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Thirteen-year-old Egbert dreams of escaping his dreadful family and time spent farming ugly fruit especially after a tutor arrives with a wagon full of books, which reveal the existence of a wider world. His release from his relatives, renaming as Egg, and subsequent pirate-packed adventures are hardly more serene, but at least he is not stuck on Deadweather Island. After teaming up with a former adversary turned sidekick and a dreamy rich girl (whose father is trying to kill him for his own father's heretofore unknown treasure), Egg journeys over land and sea, and battles man and beast, to protect both himself and whatever his father's mysterious cache may contain. While our hero's first-person sassiness, smarts, and romantic frustration are not always entirely convincing for someone who, prior to chapter 1, had only ever read one book, Principles of Citrus Cultivation, they are absolutely entertaining. Along with some good and gory descriptions (after all, pirates really aren't that nice), this introduction to the Chronicles of Egg series is pure fun.--Medlar, Andrew Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
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In this rousing debut novel, first in the Chronicles of Egg trilogy, screenwriter Rodkey turns his attention to the high seas. Thirteen-year-old Egbert (Egg) lives on none-too-pleasant Deadweather Island-home to horrible weather, a volcano, and a great many pirates-with his distant father and abusive siblings, helping maintain their fruit plantation. When his entire family vanishes in a mysterious ballooning accident, Egg is taken in by a wealthy merchant, Pembroke, who then tries to kill him as well. Egg's struggle to stay alive takes him from one death-defying scenario to the next with breakneck speed, as he tries to figure out why anyone wants him dead. Aiding him are Pembroke's beautiful daughter and a vicious, one-handed ex-pirate. Given that it's a pirate yarn, the book has its share of gruesome moments ("Dead pirates lay all around, the deck red and slick with their guts"), but the overall effect is more comedic than terrifying, as Rodkey combines humor and adventure in a story full of cruise ships, wild pigs, treasure maps, and constant peril. Ages 8-up. Agent: Josh Getzler, HSG Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal
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Gr 4-6-Egbert is the neglected and mistreated youngest of three siblings, growing up on an island in the Blue Sea, where his father owns an ugly fruit plantation manned by retired pirates. His mother died when he was born and Egg has been paying for it ever since. As the story opens, his father and siblings are dispatched to their presumed demise in a hot-air balloon, and Egg is left on his own to face the world. Of course where there are pirates there must be a pirate map, and treasure to be found, and a race to be the first to find it. Villains abound in this swashbuckling story, and they are not above using terrible means to get their hands on Egg and his possible fortune. There is also a love interest, Millicent, although her father is the cause of the loss of Egg's family. Eventually there's also a one-handed friend whom Egg meets in a fight to the death when he is captured by pirates. The head count is high, but Egg manages to fight his way to the end of the book, and together the three companions face off an army of soldiers in a triumphant denouement. The violence is extreme, and the dialectic speech of some of the characters may be difficult for some readers.-Jane Barrer, Steinway Intermediate School, Long Island City, New York (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.