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The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  253 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Hoist the Jolly Robin! Fly with a swashbuckling crew as they soar through the air — and evade danger on the ground — in search of treasure and lofty adventure.

Captain Blue Jay, notorious and feared pirate of the skies, has a fondness for collecting treasure, especially eggs. Unfortunately, sometimes his treasure hatches, and this time the hatchling is the strangest one the
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Candlewick
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  253 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Jim Hill
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Nash has hand-crafted a love letter to traditional adventure novels with this title. Short, action packed chapters coupled with anthropomorphic bird-pirates and beautiful pen and ink illustrations make this a delightful page turner.

Set aboard the flying pirate ship Grosbeak, captained by the eponymous Blue Jay and crewed by a ragtag band of upstanding rogues, everything about this book is fun and exciting. Each crew member is a well designed, both visually and narratively, with characteristics
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Maxwell gives it a five - I a 4. Fun to read, especially if you can do voices. But it does require some parental editing. The pirates talk pretty roughly to one another, a little too tough for a five year old. But we really enjoyed the relationship between the captain and his surprise guest....
Matthew Barnes
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
YA- A swashbuckling adventure of pirate birds finding their way in a world of spies, a controlling government, superstition and fearsome predators. Beautiful illustrations that really make the story cone to life. If anything, I wish that there was more to the story. It definitely feels like there will be more story coming! I'd say that it is appropriate for ages 7-14.
The Rusty Key
Nov 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer Jordan B. Nielsen

Recommended for: Mainly boys, aged 10 to 13 for its action based narrative, and general pirate-y appeal. Some moderate sword-related violence pushes this book to the higher end of the middle grade spectrum.

One Word Summary: Unfocused.

If I didn’t quite get the dose of swashbuckling pirate fun I was looking for in The Unfortunate Son, Scott Nash’s Blue Jay the Pirate goes a long way to bridge the difference. To be sure, Jay and his band of bird pirates
J.S. Green
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: vine, fiction-elem-mg
Captain Blue Jay the Pirate enjoys a fearsome reputation and a greed for treasure - in particular, eggs. But when he rescues an especially large egg from a raccoon, he and his crew end up with more than they bargained for when it hatches. It turns out to be a baby goose, which not only eats more than any of the rest of them but will eventually be larger than their ship, the Grosbeak. But Jay defends Gabriel the goose, saying someday he'll repay their friendship.

The idea for the story is interest
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. Blue Jay and his crew provided an entertaining read filled with fun and adventure. Gabriel the newest crew member of the Gosbeck had a soft spot in my heart. He was not the brightest but he was kind. He was not fit to be a pirate but he did give it his all. While Blue Jay likes to think he is tough, he is a big softie at heart himself. I mean what other pirate captain has raised almost all of his crew from little baby birds to full fledged pirates.

The illustrations
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great little story that can be read to children quite easily, but it has plenty of action, adventure, and a decent plot to boot that it can be enjoyed by older audiences as well. I had fun reading this book from beginning to end with my little brother, and at the end of the day that's what it's all about.
Scott Randall
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Started super slow, but good middle and end
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this to my son. I especially liked how they didn't wrap up all the characters at the end, leaving room for interpretation.
Sarah Jane Barnett
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was perfect to read to my six-year-old. Love.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We listened to this on a long road trip. Parents and kid alike thought it was clever and great.
Christine H
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Don’t let the flowing fonts on the cover page or the charming character portraits sprinkled throughout the book to fool you into thinking that this is just another lighthearted children’s story. Although the story follows the typical plot line, there’s more depth and maturity in Nash’s characters than one would expect from a kids’ novel. Blue Jay, the captain of the Grosbeak, has a fearsome reputation that precedes him, but his shipmates respect and admire him, which is enough to make him endear ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. This was a very cute book with some wonderful illustrations about a pirate bird named Blue Jay and his crew.

Blue Jay the Pirate is the most feared pirate of the skies and has a hankering for collecting beautiful eggs. When one of the eggs hatches to produce a gosling, things change for Blue Jay and his crew. Eventually Blue Jay and his crew find themselves allying with the sparrows from Briarloch to take out a gang of mean and
Oct 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a story about pirates. But not just any pirates - bird pirates. Their ship flies, their plunder is seed, and their Captain is the notorious Blue Jay. This is also the story of what happens when Blue Jay's band of pirates end up with a gosling on board - so big, awkward and gangly that there is little the poor guy can do right in the pirating world. When adventure and scallywags strike, will they all be ready?

I started out a bit hesitant about the book - curious, but not really convinced
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Blue Jay the Pirate collects eggs. One day he gets a rather unusual one that immediately calls out the motherly instincts of the navigator Junco. Once the egg hatches, the crew upon the Grosbeak find they have a baby goose on their hands. The gosling eats like crazy and grows to be bigger than the little ship, but he struggles to learn to fly. As with all pirates, the Grosbeak goes through times of great treasure to times of not so great treasure. While the gosling, Gabriel, is growing,
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is fun for bird and pirate lovers alike! Blue Jay, feared captain of the Grosbeak, was said to be the most fearsome and bloodthirsty pirate of the skies. Those who saw the Jolly Robin flying from the mast offered little resistance and so Blue Jay's gruesome reputation as a ruthless pirate grew and grew. The crew, though pirate to be sure - in a ship faster than most of the merchant vessels sailing though the Thrushian skies - knew Blue Jay to be a fair, just captain, thoughtful and a s ...more
Mar 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Nothing really wrong with this book, it just didn't captivate me much. The story didn't feel like it was particularly about Blue Jay. Though there were several pov characters, a new addition to the crew felt like the more central one.

By the end I did feel like there were many occasions where time was spent on elements and descriptions that didn't really add to the story, including a couple pages describing a place that they never actually went to. But that has not affected my rating. I felt it w
Nov 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I got this book through one of the Goodreads First Reads giveaways. It was a cute take on the world of birds. I enjoyed the premise of a collection of misfit birds as pirates. I think I especially enjoyed the references to the birds and their behavior and personality because my father was a somewhat avid bird observer while I was growing up, so it brought up some old memories and familiar creatures. I'm also a big fan of pirate adventures. The idea of a blue jay pirate struck an apt chord having ...more
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads-win
I won The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate in a Goodreads First reads drawing. I was really excited when I won this book because Pirates are really big right now. When the book arrived I was very impressed because it is beautiful. It is a well designed book with beautiful illustrations to accompany the story. If I was judging this book by its cover it would get get five stars for sure.
Of course we know, the intention of First Reads drawings is not to judge books by thier covers, b
Reviewed at:

Anthropomorphism in books can go either way: amazing or stretching. Blue Jay the Pirate definitely more amazing than stretching. Scott Nash makes a world of birds that could theoretically exist up in the sky. First we meet Blue Jay the Pirate who is an outlaw causing havoc to supply ships and other ships with treasures. He is one of the most feared pirates of the skies; however, he has a secret passion- collecting bird eggs. So, one day when h
Online Eccentric Librarian
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it

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This is a charming and creative book about pirates...who just happen to be birds. If I had read this book when I was in 5th grade, I would have loved it. That is saying a lot as I was an avid reader and I only loved one in about every 20 books that I read.

I love Captain Blue Jay's hobby of egg collecting, and that you never know what will hatch out of the eggs - including birds who become crew members later. Out of one o
Tim Loge
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, pirates
Captain Blue Jay has a hearty pirate crew, a sturdy ship named the Grosbeak, and, curiously, an egg collecting hobby. Birds all around claim he is the most bloodthirsty and fearsome of pirates, and especially so because of his cannibalism of eggs. However, he only collects eggs like he does treasure; he doesn’t eat them, he just enjoys the different colors and textures of them. This adventure begins with Junco , the ship’s navigator, hatching the largest egg the captain has ever brought on board ...more
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
To sum this book up in one word it would be surprised. From the beginning when I received the book I was surprised to find how beautifully crafted the hardcover was. With a beautiful blue cloth covering and foiled metallic silver lettering running down the spine I was more than excited to crack open the book and start reading. This book tells a beautiful tale of Blue Jay a pirate and captain of his ship the Grosbeak. Along with a beautifully crafted hardback the illustrations were well done as w ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jun 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Blue Jay is the pirate captain of the Grosbeak. He has an odd attraction to collecting eggs, which is helpful when trying to get crew members, but now that he has enough he is trying to stop collecting so many. One intriguing egg he can't resist ends up hatching a gosling,Gabriel, whom the other birds consider a god. Luckily, the motherly Junco takes care of him and instructs him in the facets of pirate life. When a doldrums causes the ship to almost crash, Gabriel (who is not yet fledged) falls ...more
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a charming illustrated chapter book for children approximately from the ages of 10-12. Even though it's over 350 pages, it's a very quick read. Many pages are full pictures. The characters are mainly birds aboard a flying pirate ship, and the story is a fast-paced, suspenseful pirate adventure with many moments of comic relief. Its animal protagonists, gentle humor and action may remind some of the Roald Dahl classic Fantastic Mr. Fox. I liked this story because the author did not neglec ...more
Meg Laverick
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Scott Nash has found the formula for a perfect book. It's a blue jay who also is a pirate. Done. 'Nuff said. Take my money you clever clever man.

In a literal high-flying adventure, Nash has written a swashbuckling pirate tale reminiscent of classics like treasure island - except that all the characters are birds (with the exception of Hillary, the most awesome star-nosed mole ever). It's brilliant.

Also brilliant are the gorgeous, detailed illustrations that appear throughout the story and all of
Teddi Deppner
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, fantasy
My 12 year old son enjoyed this book so much he insisted that I read it. I can see why! It was a fun romp, with lots of friendship and adventure.

As an adult, I felt a little off-kilter, because the book title is about Blue Jay the Pirate and yet the story centered around a strange egg that Blue Jay acquired and what hatched from it. One of his pirates, Junco, had a special attachment to the hatchling, so most of the story centered around her and what came out of the egg.

I'm always looking for s
Nov 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I almost gave up on this book at about chapter 5 and then I read some very favourable reviews and decided to push on. It became much more interesting and I ended up enjoying the book. The characters are each unique and add variety to the story. You end up cheering on Blue Jay and his friends as they battle the crows. My favourite characters were the sparrows and the mole. I will pass this along to my son's elementary / junior high school so that children can enjoy this charming novel. The illust ...more
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Delightful middle school fantasy of avian pirates aboard their Jolly Robin flying aero-nautical flying ship the Grosbeak, captained by the fearsome, Blue Jay. Jay rescues a strange egg from a possessive raccoon, and his navigator, Junco, is determined it shall hatch. But the hissing hatchling, thought not a reptile the hissing sounds like, it is determined to be a very hungry and rapidly growing Branta gosling. Ahead of them all is a massive adventure against Jay's wicked cousin Teach, leader of ...more
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed immensely this story of aviary pirates led by Blue Jay who has a reputation for being fierce and deadly. But behind all the hype lies the true story of Blue Jay whose fascination with the eggs of other birds has more to do with his love for their beautiful shapes and colors than his desire to eat the eggs. The book describes what happens when a larger than usual egg hatches aboard ship and then later, when the ship runs into a patch of bad luck. Betrayed by his cousin and several crows ...more
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"More and more, I'm being informed by television--animation---and children's books, both of which are sort of in my blood" says Scott Nash. "That's what my childhood was about." Inspired by everything from Uncle Wiggly and Raggedy Ann and Andy books to UNDERDOG cartoons and graphic novels, the celebrated illustrator recently made his authorial debut with TUFF FLUFF, a tongue-in-cheek mystery set i ...more