a good idea.
Although Hawthorne’s novel targets the adolescent reader, adults also enjoy reading this ingeniously written story. Moreover, middle grades and secondary teachers are discovering that this high-quality, high-interest literature can be used to teach some elements of science, social studies, and mathematics.
The Last Pirate and The Cajun Pirate, novels by Wilson Hawthorne, prove themselves invaluable teaching tools in the adolescent literature classroom. I have struggled for years to find literature which appeals to male and female students of multicultural and various socio-economic backgrounds for fourteen years. I now have a winning combination. Not only do the students find these novels exceedingly interesting, but they also cannot get enough of them. After reading The Last Pirate, my students demand, almost unanimously, that we read The Cajun Pirate as well. Furthermore, they want to know about future pirate books, and I’m excited to tell them that Curse of the Pirate will be on the shelves beginning next week.
In addition to telling a great story of Harley’s adventures in his quest for pirate gold, the novels abound in passages ideal for teaching literary elements. A master of characterization and plot development, Hawthorne also packs his novels with internal and external conflicts, mood shifts, motivational themes illustrating character and integrity, vivid settings, interesting and realistic characters and situations, idioms and figures of speech, allusion, and symbolism making them ideal for teaching critical analysis as well. I strongly recommend these novels to anyone interested in promoting adolescent reading across the curriculum. With accurate historical and scientific data interwoven in every tale, these novels offer something for everyone.
Katherine Pierce, English teacher
Smiths Station Junior High School
Smiths Station, AL