How I Became a Pirate
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How I Became a Pirate

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  14,594 ratings  ·  374 reviews
Pirates have green teeth—when they have any teeth at all. I know about pirates, because one day, when I was at the beach building a sand castle and minding my own business, a pirate ship sailed into view. So proclaims Jeremy Jacob, a boy who joins Captain Braid Beard and his crew in this witty look at the finer points of pirate life by the Caldecott Honor–winning illustrat...more
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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This is one of my grandson's favorite books. He asks me to read it to him almost every time he visits. My grandson loves where they end up burying the treasure and Jeremy's soccer team name, as well as many other details. :)

The only reason that I give it four stars instead of five is because I have had to explain to my grandson that it is not ok to go with strangers several times. In the book Jeremy goes with the pirates and thinks it is ok. He says that he doesn't think his parents will mind as...more
What little boy would not love a pirate adventure – and little Jeremy Jacob sees an adventure of a lifetime when a pirate ship shows up on North Beach just as he is building a sandcastle.

With his parents distracted, Jeremy takes off with Braid Beard and his posse of pirates. He learns sea chanteys and uses words like landlubber and scurvy dog. Even though a life at sea sounds fun, big storms are scary and when you do not have your mommy to tuck you in at night, the fun ebbs very quickly.

With a t...more
I really liked this book as I was reading it to my son. He actually likes a pirate show that comes on TV so I knew he would be able to relate to the book and understand what a pirate was. The author used the writing craft of unforgettable language in this book. I think that he used this craft very well because he highlighted the phrases that he wanted to emphasize and made them in bold print and in a bigger font as well. He also was not afraid to use a lot of pirate language so that the reader c...more
Amy Poulin
Braid Beard and his crew show up at Jeremy Jacobs house ready for an adventure. Jeremy decides to go on an adventure with the pirates. At first he loves being a pirate no veggies and all the freedom, until he realizes that they don't read and as for tucking him in at night they don't do that either. When the adventures bring Jeremy home they bury treasure in the backyard and off they go. Jeremy was on the pirates team and he found out that is wasn't so bad.

Teaching Moments:

Learn Pirate language-...more
Mallory Dreiling
Super cute story about a realistic boy character who gets to hang out with a band of pirates for the day. The illustrations are equally as wonderful. A good story to read aloud with expression and voices (if you can!).
Nia King
Everything that seems good, doesn't always tend to be. Jeremy learns that when he leaves his normal life to become a pirate. This is a great way for kids to explore that reading is actually fun.
Basic Plot: Jeremy Jacob becomes a pirate and has some fun, but misses some of his favorite things about non-pirate life.

This was a really fun book to read to my little guy. With a decent pirate accent in my bag of tricks, and the well-written story in front of me, a great bedtime storytime was had. The art is also good quality, with lots of great facial expressions on pirates, and art that both illustrates the story and adds extra layers to it. Pirates are my boy's current favorite thing on the...more
Annie Baucke
Students will enjoy having this book in their classroom for several reasons. The first are the illustrations, which are very realistic and detailed, giving the reader something to follow along with as they read through the narrative. A second reason involves the interactive portion of the book in which students can read aloud certain parts of the story as the teacher reads the story to the class. I think that by giving them a part in the story, students will be better focused on the teacher whil...more
Emily Holter
This fantasy book, by Melinda Long, will surely have younger students, in a K-2 classroom, engaged and laughing. The story starts off with a little boy playing on the beach in the sand. As he's building a sand castle, he sees a pirate ship sailing into view. The boy knows it's a pirate ship because he describes it had a skull and crossbones flag on it, along with pirates singing "Hey, ho, blow the man down!" Somehow, the boy ends up joining the pirates on their boat. He teaches them to play socc...more
A marvelous, rollicking story about a little boy, Jeremy Jacob, at the beach with his family. He's building a sand castle and having a lovely time when suddenly he sees a pirate ship. The pirates come ashore to talk to him, while his parents are distracted with his younger sister and don't notice. When the pirate captain notices what a good digger Jeremy is, he invites Jeremy to join his crew, since they need a good digger to help them bury their treasure.
Jeremy has a fabulous time with the pir...more
This book just taps into the already existing piratical love sweeping the nation. The illustrations in this book are fantastic, with loads of little details and jokes that make it fresh each time. The story is wonderfully wacky and full of good humor. Each double-page spread if filled to overflowing with action and vitality. The characters' piratical expressions are laugh-out-loud funny.
Caitlin Barclay
This book is so captivating! Just like the boy in the story, the illustrator has a great imagination. The boy seems bored and left out of his family so he wishes for something else, which I think is something students will relate too. But as the story goes be careful what you wish for! This is a great book to have around when students are beginning to complain about what they have.
Clio Reads
I let my son pick out a new book to celebrate the end of the school year (at 3.75, he just finished his first year of Montessori Pre-K), and this was his pick. Good choice, kiddo. This is the gorgeously illustrated story of Jeremy Jacob, who is building a sandcastle on the beach when a band of pirates comes ashore. They notice that he's a good digger, so they bring him back to the ship to help them bury their treasure. (Jeremy Jacob is sure his parents won't mind, so long as he's back in time fo...more
Jaycie Shearer
Pirates are a great subject for children’s books, which is why this book is a very good read. The dream of many children, the story follows a young boy who turns into a pirate. This book allows children to feel like they are in the story – experiencing all of the adventures that the pirate in the story does. The book addresses the fact that some of the things children dream up can sometimes be unrealistic. In the story, the little boy so badly wants to be a pirate that he suddenly becomes one. H...more
Tichina Fung-chung
How I Became a Pirate is defintely a book that the children would be sure to enjoy! It's about a young boy who gets the opportunity to become a pirate! After sharing this book with the class, a great lesson for first graders is to have them make their "How I Became a_________" story.
A cute, funny book about a little boy who meets pirates while at the beach with his parents. It's a safe choice for preschoolers who are interested in pirates because of all the pop culture hype, but who aren't ready for the violence of real pirates stories.
Rashanda Ravenel
As soon as I see a pirate book, I automatically think of Peter Pan or Pirates of the Caribbean. There are so many directions to go in with this book. I can talk about dental hygiene with students. I can do a picture walk to see what details students see in the book and discuss their predictions. We can discuss punctuation since many of the words are emphasized. We can also talk about subcultures; What does it mean to talk like a pirate? What does it mean to talk southern? We can also talk about...more
Raven Grider
How I Became a Pirate is great for role playing, or even to turn it into a Reader's Theater. The dialogue is great to model to students on how to read with expression themselves.
Katlynn Nevill
I love it.
Emily Miller
Melinda Long's story will spark children's imagination. The book is about a boy named Jake who tells the story about how he went to the beach with his family and became a pirate. He thought it would be a great thing to do what he wanted, eat whatever, and stay up late, but he soon realized that he didn't like everything that pirates did and missed his family. In the end he came home, but was happy to have had a fun adventure. I would defintely recommend this book for an elementary classroom!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Author: Melinda Long

Illustrator: David Shannon

Genre: Fiction Picture Book

Publication Info: Harcourt, Inc. : 2003

Reading Level: Early Transitional

Topic/Theme: Adventure

Issues Addressed: It is not always greener on the other side of the fence.

Classroom Uses: Read Aloud, Individual Reading

Summary: Jeremy Jacobs is at the beach with his family. He sees a pirate ship land ashore. The pirates see that he is a good digger and decide that he would be perfect to help bury their treasure. Jeremy become...more
Lisa Carroll
I can't say enough good things about this book. My son developed a love of pirates at the age of 3 and found this book hilarious. The pictures are amazing and the story is quite entertaining. There is enough substance to this picture book for a an older child to enjoy as well. I think this book would be appropriate enough for children up to 3rd grade. Our young hero, Jeremy Jacob is at the beach with his family when a band of pirates notice what a good digger he is. He is asked to join them and...more
(NS) Laura Jackson
This is the story of Jeremy Jacob and his adventures in becoming a pirate. While spending the day at the beach with his family, Jeremy is chosen by a group of pirates to join them on their ship because of his wonderful digging skills. Jeremy immediately decides to become a pirate because of the joys he thinks it will bring him, as long as he gets back for his soccer practice the next day. Jeremy comes to enjoy the customs of being a pirate, especially the lack of table manners and having no bedt...more
I really liked the illustrations in this book. It was an enjoyable book to read about pirates. Once again, I love David Shannon books! I would recommend this book to children interested in pirates.

Publishers Weekly
Landlubbers, take heart! Here's a tale of a lad who sets sail and finds he prefers the comforts of home. Equipped with pail and shovel, young Jeremy Jacob is happily constructing a sandcastle and moat when his day at the beach takes an unexpected turn. A ship sails in with a Jolly Rog...more
Vianey Sanchez
How I Became a Pirate by Melissa Long
Genre:Picture book
Interest level: Grades K-2
Guided reading: L
Lexile level: 470L
Main Characters: Jeremy Jacob, Braid Beard
POV: Jeremy Jacob

Summary: This book is about a boy, Jeremy Jacob, who is on the beach with his family all of which are too busy to pay any attention to him. He sees a ship out on the horizon, which he ends up boarding only to find Captain Braid Beard and his crew of pirates. Jeremy decides to stay on the ship and be reckless like the pirate...more
Dec 22, 2007 Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like to say "arrrgh matey"
Shelves: children-books
I love pirate talk and this book has a lot of it. But it's the perfect kind of pirate talk for young children. They don't talk about drinking rum, fighting bandits or stealing from other ships ... it talks about pillow fights, staying up late and burying treasure!

Sweet, little Jeremy Jacob spies a pirate ship while making a sand castle and goes on board to help them find a place to bury their treasure (arrrgh matey). He soon learns that the life of a pirate is the life to lead! You don't have to...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Allison Fraclose for Kids @

While at the beach, a young boy named Jeremy Jacob looks up from his sand castle to find a pirate ship approaching the beach. He tries to tell his family, but they are all too busy, and no one notices when the pirates pull up in their rowboat and ask Jeremy if they have reached the Spanish Main. When he says no, they are at North Beach, the pirate captain notices Jeremy's sandcastle. They need a good digger, so they invite Jeremy along with...more
Kristi Bernard
What kids doesn't want to have a pirate experience. Sailing the seas without a care in the world would be a blast. How I Became A Pirate is a great read and a great adventure.

Jeremy Jacob is on the beach creating a sand castle when he spots a pirate ship at sea. When the pireates come ashore they discover they took a wrong turn. As Captain Braid Beard admires the great digging job that Jeremy did with his castle, they ask him to travel along with them. Jeremy learns to speak pirate and sing chan...more
CH_Emily Scholnik
ALA Notable Children’s Book
Book Sense 76 Pick
Florida Reading Association Children's Book Award
IRA-CBC Children’s Choice
NAPPA Honors Award
Nick Jr. Family Magazine Best Book of the Year
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award
Parents’ Choice Gold Award
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Award Winning Illustrator, David Shannon
Grades 1st through 3rd.

How I become a pirate will capture the imagination of any youngster who has imagined being a pirate. A young boy spends the day at the bea...more
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