I'm really excited to be a part of the blog tour review for ARRGH! by Stacey Campbell. Be sure to check out all the other tour stops listed at bottom, plus don't miss out on entering the giveaway!
Forced to remain silent after being kidnapped by pirates Christopher must find a way to save an innocent merchant ship’s captain and his daughter from the evil grasp of Captain Redblade proving that friendship and family are worth fighting for no matter the costs.
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure
Paperback, 270 pages
Published November 27th 2014
by Green Darner Press
In exchange for an honest review, an ebook was provided from CBB Book promotions for free.
Twelve-year-old Christopher has spent the last eight months at the Norphan Home for Wayward Boys, having been sent here by the elders from his village who assumed his missing parents were dead. Vowing that he has had enough of making pickled herring for Father Svenn, the master of the orphanage, Christopher makes plans to run away in hopes of finding an Uncle he may have living in London. Thus the story begins with Christopher sleeping in an abandoned alley preparing to find a captain who will allow him to exchange work for passage on one of their ships. Instead, Christopher stumbles upon two pirates....
Boots put his hands on his hips and raised his chin to the sky. “This be the chance we be waiting for, matey. A way to show Red Blade what we’re made of. Perhaps even earn’n a ship of our own.”
A second cat that had been perched on top of an abandoned cask vaulted onto the pallet next to Christopher. “Meow,” the feline said and then began to purr while eating the small silver fish that had fallen from his cuff. The cat on top of the nets lowered his head and leapt down to join his friend. A fish float crashed to the cobbles.
The pirates stilled.
“Shoo,” Christopher whispered, pushing the cats away. He stripped off his fish-riddled coat and crawled to the next pallet as a third cat wandered their way. A hissing battle commenced.
The crate hiding Christopher shifted. “And what do we have here?” The man in the boots sneered.
Christopher turned, but the words he wanted to speak lodged in his throat as the blade of a saber brushed the side of his face.
“I asked ye a question, boy. I expect ye to be answer’n.”
Christopher choked, but still no words came.
“Cat got yer tongue?” asked the thin giant’s friend. Stinky was shorter by a head, rounder by half, and covered in filth. Earrings dangled from both sides of his head and a long waxed mustache spun to his ears.
“Kill ‘em!” Boots ordered. “He done heard what we said.”
Christopher’s eyes widened as the round man cocked his pistol.
A group of children ran across the start of the lane. “Your work is not done! Come back here!” their mother yelled.
“Wait,” Boots said, raising his hand. “I got me an idea.” He stroked his chin. “A healthy young boy could be useful, if not worth somethin’ when we reach the Caribbean. Two bags of gold at very least.”
“He’s thin,” Stinky snorted.
“But what happens if he opens his yap?” Stinky asked, bringing the butt of his pistol down on Christopher’s head. Christopher crumbled to the ground. Stinky placed his pistol back into the scarlet sash tied around his waist.
Boots shrugged. “We’ll cut out his tongue.”
OK, wow what a wonderful beginning that instantly drew me into the story. I thought it was a very convincing set up illustrating how Stinky and Boots are these mean pirates who are not afraid to harm Christopher or any of the crew on board ship. I knew I wanted to read Arrgh! as soon as I took one look at that cover, just gorgeous. When Christopher lands himself in the middle of overhearing Stinky and Boots plans to help steal guns, we are left with thinking that it's all over for Christopher. Lucky for him help comes in the way of a talking mouse named Leonardo Mousekins. Actually, Leo describes himself more as a "human guide, a protector or teacher." But, Leo doesn't solve all of Christopher's problems. Instead, he is present to give him advice. I love stories that feature talking animals and enjoyed how Leo didn't take center stage. Leo allowed Christopher to try and solve things for himself, making Leo more of a friend. I also really enjoyed Lucy, the Captains daughter. She comes to Christopher's aid and attempts to help him prove that Stinky and Boots are up to no good. Another aspect that I particularly enjoyed was how some chapters alternated between the view point of the various characters. The ones with Christopher and Lucy's perspective were quite sweet. My favorite character would probably be Lucy because she was frank, headstrong and pretty much did whatever she pleased. I just adored how close she and Christopher become. Overall, Arrgh! was a wonderful pirate adventure story. With its short chapters and engaging characters, this certainly has middle grade appeal.
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About the Author:
Stacey R. Campbell lives in the Pacific North West with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, and a pet turtle named Todd. She is a graduate of the University of Washington. At the age of seven Stacey was told that she would never be the writer she dreamed of being because she is dyslexic. Finally Stacey found that she could not look her children in the eyes and tell them that they could be what ever they wanted to be if she did not do the same. Now Stacey can’t stop writing and loves to help children pursue their own dreams. Stacey is the young adult author of Hush, A Lakeview Novel and Whisper, A Lakeview Novel. ARRGH! is Stacey’s first middle grade book.
For more books from this author, visiting information, and author events please visit Stacey at:
You can also learn more about Stacey R. Campbell on
ARRGH! Blog Tour hosted by
I don't usually like stories with talking animals, but this one looks good. And like you, I really like the cover. Thanks for sharing it.
I'm so glad you enjoyed this! Thank you so much for hosting a tour stop and sharing your thoughts!
Thanks for stopping by. It's a very fun book and Leo the mouse is quite charming.
Thanks for having me Candace, I always enjoy highlighting books/authors for MG.
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