Ahoy there, space shipmates!
I’m so excited to be taking part in the UKMG Extravaganza in Nottingham Central Library on 17th October with over 30 top MG (Middle Grade) authors.
In the build up to this event, I was asked to write a guest post for the brilliant Book Zone. I’m a huge fan of MG novels and have previously blogged about how this category has produced some of the best books ever written, which is why I think MG should stand for ‘Magic Gateway’ (as there is nothing ‘middle’ about these books).
As it was International Talk Like a Pirate Day last week, I’ve decided to do something a bit different for this blog and share my ‘Magnificent Seven’ pirates from children’s literature. There are plenty of great characters to choose from, but here are some of my favourites:
· Dread Pirate Roberts – this pirate captain from The Princess Bride is feared across the seven seas for his ruthless nature and sword fighting skills. His reputation precedes him and everyone fears him, but how much of it is true and how much is just clever PR?
· Nancy Kington – in the novel Pirates! the character of Nancy has her comfortable English life turned upside when she’s shipped out to the West Indies. Nancy and her slave friend, Minerva Sharp, become fugitives and they are forced into a swashbuckling life of piracy.
· Cheng Li – the Vampirates novels are packed with wonderfully dark characters, however one of my favourites is Cheng Li, who serves aboard the pirate ship, The Diablo. Cheng Li is the daughter of a famous pirate captain and she has to work hard to build her own reputation.
· Jack Havock – this plucky pirate is only fifteen years old and the captain of a non-human pirate crew in the enchanting Victorian space adventure Larklight. Jack rescues Arthur (Art) Mumby and his sister Myrtle, before they embark on an adventure to save the universe.
· James Turner – not strictly a pirate, but this unfriendly uncle is known as ‘Captain Flint’ in the novel Swallows and Amazons. At first, James Turner is moody and withdrawn, but is reminded how to have fun by two families of children and he ends up walking the plank.
· Captain Hook – few pirates are as bitter or flamboyant as the notorious Captain James Hook from Peter Pan. In addition to his elaborate clothes and wide-brimmed hat, he wears an iron hook to replace the hand that was severed by Peter Pan and eaten by a crocodile.
· Long John Silver – no list of fictional pirates would be complete without mentioning this colourful quartermaster from Treasure Island. Long John Silver is a complex character, whose courage and cunning help him to overcome his physical disadvantages, while his moral ambiguity and sense of survival make him difficult to predict. Arrr, Jim lad!
Huge thanks to Huw for this wonderful list of fabulous literary pirates. If you've not yet discovered Spacejackers and its sequel The Lost Sword then you are in for a treat - it's pirates in space. What more could you ask for?
As for the UKMG Extravaganza, you can find out more about this awesome sounding event (and it's sister event, the UKYA Extravaganza) over at its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ukyax
The blog tour continues tomorrow at Matt Ralphs' YouTube channel and then on through the rest of September and well into October. Full details below: