Craggy + windswept


"What is it I loved about this world Kate created? It bears some resemblance, I imagine, to the craggy, windswept place she actually inhabits on the Atlantic coast. But what makes this world new is seeing it from the perspective of a boy still young enough to see possibilities his parents might long have written off.

There are still pirates in Nova Scotia. They roam the barely-lit edges of his world but he has proof. It's a world filled with secret documents, maps, and mysterious totems. In other words, Kate has made a world where there is still adventure in the woods...

...See, these pirates are profane. They are the grossest pirates you will ever meet, and your kids will love them. Trust me. They fart and smell like outdated French cheeses and their behavior is more uncouth than any character's you will encounter between Robert Louis Stevenson and Roald Dahl.

And their overall disgustingness is lovingly etched by Halifax native Sydney Smith who has a particular talent with stink lines, buzzing flies, warts, wrinkles, and glowering faces. Kids love stories about any creatures more poorly behaved than themselves, and the pirates of the backwoods will not disappoint even the most unruly jackanape under your roof."

~ James Griffioen of Sweet Juniper (the complete review lives here)