Booktalk for SEVEN DEAD PIRATES by Linda Bailey

When Great-Granddad dies, Lewis and his parents move into Shornoway, a big tumbling down house that has been in the family for generations. Lewis is drawn to the round tower room at the top of the house. It used to be his great-grandfather’s bedroom when he was a kid.

Lewis can tell there’s something special about that room. It has a view of the ocean, and the fresh sea breeze comes in through the window. Great-Granddad’s ship-in-a-bottle still sits on the shelf.

But then Lewis starts noticing other things. Creaks and thumps. A sudden whiff of fish. Voices coming from behind a little red door in the wall. What was that about?

It’s not long before the pirate ghosts who inhabit the room show themselves. They’ve been waiting for Lewis. They’ve been watching him. They need his help.

Find out what Lewis does when he comes face to face with Seven Dead Pirates.


Genre: fantasy

Grades 4-7.


Anna’s take on it:

Pirate books are good. Ghost books are good. A book about pirate ghosts — even better!

I definitely enjoyed booktalking this title last spring. I used it as the first book in my presentation for 4th graders, and it often got mentioned when I asked kids afterward which books they wanted to read.

At one school, I had  particularly challenging 4th grade class. They were so squirrely, I wasn’t sure anybody heard anything I said. I was on my way out after a second class (thankfully very attentive), when I passed those first kids in the hallway. One boy jumped out of line to tell me, “I really want to read the treasure book!” I was confused at first, but then realized, of course, pirates = treasure, and he wanted to read Seven Dead Pirates.