More than anything Bobby wants to be one of Blackbeard’s Boys. Unfortunately, Mario and his lackeys are determined to exclude him. They do not think he can survive the swim to Dead Bone Island, the rite of passage for membership in the group. When he does, Mario realizes he must up the ante.
He tells Bobby he must steal something from a local fisherman’s ship. Although he knows it is wrong and that his father would never approve, Bobby heads to Captain Bonicelli’s boat under cover of darkness. He easily pinches a picture from the Captain’s quarters, knocking over a lamp as he leaves. Bobby manages to escape capture, as does a young octopus named Walter. Their chance encounter challenges Bobby to once again risk capture to help Walter rescue something from that same ship.
Wylde Scott’s fairy tale adventure will captivate young readers. They will commiserate with Bobby’s desire to be accepted by his peers and see the consequences of following the crowd. In the end, Bobby’s sense of justice is stronger than peer pressure, and he chooses a friend worthy of loyalty. Hannah Shuping’s dreamlike illustrations add a touch of mystery to the book.
A former teacher, Jennifer Minicus is currently a full-time wife and mother.