SCRATCH AND THE PIRATES OF PARADISE COVE by Ricardo Means Ybarra

SCRATCH AND THE PIRATES OF PARADISE COVE

Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

While searching for his cat, Scratch, Rafael falls over a cliff and into an adventure involving threatening pirates, buried treasure and a desert island where he, his dad, a cabin boy resembling his best friend, Matt, and a cat looking remarkably like his own create a temporary home. In his first novel for younger readers, Ybarra makes use of a familiar trope, a dream adventure, to create an exciting but ultimately unconvincing story. Readers will probably go along with the earthquake, the ride in the pirate ship and the daring escape by rowboat assisted by dolphins. But when magic beans turn a barren island into a tree-filled dream-world readers may well wake up. The first-person, present-tense narration seems as artificial as the plot. Faced with the prospect of spending a night alone exposed to the elements during a tropical storm, Rafi thinks, “Oh, this is a real drag.” His thoughts often telegraph information in a way no actual person’s would: “I was thinking to myself, ‘I'd better go into our mobile home and get the flashlight’...” Scratch this one. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-55885-525-0
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Piñata Books/Arté Público
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2008