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VOYAGE OF PLUNDER by Michele Torrey

VOYAGE OF PLUNDER

A Chronicle of Courage

By Michele Torrey

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: July 12th, 2005
ISBN: 0-375-82383-2
Publisher: Knopf

Tucking in a very long subtitle and unobtrusive dashes of moralism for period flavor, Torrey sends a sullen 17th-century lad through an often-brutal coming-of-age adventure aboard a pirate ship. Impressed into the crew of the Tempest Galley after witnessing his merchant father’s bloody execution, Matthew is determined to bring the pirates and their captain, Josiah Black, to justice. Ahead of him, though, lies a long, attitude-changing voyage from the mid-Atlantic to the Red Sea, along with vicious battles, treachery, massive quantities of gleaming treasure and reversals of fortune—leading up to some well-telegraphed, but to Matthew, at least, stunning family revelations and a heroic final sacrifice. As the huge appended bibliography attests, Torrey has done her homework, drawing expertly from actual history and contemporary accounts for credible re-creations of life aboard a pirate ship of the time, as well as in various landlocked settings, and creating a vivid backdrop for an absorbing tale whose narrator ultimately wins past both physical and mental torture to a bruised, hard-won peace. (author’s afterword not seen) (Fiction. 12-15)