Who doesn’t love a good story about the sea with swashbuckling tales of pirates, sword fights, and treasure? I think with the popularity of films like The Pirates of the Caribbean (now onto its 5 movie!) it’s safe to say, everyone loves these kinds of stories! The book I just finished reading you won’t find Captain Jack Sparrow or Captain Barbossa, it’s not a tale of stolen Aztec treasure, or even a quest to claim a mermaid’s tears, but it is just as moving, gripping, and much, much more real. The Swift, by Alex Banks, is a story about loss, family, friendships, and above all hope. Yes, there is plenty of fighting, adventure, sea-talk, and pirates, but all that is just the icing on the cake.
What I loved most about this book was how real the characters are. The main character, Pete, has such raw emotions throughout the book you can’t help but feel them yourself. I rarely read a middle-grade book where the characters have such power in their emotions, such realness. I found myself angry when Pete was angry, sad when he was sad, and I choked up plenty of times when Pete cried. This book had me flipping the pages and consuming the tale in no time at all. Normally I’m a slow reader, with work, kids, sleeping; I take days and days to finish a book. This one I had read in two days because it hooks you in with mystery and gives you adventure. I will be adding this to my collection beloved pirate books; it will rest alongside Treasure Island and Peter and the Starcatchers.
Summary: The night eleven-year-old Pete planned to shoot the winning goal in the championship hockey game was the same night his dad was lost at sea. Now, eight months later, his mom still cries all the time, his beloved grandfather, stricken with Alzheimer’s, can’t even remember him, and they’re about to lose their crappy old house to the bank. To make matters worse, his twin brother Henry blames Pete for all of it. After all, they were a family of fishermen—if Pete had gone to help on the boat instead of to the game, their dad might still be alive. While searching the attic for stuff they can sell, Pete finds a battle-torn ship-in-a-bottle. When he and Henry show the bottle to their grandpa, the three of them are transported back in time—on board the very ship that’s going down. Battling pirates and the raging sea, the boys must learn to work together to help their grandpa save his past. If they don’t, they won’t have a future to return to.
Another great read by Alex Banks is SOS BOYS. Which I read last summer and loved! This one is a story in space and it's just as fun and gripping as this one!
A Little about Alex Banks: Alex Banks likes to say she holds a black belt in awesome since the only kind of kicking-butt she does is on paper. She lives in Utah with her kickin' husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, one samurai dog and four zen turtles. Alex writes Young Adult and New Adult fiction (suitable for readers over fourteen) under the name Ali Cross.