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Aboard Blackbeard’s Queen

Aboard Blackbeard’s Queen

By: Robin Reams
Publication Date: March 13, 2023
ISBN: 979-8987189603
Reviewed by: Kathy Stickles
Review Date: February 12, 2024

Did you know that every pirate ship had a cat who was a very important member of the ship’s crew? I certainly did not, and it was just one of the things I learned about the life of pirates in the wonderful book Aboard Blackbeard’s Queen. Robin Reams has given readers a delightful and well-researched look into the life of a pirate through the eyes of her wonderful main character, Cooper the Cat.

At the start of the book, Cooper is aboard a French ship. When the ship is taken by the pirate Blackbeard, Cooper’s life is dramatically changed as he is transferred onto Blackbeard’s ship as a mouser. Cooper quickly finds out that being a member of this crew is not going to be as easy as he thought. One of the first issues is that members of the crew would like to throw Cooper overboard to drown rather than take him onto the ship because he is not black like all other pirate cats but orange, and this is seen as a sign of bad luck. Cooper needs to show them that he can be a useful and true pirate cat, and for that, he will need help. Along with Tuffy, his mentor, and Blackbeard’s official cat, Como, a spider monkey who is Cooper’s closest friend, Marisol the macaw, and the other cats, Cooper sets out to prove himself to the man who took him aboard...the terrifying Captain Blackbeard. Along the way, Cooper will meet new friends, face his biggest fears, and fight hard for his life as he attempts to earn his place on the ship.

Aboard Blackbeard’s Queen is a great story with wonderful characters, both animal and human. From Blackbeard himself to his crew to the ship’s cook, Cookie, everyone has their opinion about Cooper and the other animals, and it all ties together in a very well-written and exciting tale presented to readers from Cooper’s perspective. Each character, again both human and animal, is well-developed and has a very important part in the story, and the reader will enjoy each and every one. The descriptive and detailed writing is great and will make the reader feel as if they are actually on a pirate ship and a member of the crew.

The story has been very well-researched in terms of the historical time period and the life of a pirate’s crew, and that comes across in every page. At the end of the book, Robin Reams includes a few pages that detail some of her research regarding Blackbeard, the life of a pirate, and the life of a pirate’s cat, which explains a lot and makes for some very interesting facts that readers will enjoy learning.

Aboard Blackbeard’s Queen is such an enjoyable story and I am sure it will be loved by many readers. The plot of the story is well-developed and so much fun as it is told by a cat who is the main character and narrator of the story. I really adored that part and thought it was a wonderful way to tell the story. I am hoping that there will be more adventures ahead for this author and for Cooper, Como, and all of the others. I, for one, will definitely be right there to read them.

Quill says: Aboard Blackbeard’s Queen is such a unique way to teach readers about history and pirates, and I am sure that the book will be adored by many.

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