On the Trail of the Golden Toucan


Susan Cason

The Pirate Company

Scholastic Australia

9781742990026ISBN: 9781742990026

RRP: $14.99

Age: 8+

Key Words: Pirates, Adventure

Published: 1st May 2013

Reviewer: Kylie Calwell

Tom Applecross is the son of a famous explorer and he has hit on very hard times because his dad is missing, presumed dead and his step mum wants him out of the way, that is why she is shipping him off to Boston. Tom doesn’t want to go to Boston. It seems life is taking him somewhere else too. The ship he is on is attacked by pirates, then he gets lost overboard and found by those very same pirates. The pirates don’t want him on board, some seem to think he is nothing but bad luck. Tom has to find a way to prove he belongs there or it’s back to Boston. Then he finds out his step mother was keeping a very big secret from him and Tom decides it’s time to right some wrongs.

A romp of a pirate tale. It cracks along at a wonderful pace and has plenty of dirty, nasty silliness you’d expect from a story about pirates. Tom is gutsy, he doesn’t just float along in misery because that’s the hand he has been dealt, he tries instead to survive and do something about it. Tom is a great central character, not the strongest, or the bravest but he is very determined to survive. He also has a very loyal streak and as the story progresses his bravery and cleverness become more apparent. Rosie, the captain’s niece is more suited to the life of a pirate, that’s what she wants to be, but her uncle won’t have it, so the bond between her and Tom is forged on helping each other survive and stay on as part of the crew. The pirates around them are a colourful assortment, some friendly if dirty, others just plain mean. They all add depth and vitality to the story and when it ends you really want to know what happens next, and that’s not a bad thing really. Well worth a look if you need something with adventure and pirates, booty and treasure.

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