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Book Review: Blackbeard, the Pirate King

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

Also by This Author

• Monumental Verses

J. Patrick Lewis went out on a limb with his previous book of poems. That book, Monumental Verses, introduced the reader to the great monuments of the world using poetry. It was a novel concept, and it certainly worked. This time around, the author is on firmer ground, and what he has written works even better.

It's a collection of poems that, taken together, tell the life story of the man who became known as Blackbeard. Each poem can stand alone, of course, but they stand together as well.

Each poem is accompanied by famous paintings by famous artists, and the descriptions are just as vivid as the pictures. Historical text is also included, to shore up the historical record.

You can probably read through this book in an hour, but you would be well served to take more time than that and enjoy the rhymes, the word choices, and the artwork. For those who think they know the story of Blackbeard, this book will be a bit of an eye-opener.

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