Tag Archives: pirates

The Crogan Adventures

If your son enjoys intrigue, excitement, and a good book, the Crogan Adventures may be just the series he’s looking for. Written by Chris Schweizer, these action-adventure stories follow the lives of the Crogan men throughout the generations.

The first in the series, Crogan’s Vengeance, tells the story of “Catfish” Crogan, an honest sailor who boards a ship with a merciless captain. When the ship is waylaid by pirates, Catfish his shipmates join the crew. What follows are mutinees, storms, and sword-fights — all key ingredients to a great adventure.

The second book, Crogan’s March, follows Corporal Peter Crogan, a French legionnaire in Africa in the early twentieth century. In the story, Peter must endure both long marches and sandstorms as his loyalties are torn between his captain and his sergeant. When his entire squad is killed and he is captured by Tauregs, he makes a daring escape, leading other prisoners to safety with him.

The Crogan adventures are definitely books geared for boys, particularly those in middle school or older. Violence is depicted, as you would expect in a pirate or war story, and is probably too much for younger readers. Women have only very small roles (there’s not one in the first book at all) — these are definitely books intended to be read by boys, just for the enjoyment of the action.

And there are more books to come! The inside cover of the book reveals all the characters of the Crogan family, including a ninja, a trail blazer, a lion tamer, a pilot, a diamond miner, a private eye, and Revolutionary War soldiers.

You can find the Crogan series in bookstores, online, or in your library. So if you have an older son, check one out — and let the adventure begin!

The Christmas Stick

01 christmasWith Thanksgiving almost here and Black Friday following close behind, I’ve (finally) begun thinking about Christmas. If you’re like me and starting a little bit later this year, you might want to put The Christmas Stick on your gift list. It’s a brand new book, and one that the whole family will enjoy.

Written by Jack Marryn, this Christmas story has something for everyone; children will love the pirate adventure and colorful illustrations, while parents will appreciate the lesson it conveys. The main character is a boy who finds only one gift for himself under the Christmas tree: a stick. He’s sure Santa has made a mistake, but he follows his dad’s directions and goes outside to play, taking his stick with him. He soon discovers, though, that the stick can be anything, from a spyglass to a boat to a sword. And he realizes it’s just what he asked for — “the best gift” for him.

The author adds a note at the back regarding the inspiration for the story, and it’s one I’m sure most parents can relate to. While Marryn was waiting for his son who was at a birthday party, he took his daughter to the park and gave her a very “special” stick. She played with that stick for hours, even taking it home with her that night. I love to see my children playing outside, too, with just the objects they find on the ground and their imaginations.

Not only would The Christmas Stick make a nice gift, but it could also be the start of a new holiday tradition. A friend of mine purchases a Christmas book every Christmas season to share with her family, so every year their collection grows by one book. During the holidays, they read them aloud together. By the time the children are adults, the collection will be one they’ll cherish.

Remember, though, if you plan to give The Christmas Stick as a gift this season, be sure to include a couple of sticks with it — one for your child… and one for you! 🙂