Lewis Dearborn is “terminally shy”. Perhaps it is because he is an only child; perhaps because his parents, particularly his mother, are exceptionally over-protective. Whatever the reason, Lewis has one true friend: his 101-year-old great-grandfather. Lewis cannot help but feel honored when Great-Granddad’s last words are addressed to him: “Libertalia. You!” What could it mean?
Lewis refuses to believe his mother, who assures him that it is simply the rant of a senile old man. Mrs. Dearborn is more convinced than ever that her grandfather was off his rocker when his will is finally read. She is to inherit everything as long as her family lives in his dilapidated beachfront house for at least six months. (Actually, she will inherit everything but his ship in a bottle. That goes to Lewis.) Lewis does not mind. When they arrive, Mrs. Binchy, the housekeeper, gives Lewis the key to the tower where his bottle awaits. Lewis immediately falls in love with the tower bedroom that faces the ocean. Its large windows, that never seem to stay closed, let in light and sea breezes. There is something special about this room, no doubt about it. Its novelty quickly turns to fear, however, when Lewis discovers that there are pirate ghosts living in the closet, ghosts whom his great-grandfather had befriended and who are depending on Lewis to help them get back to their ship.
With light-hearted humor, Linda Bailey proves that even the most timid of protagonists can rise to the occasion when faced with a strange dilemma. Lewis begins his adventure afraid of everyone at school, teachers and students alike. He finds his courage when he realizes that he must learn to control his “guests” or lose his beloved new bedroom. Pirates may talk tough, but they have their own anxieties. Lewis learns that he is capable of leading even the roughest of ruffians, dead or alive, and this empowers him to come out of his shell.