The Pirate Queen

by Emily Arnold McCully

Hardcover, 1995




Putnam Juvenile (1995), Edition: First Edition, 1 pages


Recounts the life of the renowned sixteenth-century Irish woman pirate.


½ (10 ratings; 3.7)

User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
One of my only regrets, as it concerns the three months I spent hiking through Ireland one summer, is that I never made it to County Mayo, and never visited Clare Island - stronghold of the Ó Máille clan, and home of Gráinne Ní Mháille (sometimes known as "Grace O'Malley"), the famed sixteenth
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century pirate and chieftain. A fascinating figure, who defied many of the conventions of her day, governing the activities and behavior of women, Grania - as she is known here, in Emily Arnold McCully's picture-book biography - is a woman after my own heart, and I am always interested to see a new retelling of her story.

The Pirate Queen follows it heroine from her birth in 1530, the only child of Owen O'Malley, chieftain of the O'Malleys; through her tumultuous youth, in which it became clear that she was meant for a life on the sea; her battles against other pirates, whether Turkish or English; her marriages, first to Donal O'Flaherty, and then to Richard Burke; the eventual ruin of her family and fortune, at the hands of the English governor, Sir Richard Bingham; and her visit to the court of Queen Elizabeth I, to seek restitution.

Needless to say, it is an exciting story, sure to keep young readers engaged, whether their chief interest is in pirates, the history of Ireland, or the story of a strong woman. McCully knows how to tell a tale, and she also knows how to illustrate it, as witnessed by her Caldecott Medal-winner, Mirette on the High Wire. Her watercolor illustrations for The Pirate Queen, particularly the scenes at sea, are as expressive as the text, and as full of motion. Highly recommended, to all young readers with an adventurous spirit!
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LibraryThing member leithe
I have never heard of Grania O'Malley before. While I enjoyed the pastel drawing in the book I felt that the story was not as 3 dimensional as I would have liked.
LibraryThing member Areamatha
I would use this book for both an elementary and middle school class. The illustrations are vivid and the language easily understood. The book is about the life of Grania O’Mally her exploits as the leader of a mercantile empire and pirate and her appeal to Queen Elizabeth for justice after being
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robbed by the local English governor. I would use this book as a hook in a lesson on the tensions between Ireland and England.
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LibraryThing member matthewbloome
I'd never heard of this woman before this book, but how cool a life she must have lived. I feel like she's the kind of person that people today would be fascinated by if they only knew a little more about her. They ought to make a movie about a person like her. I'm sure there's an audience for it.
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Anyway, this, like almost everything that McCully writes, was really well presented. I loved the book.
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Original language


Physical description

12.32 inches


0399226575 / 9780399226571
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