I have a piece in The New York Times Book Review today. If you have a 3rd-8th grader in your life who gets arch, tongue-in-cheek humor and would enjoy some Pirates-of-Penzance-style rollicking adventure with an awesome feminist twist, you must get The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates. The other book I reviewed, meh. (For what it’s worth, I may not delight in James Patterson’s writing, but dude has been a huge force for good for school libraries and the general advocacy of reading for fun. He’s a mensch that way.)

Here for your enjoyment are some things that got cut:

James Patterson has written or co-written one of every 17 hardcover novels sold in the United States. He’s got multiple adult, young adult and middle-grade series coming out simultaneously. In the time it takes to sing “I Am A Pirate King,” James Patterson can publish 17 books.

In patented Patterson style, every chapter ends with a cliffhanger. (As does the book. And since the kids’ parents conveniently left a to-do list of 10 missing artifacts, I smell 9 sequels.) Pick your fave!

We were suddenly the richest kids ever to sail the seven seas!

“According to Dad’s notes, Louis Louis holds the key…to everything.”

When we heard that name, the four of us gasped.

No way were those surfer dudes going to catch up to this wild ride! 

If a book’s billed as “an illustrated novel,” doesn’t it seem kind of churlish not to put the artist’s name on the cover?

The first chapter of the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates begins: “Ever since the letter had arrived from Miss Pimm’s, Hilary had spent more and more time talking to the gargoyle.” You have my attention, debut novelist Caroline Carlson!

In other children’s book news, I’m currently frantically working on my annual list of the best Jewy kidbooks of the year for Tablet. (It has to be out in time for Hanukah gifting, and the bizarre Thanksgivukkah earliness of the due date is giving me agita.) Neither of these qualify (der) but I’m reading like a fiend — I think it’s a banner year. Stay tuned.


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