Fish: kids' pirate adventure book is great for adults too

Fish is Popular Science writer Gregory Mone's debut young adult novel. It's a short, quick, immensely fun pirate novel about treasure hunting, questioning authority, and coming of age.

Maurice "Fish" Reidy is sent to Dublin at the age of 11 when his family's farm-horse dies; he's to earn the money to buy a new one by working for his mysterious uncle as a courier. Quickly, Fish -- so-called because of his facility for swimming -- finds himself robbed (and then conscripted!) by a crew of pirates, where his adventures begin in earnest.

As one of the few kids on board the ship, Fish is in constant danger of inadvertently offending one of its many factions -- the hungry Scalawags for Sausage, the maimed One-Eyed Willies, the taciturn Over-and-Unders, and the terrifying and mutinous unnamed faction that is bossed by the cruel first mate, Scar.

As the Scurvy Mistress sails the seas, Fish learns the art of nonviolent fighting, helps to solve a damned clever treasure-map riddle, and finds himself square in the middle of the battle for control over the Scurvy Mistress.

Chock full of real historic curiosities about pirates, sly humor for grownups, excellent action scenes and general quantities of swash and buckle, Fish is a great, self-contained addition to the canon of fun pirate fiction. Perfect for young readers, even better for reading aloud at bed-time, thanks to the plentiful cliff-hangers.



  1. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi is another excellent young adult book. It’s about a young woman at sea, thrown into desperate circumstances.

  2. Thanks for recommending this. I bought a copy for my nine-year-old nephew’s birthday. He’s just emailed me to say: “I have started reading the book and it is really,really,really,really,really,really,really,really
    GOOD Fish gets stuck on a pirate ship and becomes a crew member I will say no more.”
    I’ll say no more, too!

    1. Yes, this book was great for my son as well. It was very adventurous for him and he really loves the book!

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