Time Sailors of Pizzolungo by Scott Abrams and Adam Blockton, e-book, 257 pages, published in 2015.
Guillermo comes home on the last day of the school year to find a strange package. He opens it, and inside is an exquisite model sailing ship. Along with his sister, Piccola, and their friends they take the ship down to the water. It is no ordinary ship, however, and soon the kids are heading out to the open sea atop a massive and splendid sailing ship, and right into a raging storm. Before they know it, they are facing pirates who are determined to wrest control of the glorious Grande Infante, meeting famous mariners such as Christopher Columbus, and diving for treasure off the Canary Islands.
A grand adventure on the high seas and across time! A magic ship, time travel, pirates, treasure, sea battles, a variety of historical figures and a pet pig called Romeo make this a very entertaining read. A wonderful combination of adventure, action, geography and history will engage readers of all ages.
I love the idea of a group of sixth graders taking on pirates and crewing such a massive ship. All of the kids had unique characteristics, and I liked them all. I was amused by Luca’s insistence on avoiding the water, Tony’s attachment to his ipad, Enzo’s overly large chin and Mario’s focus on food, but I was drawn to Guillermo’s determination and Piccola’s intelligence. I’m not sure an eleven year old would know that much Latin though! As the story progressed, I felt like I got to know the small crew of the Grande Infante, and I was able to tag along for the ride.
I’m not very familiar with sailing, and even though nautical and sailing terms are used within the story, that didn’t matter because everything was well described. The detail provided clear images of the ship, crew and surrounds. That also applied to the uncouth pirates, which I could almost smell as they tried to board the Grande Infante! I think washing was very under-rated in those days!
Time Sailors of Pizzolungo is most suitable for middle to upper primary school students, but it is really an adventure open for everyone to enjoy. It was lots of fun, and I do hope that there might be another adventure for the Time Sailors of Pizzolungo soon!
*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.