Book Review- Privateer’s Apprentice

Privateer’s Apprentice- Susan Verrico

Thirteen year old Jameson Cooper is left alone when his parents die from a horrible illness. The son of a well known Printer, Jameson’s dreams are over and he is left to live on the street. During an unfortunate encounter with the baker he is accused of stealing and sent to prison. Before he can start working off his crimes he is kidnapped by the infamous Attack Jack and taken to sea. There he learns how to keep a secret and stay alive on the dangerous waters.

This book reminds me of Treasure Island and Bloody Jack with the high adventure aspect of the story. The day to day life of the crew is interesting and realistic. Jameson has both friends and enemies aboard the ship and has to grow up fairly quickly. However, he does a fair share of complaining which took away from some of the story. The plot is a bit hazy and I am not sure what the author was trying to achieve. There is a building conflict between a few characters that really doesn’t go anywhere either.

Other than that it is a fun book with a little bit of adventure to keep the pages turning. I would recommend it to children and teens that are fans of Treasure Island or sea adventure stories. Unfortunately for me it was a bit forgettable.

This book is on the Missouri Mark Twain Nominee list for 2014-2015.

Similar Reads:

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy (Bloody Jack #1)
by L.A. Meyer

Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Missouri Book Award nominees for 2014-2015

Below are the final nominees for the the Mark Twain and Show Me Reader awards for 2014-2015. So far I have read the Privateer’s Apprentice, Ordinary Magic and Chomp. I hope to post reviews on each book with discussion questions for children’s book clubs. Our library does a Chat and Chew program with the schools. The kids have one book to read each month from the Mark Twain list and then we meet in the school library for lunch and discussion. It’s a pretty fun program and starting to really gain momentum in our area. One elementary school does this program with the Show Me books for the second grade students.

This is a great way to partner with school librarians and bring attention to State book awards. Many school libraries cannot afford multiple copies of the award nominees so having the public library as a support is really helpful. It gives more students the opportunity to read these books. Plus, kids love to eat in the library!

Anyone else have a similar program that brings the public and school library together? I would love to hear about new programs and ideas.


Mark Twain- 4th Grade – 6th Grade


 Author  Title  Publisher
 Susan Verrico  Privateer’s Apprentice  Peachtree
 R.J. Palacio  Wonder  Alfred A. Knopf
 Lutricia Clifton  Freaky Fast Frankie Joe  Holiday House
 Kate Messner  Capture the Flag  Scholastic Press
 Caitlen Rubino-Bradway  Ordinary Magic  Bloomsbury
 Tim Green  Pinch Hit  HarperCollins
 Joanne Rocklin  The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook  Harry N. Abrams
 Amy Gordon  The Shadow Collector’s Apprentice  Holiday House
 Carl Hiaasen  Chomp  Alfred A. Knopf
 Frank N. McMillan, III  The Young Healer  Mackinac Island Press
 Christopher Paul Curtis  The Mighty Miss Malone  Wendy Lamb Books
 Rebecca Stead  Liar & Spy  Wendy Lamb Books



Show Me- Kindergarten – Second Grade


 Author  Illustrator  Title  Publisher
 Doreen Rapaport  Matt Travares  Helen’s Big World  Disney-Hyperion
 Aaron Reynolds  Peter Brown  Creepy Carrots!  Simon & Schuster
 Mary Casanova  Ard Hoyt  Some Cat!  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
 Rick Walton  Wes Hargis  I Need My Own Country  Bloomsbury
 Tony Buzzeo  David Small  One Cool Friend  Dial
 Sarah Stewart  David Small  The Quiet Place  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
 Jacqueline Woodson  E.B. Lewis  Each Kindness  Nancy Paulsen Books
 Jo S. Kittinger Thomas Gonzalez  The House on Dirty-Third Street  Peachtree
 Bill Harley  Adam Gustavson  Lost and Found  Peachtree
 David Shannon  Same  Jangles: a Big Fish Story  The Blue Sky Press