Set in Puerto Rico, this book is filled with pirate lingo, adventure, and, of course, the mysterious map first found in The Criminal in the Caymans.” Remember, there appears on the map a letter during each adventure – so far, the boys have W-I-S. This book will add another letter to further reveal the secret message.
Off again on a vacation, this time it’s the Caribbean. The Stone men are about to ride the high seas, Dad, Max and Sam. But first, there’s a brief history of pirates and a page of lingo to learn. What kid wouldn’t enjoy this?
The night in St. Thomas isn’t going well. Shadows, pirates, and a fall out of bed -- so begins the tale of Pirates in Paradise.
Moored at slip 13, The Strong Survivor awaits her crew. Max and Sam are tired from the rough night and lay on the freshly mopped deck as Dad skillfully plays Captain. The sun feels good and the only sound comes from the slapping of waves against the hull. On the horizon Sam spots a sail. He rushes below deck for the binoculars and learns the rusty ships name, The Lost Soul. Dad is obviously shaken by this bit of news – the boat had been missing for three years. Dad was glad it was heading away from them because there were still pirates around.
Snorkeling is fun and the sea was filled with fish, a stingray and…YIKES! A barracuda! Under the water was just as dangerous as had been some of the other locations they had been to previously on vacation-adventures.
This first night on the sea found all three Stones reading. Max looked from his father reading his book to Sam chuckling at a comic book. The only other way to tell there was another human being in miles was by the lights of their vessels. Max laid his book down and went in search of his notes about some of the creatures in the sea – the eel, barracudas, sharks, rays, and more. Sam went below deck and retrieved the map – there was another letter that mysteriously appeared – the letter “D.”
The next morning, Sam couldn’t raise his brother from a sound sleep. A trip to the refrigerator chest and a chilly bottle of water should help with his dilemma, however. A stream of cold water on Max’s face produced the wanted results – he was awake. Max was quiet – too quiet from someone who had just been doused with icy water. Max finally relays the dream – a pirate laughing -- a laugh that terrifies max. Dad overhears the boys and suggests they go above and watch the sun come up – a good lesson here about directions.Dad explains that he wants to take them to The Baths.
The water looked as if “someone had poured barrels of food coloring into the sparkling water” and the island was something out of a movie – primitive yet beautiful with white powdery sand. The guys lay there on the beach, soaking up the sun and enjoying the relaxing sound of water lapping at the rocks. It was soon time to head back to the boat. Max now wished they had taken the dinghy instead of swimming to the beach. He saw that the other boats were gone – save for The Strong Survivor and the Lost Soul. And the later had a shark’s fin circling its edges.
The threesome made it back to the boat unscathed and the other boat had disappeared. The night would bring more trouble than ever before. The dreams about pirates became real. Dad was bound with rope and his mouth taped as the boys screamed at the men to let their father go. But, the men threw Dad overboard and he landed on the deck of The Lost Soul.
The men kept Sam and Max on The Strong Survivor and could be overheard making plans to have the boat repainted in Puerto Rico. The boys felt awful that their father was alone on the sea in a rusty old boat. The modern-day pirates were a rowdy bunch – shoveling food as if they hadn’t eaten in weeks, stomping around, and even breaking glass on the deck. The boys pretended to be asleep as one of the men came down to brew some tea on the stove. Sam would discover a way out of this mess – sea-sickness pills.
The men came below deck, wanting tea and the biscuits left over from dinner. They sat around telling stories – one even claimed to have put out a man’s eye because he was rude to his bird. Soon, Max and Sam saw that the men were out like babies. The pills Sam had emptied into the tea had done the trick. Now, they had to figure out the best way to get help. But first, they would tie the pirates up and lock them inside the cabin.
Grabbing water and snacks, the boys raised the dinghy and climbed in. They rowed toward the lights and found themselves at the Fort of El Morro. It was scary, but the boys had little choice. They pulled the small craft from the water and made their way to the fort. A shadow frightens the boys, but, as it turns out, it is Dad.
Dad explains how he got loose, sailed to the nearest port and, with a great deal of red tape, was able to convince authorities to look for Max and Sam. He also assured the boys that the pirates were in custody. Instead of making their way back to The Strong Survivor, they opt for a motel room.
The book ends with directions to making your own waves.
This book moves quickly, keeping the interest of children. So much so that kids will barely know they are getting a history, geography, astronomy and science lesson!
Author: Patrick Lennon ISBN: 1-880941-45-7
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