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What could be more exciting to a computer-savvy, twenty-first century boy than suddenly finding himself aboard a pirate ship...in 1692...sailing out to sea captive? Mysteriously abandoned in time by his time-travel capsule, Jon Sinclair is kidnapped and conscripted into the crew of a rogue captain, BlackHeart. In her frantic search for Jon, his grandmother, disguised as a male galley cook, joins a rival pirate crew on the hunt for BlackHeart. As Jon endures hurricanes, sea battles, and gold-lusting pirates diving for treasure, will his final reward be to battle his loving grandmother when these pirates face off against each other? Can his grandfather, left behind in 2010, intervene to save them from pirates and impending death in the 1692 earthquake that will destroy Port Royal? BlackHeart's Legacy will leave tweeners, young teens, and anyone who loves a page-turning adventure breathless and waiting for the second book in The Odyssey of Jon Sinclair series by Sally Copus.

330 pages, Paperback

First published March 9, 2005

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About the author

Sally Copus

2 books15 followers
Sally Copus is enjoying a second career as a full time writer. The former CEO of a large direct marketing firm, she combines her extensive world travels with a love of history to bring the past to life for young readers.

BlackHeart's Legacy is the first book in The Odyssey of Jon Sinclair series, followed by the highly anticipated Keys to Atlantis. Copus resides in a pre-Civil War home built in 1850 that overlooks the majestic Missouri River in historic Lexington, Missouri. She draws inspiration from her surroundings and her four grandchildren.

Read more on author's website: www.sallycopus.com

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Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,765 reviews582 followers
June 2, 2015
Just in time for summer reading for kids I’ve found another buried treasure that sparkles and shines for both boys and girls!! Here is a time travel adventure about a young boy and his grandparents who discover what it is really like to sail the high seas in the late 17th century aboard a pirate ship or two. Join Jon Sinclair as is taken under the wing of the legendary pirate, BlackHeart. Jon will brave the deadly seas, face hurricanes, searching for buried treasury and see firsthand what a battle on the high seas is really like. Meanwhile, Gammy has been separated from Jon and must go undercover as a young boy galley cook to head out on another pirate ship who is hunting BackHeart down. Stuck in the 21st century, Grandpa knows something has gone terribly wrong and he, too take a leap across the ages to rescue his family.

BlackHeart’s Legacy by Sally Copus is true adventure reading for younger readers, filled with all of the danger, intrigue and magic of living in another time, in a world where only the strong, brave or lucky survive. Discover if history comes alive for yourself, if there is more to pirate tales than meets the eye and if a contemporary family can adjust in a more chaotic and wild era where the swords flash, waves roll and the day to day work of a seafaring crew is tough, but necessary. Will Jon discover there is more to the feared BlackHeart than legends have told?

Sally Copus infuses humor, danger and awe in the world she has created for younger readers. With a brilliant detail and a fast pace, there is no time to be bored!

I received this copy from Sally Copus in exchange for my honest review.

Series: The Odyssey of Jon Sinclair - Book 1
Publication Date: June 23, 2010
Publisher: Sally Copus
ISBN-13: 9781450534420
Genre: Middlegrade Fantasy
Print Length: 331 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Reviewed for: http://tometender.blogspot.com

Profile Image for Eileen Dandashi.
542 reviews17 followers
July 11, 2015
What a fun adventure with Jon and his Grammy and later Allistair at the infamous Pirates’ Babylon, better known as Port Royal in the Jamaican Islands.

We didn’t know where we were when we eventually reappeared other than it was 1692. However, Sally Copus did a terrific job, along with narrator Paul Woodson, through her words and his way of storytelling to bring us up to speed. We saw the forest where the Carousel landed, the town of Port Royal with ships in the harbor, the pirates and people a little unsavory.

Jon separates from his grandmother (not such a good idea Jon), however this creates a bunch of adventure we shared with Jon. Grammy, dressed as a young lad, eventually locates Jon when she cleverly listens for any word from the men coming off the ships.

Now BlackHeart was an unusual pirate and we find out how in the storytelling. SharkScar was one scary character and a true evil man who never seemed to disappear — always reappearing and creating havoc, both for BlackHeart and then for the Sinclairs. Each pirate tried to outmaneuver the other to get to sunken treasures.

I learned a lot with this listen and that’s just the way I like it. The pirates used a bell diving apparatus a predecessor of diving equipment. It truly existed. Any time a story piques my interest in a historical event and gives me insight to the workings of people’s minds, I say it was very much worth the read.

The special black opal ring BlackHeart wore was very intriguing, adding the spice of the paranormal. I hope we hear more about this gem in the following stories of the series. I love the fantasy mix with some real events, although it had me googling to try to know fact from fiction.

Yes, my readers, there was an earthquake in 1692 that dropped part of Port Royal into the sea and if you go to that small town and do some skin diving, you’ll see a city under water. I wonder how much treasure is left buried in that area. Ah, more googling will help me find my answers.

Ms. Copus entertained me greatly at the same time as providing me knowledge about the past. I was surprised how engaged I was when it was geared for middle school. Narrator Paul Woodson truly brought to life the characters with his depiction of pirates and their unsavory thoughts with his usual superb performance.

Some things I take away from the story: Not all spoken is the truth, nor are appearances necessarily reality. People of the 17th century were as we see them today: some good men and women trying to make a difference, some people need to be given a helping hand to help themselves, other people are guided by greed and nothing will deter them from their path.
Profile Image for Jenny Falcone.
79 reviews2 followers
July 30, 2015
I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. I'm currently 44% through. The main character, Jon, is a young boy who traveled back in time with his grandmother. They were looking to visit the signing of the Declaration of Independence but something went wrong and they ended up about a 100 years earlier. Jon gets separated from his grandmother and ends up on a pirate ship as a cabin boy.

This book is written in third person omniscient view. We know what the character knows and the person being followed changes to give different views. Mostly we follow Jon, Gramm (Jon's grandmother who is thought to be an adolescent boy), Blackheart and Shark Scar, and later Jon's grandfather, Alistair. This is an easy read and flows nicely from page to page.

I have just completed this book and, boy, what can I say? This book is an intriguing, MUST read, entertaining book. Sally Copus keeps your attention and mind hopping as you try to figure out what will happen next. Even though this book is clearly fictional fantasy, it mixes in bits of history, like the earthquake that occurs on June 7, 1692, which actually did happen.

Alistair says that he was given computer equipment after his son and daughter-in-law were killed. I was a bit confused as to who is looking for an answer and what he is supposed to figure out. Whatever that answer is that he is supposed to figure out is what got his son killed.

This is a Christian mom approved book. Although, clearly discretion is advised since the whole book is about time travel and what happens to the individuals that go back to the 1600's.

5 out of 5 stars. I already requested to review the next book in the trilogy and can not wait to see what happens. Recommended for all.
Profile Image for Sarah Fairburn.
51 reviews2 followers
July 14, 2015
I won the sequel to this book from a giveaway here on Goodreads, and while awaiting its arrival, checked out this book (BlackHeart's Legacy) from the library.

Keeping in mind that it IS written for pre-teen/teen readers, and thus forgiving the dramatic reactions characters occasionally exhibit, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a time-travelling pirate book! Initially I wasn't so thrilled because the beginning really has no background information for the setting, such as why there is a time travel ship in the first place, how it came to be, etc, but that information all comes out in the end. The ending felt rushed, but that, too, came around to a wonderful teaser for book #2. I'm looking forward to reading about Jon and BlackHeart in book #2.
February 5, 2015
Very enjoyable

A very entertaining read appropriate for all ages. Looking forward to reading the sequel and Jon's next adventure through time.
Profile Image for John.
328 reviews
July 7, 2015
What an incredible debut novel by Sally Copus. I thoroughly enjoyed this and can't wait to read the next installment!
Profile Image for Daniel.
2,359 reviews37 followers
October 7, 2015
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 3.25 of 5.

The success of the children’s/YA Harry Potter series has done a great deal to bring attention to the children’s book market, and I’ve seen an incredible amount of YA fantasy and science fiction over the years. But what if you aren’t interested in reading about witches and spells and the like? Is there still material out there for the YA/child reader? Yes.

BlackHeart’s Legacy, by Sally Copus, still maintains a science fiction element (time travel), but the focus here is historical, adventure fiction.

Jon Sinclair and his grandmother take a time machine journey back to 1692 in Jamaica. Jon goes exploring while his grandmother looks to find a way to get the time machine to return them to their own time (2010), but in doing so, he is quickly captured by pirates. Thus begins an adventure in which the grandmother disguises herself as a boy named Gram as she looks to get Jon out of the clutches of BlackHeart the Pirate and back to the time machine. Meanwhile, back in 2010, Jon’s grandfather is also working hard to fix the problem with the time machine because he knows there will be a devastating earthquake to hit Jamaica in 1692.

Copus has written a very easy-to-read tale that is reminiscent of the Magic Tree House books in which a youngster gets to explore history through first-hand experience. She is able to expand on her tale, though, and develop some of the historical figures and add a little more depth to the story itself. This is not first and foremost a historical tale. It is a fiction story utilizing some well-researched history of the time and location.

I mentioned “easy-to-read” and “Magic Tree House” and I think both are accurate. This DOES read a lot like the Treehouse books, except that the story goes on much longer. I’m not entirely sure what age group this book is most suited for. The reading level is much below the Potter series, but the developing story is much above the average Treehouse series. This fits a pretty narrow gap in between.

Also, while the era seems well-researched (I’m by no means an authority on 1692 Jamaica), I’m a bit taken aback at the pleasant nature of the pirates that we meet. Blood-thirsty killers looking to steal but are treated as gentlemen who take in Jon and Gram to work for them (but not as slaves)? It’s a very generous look at historically ruthless criminals.

I was struck by how nice everyone was throughout the book. This can certainly be a very redeeming quality in a book for children, but I again wonder what age group this is for. Thinking back to my own children, when they were younger, might have enjoyed this, but would not have wanted to read it themselves. It’s the sort of adventure book, not unlike Treasure Island or Swiss Family Robinson, that I would have read aloud at bedtime … a chapter or two a night. There are some nice discussion opportunities to have with the children in this scenario.

I am very curious as to what happens in the follow-up book as we’re left dangling slightly, though this particular story wraps up well.

Looking for a good book? BlackHeart’s Legacy is a very polite, well-mannered historical adventure book for the advanced-child reader or the parent looking to read a story book to children at night, but a story that won’t likely cause nightmares.

I received a copy of this book from the publicist in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Tex Reader.
465 reviews20 followers
August 25, 2015
3.5 of 5 stars – Escapist Pirate Tale to Tickle Your Inner Child.

As a kid I enjoyed reading pirate and swashbuckling tales, so I thought I’d try this one out as a way of revisiting that childhood fancy. And I have to say that Sally Copus delivered with a fine tale.

I love historical fiction because it allows me travel back in time to get a feel of the places, peoples and their times. I’ve read other pirate stories from this time, some set in Port Royal, and while some pictured the setting well, allowing me to get a sense of the place, I thought this didn’t take me there quite as well. It was still decent though, and I will say that for this genre the descriptions onboard the ships were pretty good. And I liked how Copus used the historic Port Royal earthquake in 1692 to frame the circumstances and help build tension in the story.

I find it a bit tough to review a tween book as an adult, but I do try and balance things out for the intended audience. I felt Copus captured the heart and behavior of a twelve-year-old boy fairly well. And the development of the other characters, especially the pirate Blackheart was nicely done as well. Unfortunately, while the first half of the book had a nice focus on the tween’s adventures, later on he got lost a bit in the story and became more of a secondary character to his grandparents, Blackheart, and his enemies.

That said, even for tweens of this day and age, I imagine it might be a little simplistic. As I find with a number of time travel adventures, it was a bit light, even for kids I think, on the workings of the time machine, pretty much using it as a literary device to take the MCs back in time. And there were times when I thought the happenings stretched reality a bit, either in some common sense way, or in a just-too-convenient happenstance to propel the story. The ending was good, but wasn’t quite as fulfilling as I would have hoped, yet salvaged a bit with the epilogue, which set up the next book nicely.

While it was not Treasure Island (and that’s a high standard to judge it by), this one still pleased along the same lines.
Profile Image for WriteKnight.
79 reviews3 followers
August 25, 2015
Blacklheart’s Legacy would be a delightful adventure for any number of kids, or adults who want an enjoyable light read.

Sally Copus’ writing was good for the target age group, not overly complicated or prosaic, with decent descriptions of the people and places and a nice pace. I became invested in the well-being of the tween MC and rooted for the good guys. That was not always obvious, making my adult self that it was all black and white. But the bad guys were definitely bad guys, and they came in a variety of delicious bad guy flavors.

I enjoy time travel tales, and with this one there was also a little bit of paranormal magic thrown in with a black opal ring. With the time travel came Port Royal in 1692 – I liked this setting and the plot around it, which had a good enough tension to keep me going. For kids, it has enough to learn from that all is not to be trusted, not all is straightforward, and you need to keep your head about you. For adults, it’s a chance to travel back to your own childhood before all the complications of adulthood, but with enough realism to the story to not just dismiss it.

So for all you pirate fans, this was a good enough tween’s swashbuckler for a 4.0 rating.
[I'm excited to have won this as a Goodreads First Read – so thanks, Sally!]
91 reviews7 followers
November 10, 2015
I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

Time travel meets pirates. The first in a series of time travel adventures, Sally Corpus weaves historical 17th century Caribbean life, especially pirates, with a young boy, Jon Sinclair, from the 21st century. A time travel adventure to see the Declaration of Independence signed goes awry, leaving Jon and his grandmother stranded in 17th century Jamaica. Separated, Jon and his grandmother fight to find each other in pirate infested waters, while Jon's grandfather works to find out when and where his family was lost. This novel was a fun and interesting adventure that is written for young teens, but can be enjoyed by those of any age. The ending of this novel will lead the reader to wonder what adventure is next for Jon and his grandparents.
Profile Image for Chris.
389 reviews31 followers
November 19, 2015
Wonderful book for kids! Lots of excitement, pirates, hurricanes, and sunken treasure abound in this 17th Century time-travel adventure for young readers.

Jon Sinclair and his grandmother travel back in time and are separated. Captain Blackheart takes Jon aboard his ship, the Black Opal, and his Grammy has to find him. Blackheart's enemies are on the attack and Jon and Grammy are right in the middle of the action. Never a dull moment.

Profile Image for J. Ewbank.
Author 4 books35 followers
August 22, 2015
This book by Copus is a very good one for young folks. Even older folks like me enjoyed reading it. It is written so the young can read it, the plot is well thought out and interesting and the characters are sketched out well for us. It is an interesting read.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" "To Whom It May Concern" and "Tell Me about the United Methodist Church"
Profile Image for Katarina.
856 reviews22 followers
November 23, 2015
First book of a trilogy.

I enjoyed reading this more than I thought I would. it's a great story that weaves timetravel into a pirate story. The book is great for kids, with minimal violence, while remaining true to the story. It's a great adventure story, which I think girls as well as boys will enjoy.
Profile Image for Amanda.
266 reviews
September 9, 2015
I won this book from the author on a first reads contest and I was happily surprised when I finished it. The book was fast paced and fun, with plenty of adventure, as promised by the author. There are neat history tidbits that I enjoyed as well. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series.
66 reviews3 followers
December 27, 2015
Very entertaining adventure story for children but fun for adults too. Lots of interesting information about that period of time in history with ships and pirates. I was very pleased to win this and the 2nd book in the series from Goodreads. I look forward to reading Keys to Atlantis soon. This is definitely a book I will read with my grandson in a few years.
Profile Image for Kimber Burnett.
188 reviews13 followers
September 17, 2015
Not my usual genre of book but I thoroughly enjoyed it! With pirates, the open water,time travel, familiar names and a bit of history, it was a great story that kept me engaged through the entire book. I look forward to reading her next book!
Profile Image for Fafa_Monstaa.
14 reviews2 followers
November 5, 2015
Found this to be a great read. With lots of intensity in it. Loved it all the way through.
73 reviews1 follower
February 19, 2016
I won the second of this series of books, and was sent this book as well as the one I won.
I enjoyed reading this book once I got started. It seemed to be a little slow in the beginning, but picked up the pace after about page 85. It moved more rapidly after that and held my interest through the rest of the book and definitely made me want to go on to the next book in the series.
This is a story that should interest both adults that like the fantasy of time travel, and young people. Blackheart was totally different than I had expected, He was a very likeable Pirate. The relationship between him and Jon Sinclair was well developed. I couldn't wait to read the next book so have finished it too, which I will review now.
Profile Image for Pam Mooney.
833 reviews49 followers
February 16, 2016
I loved this book! Very entertaining and full of adventure appropriate for all ages. As an educator I loved the historical aspect and as a parent I love that it is truly appropriate for my kids. This is a wonderful book that is well written with great characters and picture perfect descriptions of scenery and life and times of the era the story is set in. It is great that it is a truly middle school book but I enjoyed reading as well. A good read!
Profile Image for Colleen Marie Zukowski.
137 reviews24 followers
July 8, 2016
This book is entertaining and very heavy on the sailing theme, which I loved. It is also full of a lot of history but never once comes off boring or dry. The author did a great job of mixing fact with fiction and melting several genres into one (YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction, etc.) I really did enjoy this and am excited to continue on with the series.
Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews

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