15 Best Pirate Books

Best Pirate Books

Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates by Eric Jay Dolin

Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the surprising history of American piracy’s “Golden Age” – spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s – when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond. “Deftly blending scholarship and drama” (Richard Zacks), best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrageous pirates in an early display of solidarity against the Crown, and then violently opposed them. Through engrossing episodes of roguish glamour and extreme brutality, Dolin depicts the star pirates of this period, among them the towering Blackbeard, the ill-fated Captain Kidd, and sadistic Edward Low, who delighted in torturing his prey.

Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History's First Global Manhunt by Steven Johnson

Henry Every was the seventeenth century’s most notorious pirate. The press published wildly popular—and wildly inaccurate—reports of his nefarious adventures. The British government offered enormous bounties for his capture, alive or (preferably) dead. But Steven Johnson argues that Every’s most lasting legacy was his inadvertent triggering of a major shift in the global economy. Enemy of All Mankind focuses on one key event—the attack on an Indian treasure ship by Every and his crew—and its surprising repercussions across time and space. It’s the gripping tale of one of the most lucrative crimes in history, the first international manhunt, and the trial of the seventeenth century..

Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator by Dave Burgess

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Based on Dave Burgess’s popular “Teach Like a PIRATE” seminars, this book offers inspiration, practical techniques, and innovative ideas that will help you to increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator. You’ll learn how to: • Tap into and dramatically increase your passion as a teacher • Develop outrageously engaging lessons that draw students in like a magnet • Establish rapport and a sense of camaraderie in your classroom • Transform your class into a life-changing experience for your students This groundbreaking inspirational manifesto contains over 30 hooks specially designed to captivate your class and 170 brainstorming questions that will skyrocket your creativity. Once you learn the Teach Like a PIRATE system, you’ll never look at your role as an educator the same again.

The Pirate World: A History of the Most Notorious Sea Robbers by Angus Konstam

Often romanticized in print and on the silver screen, real-life pirates were a brutal menace that plagued the high seas. In this book, Angus Konstam separates myth from reality, tracing the history of piracy through the centuries, from the pirates who plagued the Ancient Egyptians to the Viking raids and on to the era of privateers. He discusses the so-called “Golden Age of Piracy” and colorful characters such as Blackbeard and Captain Kidd, before examining the West’s initial encounters with Eastern pirates off the Chinese coast and the phenomenon of the modern pirate. Highly illustrated with color images and specially commissioned maps throughout, this is a unique exploration of the pirate world.

Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay: From the Colonial Era to the Oyster Wars by Jamie L. H. Goodall

From the golden age of piracy to Confederate privateers and oyster pirates, the maritime communities of the Chesapeake Bay are intimately tied to a fascinating history of intrigue, plunder and illicit commerce raiding. Author Jamie L.H. Goodall introduces infamous men like Edward “Blackbeard” Teach and “Black Sam” Bellamy, as well as lesser-known local figures like Gus Price and Berkeley Muse, whose tales of piracy are legendary from the harbor of Baltimore to the shores of Cape Charles.

The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down by Colin Woodard

In the early eighteenth century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Blackbeard, “Black Sam” Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates—former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves—this “Flying Gang” established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote. They cut off trade routes, sacked slave ships, and severed Europe from its New World empires, and for a brief, glorious period the Republic was a success.

Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom--and Revenge by Edward Kritzler

In this lively debut work of history, Edward Kritzler tells the tale of an unlikely group of swashbuckling Jews who ransacked the high seas in the aftermath of the Spanish Inquisition. At the end of the fifteenth century, many Jews had to flee Spain and Portugal. The most adventurous among them took to the seas as freewheeling outlaws. In ships bearing names such as the Prophet Samuel, Queen Esther, and Shield of Abraham, they attacked and plundered the Spanish fleet while forming alliances with other European powers to ensure the safety of Jews living in hiding. Filled with high-sea adventures–including encounters with Captain Morgan and other legendary pirates–Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean reveals a hidden chapter in Jewish history as well as the cruelty, terror, and greed that flourished during the Age of Discovery.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller, Marisa Calin

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map―the key to a legendary treasure trove―seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship. More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

The Last Pirate of New York: A Ghost Ship, a Killer, and the Birth of a Gangster Nation by Rich Cohen

Handsome and charismatic, Albert Hicks had long been known in the dive bars and gin joints of the Five Points, the most dangerous neighborhood in maritime Manhattan. For years, he operated out of the public eye, rambling from crime to crime, working on the water in ships, sleeping in the nickel-a-night flops, drinking in barrooms where rat-baiting and bear-baiting were great entertainments.

His criminal career reached its peak in 1860, when he was hired, under an alias, as a hand on an oyster sloop. His plan was to rob the ship and flee, disappearing into the teeming streets of lower Manhattan, as he’d done numerous times before, eventually finding his way back to his nearsighted Irish immigrant wife (who, like him, had been disowned by her family) and their infant son. But the plan went awry—the ship was found listing and unmanned in the foggy straits of Coney Island—and the voyage that was to enrich him instead led to his last desperate flight.

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton, John Bedford Lloyd

#1 New York Times bestselling author, the incomparable Michael Crichton (“One of the great storytellers of our age” —Newsday) takes to the high Caribbean seas for an irresistible adventure of swashbuckling pirates, lost treasure, sword fights, duplicity, and hair-breadth escapes in the New World.

Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King, 2)by Tricia Levenseller

Alosa’s mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he’s under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father’s justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

Why We Love Pirates: The Hunt for Captain Kidd and How He Changed Piracy Forever (Maritime History and Piracy, Globalization, Caribbean History) by Rebecca Simon

Crime and punishment. During his life and even after his death, Captain William Kidd’s name was known around England and the American colonies. He was infamous for the very crime for which he was hanged, piracy. This book by Rebecca Simon dives into the details of the two-year manhunt for Captain Kidd and the events that ensued afterward. Captain Kidd was hanged in 1701, and from that sprung a massive hunt for all pirates led by the British during a period known as the Golden Age of Piracy. Ironically, public executions only led to pirates’ growth in popularity and interest. In addition, because the American colonies relied on pirates for smuggled goods such as spices, wines, and silks, they sought to protect pirates from being captured.

The Life and Tryals of the Gentleman Pirate, Major Stede Bonnet by Jeremy R Moss

Major Stede Bonnet was living the good life by the age of 28. Bonnet was a wealthy, well-married father of three children, and the family lived on a 400-acre estate on the lush Caribbean island of Barbados.

Then Bonnet had a “humor to go a-pirating,” and left it all behind…

An heir to an established land-owning aristocratic family in Barbados, Major Stede Bonnet enjoyed luxuries equal to those of the finest houses in London. “A Gentleman of good Reputation” and a “Master of a plentiful Fortune,” he was given “the Advantage of a liberal Education,” but the call of the sea-and perhaps more significantly, the push of his obligations as a father and husband-cast Major Bonnet onto an unlikely and deliberate course toward piracy.

Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince by Liz Kessler and Erin Farley


Traveling home by cruise ship should be a relaxing break after Emily’s latest adventure, but things take a turn when the ship is overtaken by a pirate king and his crew. After the pirates collect everyone’s riches, the pirate king’s eldest son steals something even more valuable: Aaron. So Emily dives into action and joins the younger son’s crew in hopes of saving her boyfriend. But Emily is surprised to find herself not only enjoying the pirate life, but actually bonding with the crew — especially Sam, the pirate king’s son. Between helping Sam unravel riddles to beat his brother to the legendary Trident’s Treasure and making sure that her friends are safe, Emily realizes that she needs to be true to herself. Will she cast aside her mermaid life to join her new friends, or will she find a way to follow her own path?

Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff by Shelley Burgess

Are You a Treasure Seeker? Pirates are on a constant quest for riches, but PIRATE Leaders seek even greater rewards: amazing schools, engaged students, and empowered educators who know they are making a difference. In Lead Like a PIRATE, education leaders Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf map out the character traits necessary to captain a school or district. You’ll learn where to find the treasure that’s already in your classrooms and schools—and how to bring out the very best in your educators. What does it take to be a PIRATE Leader? Passion—both professional and personal A willingness to Immerse yourself in your work Good Rapport with your staff, students and community The courage to Ask questions and Analyze what is and isn’t working The determination to seek positive Transformation And the kind of Enthusiasm that gets others excited about education The ultimate goal for any education leader is to create schools and districts where students and staff are knocking down the doors to get in rather than out. 

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