Hangman School's in Session!
Did the seafaring spirit catch you on Talk Like a Pirate Day, and not let go? Never fear, me hearties! If you're too yellow to keep up the pirate slang in public, you can always mumble it under your breath at home while you read a good old tale of treasure hunting.
Girl on a Mission
Much like Mattie, the determined girl in the movie True Grit who hires men to help hunt down her father's killer, young Gwenny convinces a gang of pirates to take her to the fabled island, where she hopes to find her father (and they hope to find treasure). Her planning and quick thinking keep her from getting caught when the ship finds the island, but runs afoul of something they didn't expect: a school for executioners, complete with classes in head-chopping and torture.
Gwenny's quest wouldn't succeed without the help of others, such as a pirate who guards a terrible secret, and a student hangman who has "the soul of a poet." As the action heats up, confessions will be made, limbs will be lost, and some will be buried alive.
But it isn't all doom and gloom! Despite being a rousing adventure on an island full of the graves of "test subjects" for the students, this is actually a pretty hilarious story. At one point, a teacher lectures his students on making sure that the executed man's face doesn't end up with a dopey grin on it, and shows a few examples to avoid. And did I mention that, as usual, Jason doesn't depict his characters as humans, but rather as dogs, cats, rabbits, and birds in humanoid bodies? Plenty more funny details round out this satisfyingly offbeat tale.
Chris Gray is an Extra Help Librarian. He has never buried any treasure in his backyard. Nope. And he's not just saying that to throw you off the trail.