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  • Published: San Diego : Harcourt, 2003.
  • Year Published: 2003
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 28 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

Reading Level

  • Lexile: 470

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 0152018484 :

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How I became a pirate

by Long, Melinda.

There are currently 8 available

Where To Find It

Call number: E LON

Available Copies: Downtown Youth PicBks, Pittsfield Youth PicBks, Traverwood Youth PicBks, West Youth Picture Books

Additional Details

Youth level.

Jeremy Jacob joins Braid Beard and his pirate crew and finds out about pirate language, pirate manners, and other aspects of their life.

Community Reviews


A very enjoyable book. Fun to read to you kids.

High Seas Fun

Jeremy Jacob is just a normal young boy building a sand castle on a beach—until he sees a pirate ship, and then his whole life changes in Melinda Long’s How I Became a Pirate. Jeremy tries to warn his parents that there is a pirate ship approaching the shore, but his father is too preoccupied with setting up the beach umbrella, and his mother is wrestling with getting sun block on his little sister. So, when the pirates come to shore, note that Jeremy is a “good digger,” and ask him to join him on their search for a place to bury their treasure, Jeremy accepts. Captain Braid Beard and his crew are a friendly group of pirates, who teach Jeremy all about what it takes to be one of them. Jeremy is thrilled that no one has to say “please” or “thank you,” and that eating spinach is not required on board, since they don’t even serve it! They even let Jeremy teach them how to play soccer. But when bed-time comes, Jeremy discovers that no one tucks you in or tells you any bed time stories. The next day, when a storm blows up on the high seas, none of the pirates comfort Jeremy, and he knows that even though manners aren’t required on the pirate ship, he would much rather be home. So when the mast breaks and the pirates don’t know where to go to bury their treasure, Jeremy comes up with the perfect solution, and leads them straight to his backyard.

Long’s rhyming words and the lesson that is told through this adventure are an absolute delight, as are David Shannon’s illustrations, which depict over-the-top, colorful, cartoon pirates with pronounced features. The pirates look grungy, but goofy at the same time. Braid Beard’s beard is actually braided, some of the pirates have “mom” tattoos, and one sports two eye-patches (neither of which he needs). There are always pirates popping up on each page, and at one point they are all on the border of the page looking at the reader, making you feel like Jeremy must have felt when he was talking to them and they were all staring down at him. The crew always repeats what Braid Beard says, making for a fun read-aloud. The conclusion of the book brings everything full-circle, as Jeremy practices soccer in his “Pirates” jersey. This high-seas adventure is best suited for grades K-4.

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