Pirate Books for Every Age

pirate books

Check out this list of pirate books–which range from fun preschool rhymes to heart-pounding thrillers—and unleash your inner sailor in honor of “Talk Like a Pirate Day.”

Before doing a little research, the only thing I knew about “Talk Like a Pirate” day is that we threw out some pirate lingo on Sept. 19 and got free donuts at Krispy Kreme.

Turns out, there’s not a whole lot more to the day than that.

A couple of regular guys just thought we needed a swashbuckling-lingo holiday and the date of Sept. 19 wasn’t taken. And that’s that. Read their story here.

Pirate Books

Anyhow, this is a day we can get on board with. Or maybe go overboard with.

Read on for some fun pirate literature ideas.

For Ages 3-4

Do Pirates Take Baths? by Kathy Tucker

pirate book

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

This is a sweet, funny book that has rhyming answers to 13 questions about the life of pirates. The kids will love the illustrations.

For Preschool readers

Pirates Love Underpants by Claire Freedman

Pirates Love Underpants book

Photo courtesy of Barnesandnoble.com

What better pairing than pirates and underpants? Bonus: this wacky adventure, originally published in England, will also teach your kids all kinds of synonyms for underpants (i.e. bloomers and knickers).

For Ages 5-8

Eye Wonder: Pirate by DK Publishing

Eye Wonder: Pirate book

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

For the young reader interested in geography and history, this book includes facts about pirates, as well as maps and high-quality photos.

For Ages 6-8

Ghost Island: Choose Your Own Adventure by Shannon Gilligan

Ghost Island book

Photo courtesy of Goodreads.com

In this choose-your-own-path book, your child will meet a pirate ghost, sail across the sea, recover a haunted skull from a museum, and enter a cave that transports them back in time!

For Ages 4-8

Pirates Magnified by David Long, ages 4-8

Pirates Magnified book

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Explore the lives of 10 real pirates and learn about life on the high seas. This book comes with a magnifying glass that can be used to spot more than 200 pirate-themed items.

For Ages 8-12

Who Was Blackbeard? by James Buckley, Jr.

Who was Blackbeard? book

Photo courtesy of Scholastic.com

Known for his thick, black beard and to-be-feared reputation, Blackbeard has influenced pirate legend for hundreds of years. This pirate book tells his story in a way that young readers will appreciate.

For Ages 9-12

Crime Travelers: Diamonds are for Never by Paul Aertker

Crime Travelers: Diamonds are For Never

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

This thrilling espionage novel for middle grades follows a brisk pace and is packed with action sequences similar to a John Grisham or James Patterson book. It involves a Belgian diamond mine, the illegal ivory trade, and a team of kids who can crack complicated codes.

For Ages 10 and up

Real Pirates: The Untold True Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship  by Kenneth J. Kinkor

Real Pirates

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Written for young readers, but interesting for adult readers as well, this book follows the story of the slave ship Whydah, which was captured by pirates and later sunk in a fierce storm off the coast of Massachusetts.

Young Adult/Teen Fiction

Dead Calm, Bone Dry by Eddie Jones

Dead Calm, Bone Dry

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Geared toward teen readers, this book starts with main character Ricky about to be tried for piracy and follows him through ensuing pirate battles and a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Adult Readers

History of Pirates—True Story of the Most Notorious Pirates by Captain Charles Johnson

History of Pirates

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

For the adult history buff and fan of pirate books, this treasure is full of fascinating tales and proven facts about some of history’s most-recognized pirates.

Looking for more fun literature for your family? You might like our original poem “The Cookie Pirate” from our newest book The Yeti In My Freezer.

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