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Everything you always wanted to know about pirates

By Dara L. Cain

Rowan Public Library

Pirate talk has so many off-sounding words, but isn’t that what makes it so much fun?

Bet you or your child couldn’t say “poop deck” or “monkey jacket” with a straight face. On Sept. 19, it was International Talk Like a Pirate Day, giving everyone the chance to get a little silly and have some fun.

This holiday was created in 1995 by two friends, John Baur and Mark Summers, while playing racquetball. Today, many families take the holiday one step further by dressing up like pirates and playing pirate games.

It’s never too late to take part in the entertainment if you haven’t already done so. To get you and your family started, visit Rowan Public Library, where you will find some great children’s books on pirates to set the mood and explore the truth behind the life of a pirate.

Most kids know pirates raided ships, kidnapped people and stole treasure during the golden age of piracy. But even though they were criminals, they might be surprised to learn they still had to follow certain rules to make sure pirates were treated equally.

They faced severe punishments if they broke the rules. Look inside the book “Life Under the Pirate Code,” by Cindy Jenson-Elliott, to learn about the pirate code and how it guided everyday life on a pirate ship. This is a simple story that will definitely engage young readers, and a glossary is included.

So what happens to a pirate if he breaks the pirate code? Delve into the fate of a pirate’s prisoner in the book, “The Usborne Official Pirate’s Handbook: Be the Best Buccaneer on the Seven Seas,” by Sam Taplin.

Keep in mind this book in not for young ones who scare easily. Readers are not shielded from the reality of life as a prisoner as they learn the graphic descriptions of dangers and treatments of prisoners. Taplin briefly gives some background about piracy in the 1700s and effectively gives substantial information packed with eyewitness narrative, cartoons and helpful hints to young readers.

If you want to read a children’s book that isn’t as graphic but includes all the important facts and some fun cartoon illustrations, then the title “You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Pirate’s Prisoner!: Horrible Things You’d Rather Not Know,” by John Malam, is a great choice.

If you are in the mood to get your hands on some engaging pirate stories instead of the straight facts, be sure to read “True Stories of Pirates” by Lucy Lethbridge. The stories tell a tale of hardship and cruelty, bringing to life the outrageous characters of the most famous pirate captains and the determination of the daring men who set out to capture them. Some famous pirates included in the book are Edward Teach, otherwise known as Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, and Calico Jack.

Everyone talks about male pirates but what about those few courageous female pirates? Aileen Weintraub’s book, “Anne Bonny and Mary Read: Fearsome Female Pirates of the Eighteenth Century,” talks about two brave female pirates.

Weintraub follows Bonny and Read from their childhood to their meeting aboard the ship of Calico Jack Rackham and their capture. Kids will be amazed at the achievements of these women and will be left pondering what became of Anne Bonny after her capture.

So what are you waiting for? Head to Rowan Public Library to find some great pirate books to enjoy with your family and get ready to party like a pirate.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, Sept. 29, 6:30-8 p.m. Free, open to the public. If you enjoy good books, fellowship and tasty food, join us for this club where we discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. This month’s book choice is “Under the Tuscan Sunby Frances Mayes. Need a copy? Call 704-216-7841.

Michael Reno Harrell in Concert: Headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 7- 9 p.m. Featuring Harrell, an award winning songwriter and veteran storyteller and entertainer. His recordings have won awards in country, Americana and folk circles. Find more information at http://www.michaelreno.com/index.php. Admission is free, all are welcome. Program starts at 7; doors open at 6:30. Show sponsored by Friends of Rowan Public Library.

Computer classes: Getting to know your iPad, headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 7-8 p.m. Discussion of components, navigation, apps. Must preregister, bring you own iPad, charged, and with an updated operating system, and have a current, valid Apple ID. Free signup at https://appleid.apple.com/  Space is limited. Call Paul Birkhead at 704-216-8242 to reserve a spot.

If you’re new to computers or never felt comfortable, Computer Basics will cover the everything from components to programs. Thursday, Sept. 24, 9:30-11 a.m., headquarters.

Lego Saturdays: The library’s Lego collection will be available for free play, developing creativity, imagination and problem-solving skills. South, Saturday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m.-noon.

Adventure Club: Headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m. Join Robert and Johnathan for another round of adventurous hands-on science activities and projects; lasts one hour. This month: “Back to School Apple Prints.”

Teen Advisory Board: Teens who join this board give input on the library’s teen programming and book selection and discuss current events and issues in Rowan County. 4:30-5:30 p.m. South, Thursday, Sept. 24.

Teen program: Free, open to middle and high school teens. Life-size game of Clue, all meetings 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesdays; headquarters, Sept. 22; South, Sept. 22; and East, Monday, Sept. 28.

Displays: Headquarters, DAR, Constitution Week and Lee Street theatre; South, wearable arts by Vickie Clontz; East, handmade jewelry by Myrtis Trexler.

Gallery at headquarters: Photographic prints and tintypes by David Lamanno.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.

Weekly events for children through Nov. 30.
Baby Time: Loosely interactive, introducing simple stories and songs to babies  6-23 months old with a parent or caregiver. About 30 minutes. Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays, 10 a.m.

Toddler Time: Focused on sharing books, singing songs and encouraging listening skills for children 18-35 months old with parent or caregiver; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Mondays, 11 a.m.

Tiny Tumblers: Simple stories, musical scarves and instruments for babies 6-23 months old with  parent or caregiver. South, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; 30 minutes.

Preschool Time: Encourages exploration of books and builds reading readiness  for children 3-5 years old. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Noodle Head Story Time: For children 4 and up to enjoy listening to silly books and tales together; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Mondays, 4 p.m.

Art programs: Activities and instruction based on various themes and media.  Program activities vary by branch. Children 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult; 30-45 minutes. Headquarters, Art in the Afternoon, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; East, Emma’s Easel, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Art with Char, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: Children 7 to 9 years old (first to third grade) can reserve a slot to read aloud to a therapy dog by calling the Children’s Room. Headquarters, Saturday, 10 a.m.

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