How was Fish to know that he’d be kidnapped by pirates during his very first errand? And what a crew of pirates! A captain who’d rather search for treasure than capture other ships, a gunner who’s expert in cannons and cheese, and a girl cook!
Life on board a pirate ship challenges both Fish’s swimming skills and his conciliatory abilities, as he tries to stave off mutiny while the captain solves an intricate puzzle, then “The Scurvy Mistress” must outrace other would-be pirates to the treasure.
A rollicking read on the high seas, and a great addition to any pirate’s library of fantastic fiction – with nary an Arrrggh in sight! **kmm
Recommendation: Living in bustling Dublin or a poor country farm? At age 11, Fish (nicknamed for his swimming skills) will soon find out which he prefers as he leaves his large family’s small farm to work for his uncle as a courier. But his first parcel is snatched just as he is delivering it to Mr. Swift on the city dock! Chasing the thieves, Fish watches them row toward a menacing ship across the harbour and decides to swim after them to recover the bag of coins.
The sailors aren’t going to give up their prize easily, and Fish finds himself kidnapped – aboard a pirate ship! A good captain (and his wife!), a skilled ship’s cook (a girl!), a silent giant, a first mate plotting mutiny, and Fish’s own determination to survive without fighting make life aboard ship complicated. The coins are part of a treasure map that must be unpuzzled…
Ahoy! “The Scurvy Mistress” is being pursued by Mr. Swift and his ship full of treasure hunters who shoot first and talk later! And they want those coins so they can complete the treasure map!
As they race to find the treasure predicted by the mysterious coins, Fish and crew must overcome treacherous waters, nefarious plots, and terrible smells. Who will discover it first – the honest pirates or the dishonest treasure hunters?
Travel the high seas with a young man who’s true to himself in this tale of adventure and danger (and really funny characters!). (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
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