Seven Dead Pirates

Publisher: Tundra Books
Lewis Dearborn is a lonely, anxious, "terminally shy" boy of eleven when his great-grandfather passes away and leaves Lewis's family with his decaying seaside mansion. Lewis is initially delighted with his new bedroom, a secluded tower in a remote part of the house. Then he discovers that it's already occupied -- by the ghosts of seven dead pirates. Worse, the ghosts expect him to help them re-take their ship, now restored and on display in a local museum, so they can make their way to Libertalia, a legendary pirate utopia. The only problem is that this motley crew hasn't left the house in almost two hundred years and is terrified of going outside. As Lewis warily sets out to assist his new roommates -- a raucous, unruly bunch who exhibit a strange delight in thrift-store fashions and a thirst for storybooks -- he begins to open himself to the possibilities of friendship, passion and joie de vivre and finds the courage to speak up.


“Bailey endows Lewis with several scene-stealing allies (notably a fierce kindergartener) and leaves him confidently steering a course toward calm waters. Piratical fun well-stocked with colorful cast members living and arrghh.” - Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

“This rollicking tale moves apace with a vivid setting, surprising depth, great humor, and memorable characters. Readers will root for Lewis as he finds his sea legs and the courage to make friends, both spectral and human. VERDICT Ahoy, ye maties: don’t miss this treasure of a middle grade yarn.” - Starred Review, School Library Journal

“It is Bailey’s extraordinary skill as a storyteller that keeps the entire fantastical premise, and its meaningful undercurrent, from ever straying into the unbelievable. Seven Dead Pirates is a story that flows almost like magic .... At times earnest, at times playful, and always infused with the power of imagination, Seven Dead Pirates is a rollicking and exciting story that will entertain and enlighten in equal amounts.” - CM Magazine

“The larger-than-life (afterlife?) pirates are the perfect foil to introverted Lewis. Bailey paints them with broad strokes, but her caricatures are filled with a whole lotta heart. It’s unlikely that every shy kid will have seven dead pirates at their disposal to teach them how to believe in themselves, but they can have Bailey’s book, which is a pretty nice alternative.” - National Post