Of boys and pirates

I recently picked up the newly released Chronicles of Egg: Deadweather and Sunrise, the first book in the trilogy. And I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but honestly, it was the cover that pulled me in. How could any adventure-book lover resist? A precariously placed castle, a PIRATE SHIP!, and two kids, heading into the thick of it all.

And unlike some wine labels that have led me astray, this cover does not disappoint. Book-loving Egbert, with two dim-witted siblings who seem to have fallen straight from a Roald Dahl story, is just the curious underdog to take on the whirlwind of activity about to befall him.

Egg’s friendly manner toward pirates and his interest in adventure reminded me of another boy character, Jim Hawkins of Treasure Island. It’s true, the book was published more than a century ago, but some things, like pirates and curious young boys, never change. Jim is the kind confidante to Billy Bones, an old pirate always carrying on about who’s out to get him and what he plans to do when they find him at Jim’s family’s lodging house. Jim isn’t sure he believes him, but much like Egg, he loves a good story. And when the buccaneers show up firing pistols and plotting attacks, Billy Bones dies and Jim is left with a treasure map and an adventure.

I only got around to reading this pirate classic by Robert Louis Stevenson a few months ago. My subway commute is a bit lengthy and I was in between novels, but that little treasure (pun intended) was on my e-reader — one of many free books I had downloaded when I first starting browsing Ebook stores. Consider it your primer in all things about boys and pirates. It debuted Long John Silver’s appearance in our culture and even popularized the treasure map.

Although Chronicles of Egg may allude to its pirate story predecessor, it has many things that Treasure Island does not. A feisty female comrade, for one. In my book, that alone makes it worth reading.