Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate

The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the PirateNash, Scott. The High-Skies Adventure of Blue Jay the Pirate.
25 September 2012, Candlewick. ARC from Baker and Taylor

Blue Jay is the pirate captain of the Grosbeak. He has an odd attraction to collecting eggs, which is helpful when trying to get crew members, but now that he has enough he is trying to stop collecting so many. One intriguing egg he can't resist ends up hatching a gosling,Gabriel, whom the other birds consider a god. Luckily, the motherly Junco takes care of him and instructs him in the facets of pirate life. When a doldrums causes the ship to almost crash, Gabriel (who is not yet fledged) falls from the ship. Junco goes after him, and the two end up at the tavern of Poppa Fox (a bird) after surviving attacks by crows and fisher cats. Poppa Fox thinks that he can help the two find their ship mates, and a mole, Hillary, helps them. The pirates are trying to plot their next move and uncover a plot to attack the village. Can Redwall Abbey (erm, the bird village) be saved?
Strengths: Very lovely book design, even in ARC form, and the fighting and swashbuckling with appeal to elementary boys who like pirates and the Brian Jacques books.
Weaknesses: Pirates are an oddly hard sell in the middle school, and even Jacques is waning in popularity. 

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