The Books

Maggie and the Pirate

by Ezra Jack Keats

One Potato Review

Weird and worthwhile, though it is probably one of the least well known of Keats’ books, probably due to the subject matter. The Pirate here is really just a creepy, spying boy from a neighboring trailer, whose family may be abusive, and who steals Maggie’s pet cricket. Inadvertently the cricket gets drowned. Maggie is devastated – none of the kids in this book are apparently lavished with gifts and affection – but she listens to his story, and if there is a lesson imparted between them, it is conveyed as gracefully as their impoverished circumstances. As much as any other author, Keats knows kids when nobody is watching them. There’s not a false or self-conscious note here.

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