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The Best Pirate Books – Picture Books & Non-Fiction
We’ve been learning all about pirates for the last week in preparation for Talk Like a Pirate Day and of course I had to share a pirate book list!
This list includes a bit of everything, picture books, chapter books, fiction and non-fiction.
If you are interested in continuing to learn about pirates you can check out a list of the resources we used for our pirate unit study here.
We did everything from drawing pirates to creating pirate names, to watching videos about why they actual wore eye patches and of course: reading pirate themed books!
Check out the pirate mini unit study resources.
Now, on to the books!
THE BEST PIRATE BOOKS
Our favorite Mem Fox picture book!
Boris von der Borch is a mean, greedy old pirate–tough as nails, through and through, like all pirates. Or is he? When a young boy sneaks onto Boris’s ship, he discovers that Boris and his mates aren’t quite what he expected.
Another ones of our favorite pirate picture books (also, I love that the French version is Petite Paul).
When Small Saul joins the crew of The Rusty Squid, it doesn’t take long for the other pirates to notice something is very different about this tiny fellow. He was born to sing sea shanties, bake pineapple upside down cakes and redecorate, not to hold a sword and plunder. Being rough and tough just isn’t in his nature.
The Pirates Next Door
Meet the Jolley-Rogers — a pirate family who is moving to Dull-on-Sea, a quiet seaside town, while they fix up their ship. This unusual family soon has the whole neighborhood gossiping. Defying the grown-ups, Matilda becomes friends with young pirate Jim Lad. When the JolleyRogers return to sea, the town realizes that they were wrong to assume the worst when it is discovered that the pirates have buried treasure in everyone’s yard. The neighbors are thrilled, but Matilda is sad to have lost her new friend, until she discovers her own treasure — a pen pal!
After reading his favorite book about a pirate boy, Danny wonders what would happen if he sailed away on a pirate ship. Luckily, his mother reassures him that she would find him, even if she had to swim on a dolphin, battle sea monsters, and wield a bottle of pirate-shrinking magic spray to do it! Young readers will love this adventurous and ultimately reassuring tale of a mother’s love.
How I Became a Pirate
Pirates have green teeth—when they have any teeth at all. I know about pirates, because one day, when I was at the beach building a sand castle and minding my own business, a pirate ship sailed into view.
So proclaims Jeremy Jacob, a boy who joins Captain Braid Beard and his crew in this witty look at the finer points of pirate life by the Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator David Shannon and the storyteller Melinda Long. Jeremy learns how to say “scurvy dog,” sing sea chanteys, and throw food . . . but he also learns that there are no books or good night kisses on board: “Pirates don’t tuck.” A swashbuckling adventure with fantastically silly, richly textured illustrations that suit the story to a T.
Pirates Past Noon
It’s a treasure trove of trouble! Jack and Annie are in for a high-seas adventure when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to the days of deserted islands, secret maps—and ruthless pirates! Will they discover a buried treasure? Or will they be forced to walk the plank?
The old Canadian Flyer in the attic of Emily’s new house looks like just another old sled. But when eight-year-old Emily and nine-year-old Matt rub the sled’s maple leaf logo, they suddenly find themselves transported from the dusty old attic to Frobisher Bay. What’s more, they’re aboard Martin Frobisher’s ship The Aid and the year is 1577! Adventure beckons, and Emily and Matt are happy to follow. Until, that is, they meet up with honest-to-goodness pirates! This rollicking, fast-paced adventure, with black and white illustrations, brings Frobisher’s search for the Northwest Passage to life.
A Year on a Pirate Ship
Ahoy, mates! Would you like to know what life is like on a pirate ship? Then come live on board for the next twelve months. Check out these eight action-packed scenes for a bird’s-eye view of the life and work of pirates on the open seas. See how the pirates attack a ship, deal with a whale, and handle a storm. Keep your eye on the calendar too. By spending a whole year with the pirate crew, you can watch events unfold as the seasons change.
This was one of our favorite books, we read through most of it, learning about different ways to be a “good” pirate, some of the myths and truths and some information about actual pirates.
This is a humorous guide to life on the high seas packed with intriguing historical detail that no self-respecting sea-dog should leave port without. Young landlubbers can become the fiercest of pirates by finding out how to keep their ship in tip-top shape, the best way to settle an argument with a shipmate and how to survive a storm at sea. It reveals the true nature of piracy to be more fascinating than the myths of peg legs, eye patches and parrots.
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Pirate’s Prisoner!
Pirates have many ingenious tortures, and once they have got what they want from you, the best you can hope for is to be marooned on an island.
Pirates: Dead Men’s Tales: Incredible Facts, Maps and True Stories about Life on the High Seas
Who were the real pirates of the Caribbean—and beyond? Find out! Pirates: Dead Men’s Tales brings us face to face with some of the most villainous and scurrilous rogues ever to sail the seven seas. Travel from North Africa to the China Seas to meet the notorious Blackbeard, the fearsome Barbarossa brothers, and the women pirates Mary Read, Anne Bonny, and Zheng Shi. With five sumptuous maps, themed spreads, and true tales of a pirate’s daily life, this book takes you on an epic adventure.
Lives of the Pirates: Swashbucklers, Scoundrels (Neighbors Beware!)
This long-awaited new volume in the acclaimed “Lives of” series presents the fascinating true tales of both notorious and little-known pirates. Why did Blackbeard and Long John Silver go to sea? Who was Madame Cheng? How did pirates really talk? What did they eat and what did they do to pass the time during long sea voyages? Lives of the Pirates answers these and many other questions.
Pirates: True Stories of Seafaring Rogues
This highly illustrated swashbuckling title is a visual treat and a book for the whole family to treasure. In it, readers can discover who were the real pirates of the Caribbean (and elsewhere). In Pirates: True Stories of Seafaring Rogues, we explore pirates throughout history and across the globe. We come face to face with some of the most villainous and scurrilous rogues ever to sail the seven seas. Included are the notorious Blackbeard, who terrorized the Caribbean and the Atlantic seaboard of America until he met his end in a dramatic shoot-out; and Captain Kidd, who might be the unluckiest pirate of all time, and whose legendary treasure is still sought after. These in-depth pirate profiles are interspersed with highly visual maps and curiosities exploring all the incredible details of life as a pirate on the high seas.
Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter’s Companion
Step lively, pirate foes and fanciers! Mysterious booty found inside a long-lost sea chest, hidden for hundreds of years off the coast of Newfoundland, has just been uncovered for your enjoyment. Within these covers is the fascinating eighteenth-century journal of Captain William Lubber, an earnest soul who sailed the seas in search of the vicious female pirate Arabella Drummond. Prepare for a mesmerizing tale of the golden age of piracy — from storm-tossed sailing ships to tantalizing treasure islands, from pirates’ flags and fashions to their wily weapons and wicked ways. An extraordinary find for pirateologists, here is a true and complete companion for the dedicated pirate hunter.
Ahoy shipmate! Grab your magnifying glass and seek out history’s most notorious pirates in this swashbuckling search-and-find adventure, packed with over 200 things to spot! Explore the lives of 10 real pirates and learn about life on the high seas, whilst using the free magnifying glass to spot more than 200 pirate-themed items in each eye-boggling illustration. Kids will have fun using the magnifying glass to search whilst learning about real life pirates in this seafaring adventure!Ahoy shipmate! Grab your magnifying glass and seek out history’s most notorious pirates in this swashbuckling search-and-find adventure, packed with over 200 things to spot! Explore the lives of 10 real pirates and learn about life on the high seas, whilst using the free magnifying glass to spot more than 200 pirate-themed items in each eye-boggling illustration. Kids will have fun using the magnifying glass to search whilst learning about real life pirates in this seafaring adventure!
If you have any pirate books you would add to this list I would love to hear about them!