Talk Like a Pirate Day was first celebrated in 1995 by a small group of friends who decided it would be fun to run around using pirate lingo. The “holiday” was largely celebrated only by this small group of friends until 2002 when the story was picked up by a national newspaper. Since then, the day has picked up steam around the world and now every September 19, people far and wide celebrate by speaking like pirates!
To learn more about International Talk Like a Pirate Day, you can visit the official website where you can learn more about the history of the day, play pirate themed games, and buy piratey swag.
Check below the cut for a list of piratey books that you can read to put you in the celebratory mood. All of these books are available for check out at the West Baton Rouge Parish Library.
Treasure Island by: Robert Louis Stevenson
This is perhaps one of the most famous pirate books and is largely responsible for all the modern pirate lore. It’s about a young boy named Jim Hawkins who signs up to work on a ship as a cabin boy. Unfortunately for him, nearly the entire crew turns out to be pirates and they quickly mutiny in order to steer the ship to a secret island rumored to be loaded with treasure. This is a thrilling adventure novel that has spawned numerous film versions (one of which involves the muppets). You’ll definitely want to start with this one to get into the spirit of things.
One Piece by: Eiochiro Oda
Monkey D. Luffy is an energetic young man who is determined to become King of the Pirates. This isn’t easy considering he lives in a world almost entirely populated by different pirate captains and their crew. He and his friends must fight their way to the top, using all of their brains, brawns, and mystical powers to get there. This is a many-volumed Japanese manga series that’s full of fun, action, adventure, and the right amount of weirdness.
Hostage Three by: Nick Lake
This is a story of modern pirates. Amy and her family set sail on her father’s yacht one day, expecting only to experience the sea and sun. Unfortunately for her, they are quickly attacked by a group of pirates who decide to hold Amy’s family captive in order to use them as bargaining chips to get what they want. Amy, father, and her stepmother are then ranked as to who is most valuable and who is least valuable with Amy coming in at dead last. It’s a harrowing experience but over time, Amy becomes less and less afraid, going so far as to start bonding with the youngest member of the pirate crew. The pirates in this story don’t exactly talk like how you’d imagine pirates talking, but it’s a nice change from the traditional pirate view and a grim reminder that pirates still do exist today.
Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Ship Wreck by: Margarita Engle
This is the (mostly) true account of the first pirate ship to wreck in the Caribbean. It tells the story of a boy named Quebrado who is half Spanish and half Taino Indian who works as a slave for a pirate crew. When the ship crashes onto and island in the Caribbean, he becomes invaluable when it comes to dealing with the island’s natives and the crew’s survival. The novel is told through free style verse (poetry), and while the character of Quebrado is fictional, the events of the story are not. This is a great nonfiction book to read in order to separate the fact and fiction from your idea of pirates.