Pirate Academy

Pirate Academy

Here, if you haven’t already had the opportunity, is your chance to visit the Pirate Academy!

Pirate Academy

Australian based writer, Justin Somper, contacted us a month ago for some advice about a young amputee character in his book. Leif Larsen, the son of a Danish Pirate Captain, has a prosthetic blade leg and explains in Book 1, “New Kid on Deck“, that he lost his original leg when it was eaten by a shark. Leif is very positive about his blade leg and at ease talking about it. Justin, who has been praised for upholding diversity and inclusivity in his books, was in the process of editing Book 2, “Missing at Sea“, where Leif sits down cross-legged on the beach to talk with one of his friends. Justin is determined to get all aspects of being a young amputee with a blade prosthetic correct and was contacting people and organisations who could advise on the physical and practical issues that would arise when wearing a prosthetic blade leg and what might or might not be easy or possible. We commend Justin for his commitment and attention to detail and, through it, the respect he shows to young people with limb difference.

It is genuinely refreshing to have a book that is so diverse and inclusive. Jake Hope – Awards Executive , Yoto Carnegie

About Justin Somper and Pirate Academy

Justin is a British children’s book author, currently based in Australia. He is best known for his “middle grade” book series, VAMPIRATES.

This March, I’m launching a new related book series, PIRATE ACADEMY. This is set c. 500 years in the future and features a class of 11 year-old students who are being trained at an elite school to become the best of the next generation of pirates. The book has quite a diverse cast of characters. Justin Somper

I want children from every kind of background to see the possibility of themselves in my stories. I’m hugely grateful to contacts at the Douglas Bader Foundation and LimbPower for their advice on how to make Leif’s limb difference authentic and relatable. We first see Leif’s prosthetic blade – which he loves – in Book 1. In Book 2, we learn that he swaps between the blade and a regular prosthetic, depending on the activity. We also see him sit down and take the blade off to be more comfortable. Leif is proud of his prosthetics but he’s not defined by them. He’s one of the most athletic, positive and kind students in Barracuda Class.(Justin Somper)

Young amputee Leif has a relatively small part in the first book in the Pirate Academy series, New Kid on Deck, which was released earlier this month. He will come to the fore more in the Book 2, Missing at Sea, the one that so fortuitously brought Justin into contact with us and which will be out in July.
I was very grateful to receive a copy of New Kid on Deck and can vouch for it being a well written, fun and exciting read. The illustrations are great and the whole feel of the book is contemporary. I also love the fact that, as has been mentioned by reviewers, it’s a wonderfully warm book with such likeable and believable characters and where the value of friendship, kindness and mutual support is acknowledged and welcomed. I can’t wait to read it to my grandchildren!

Pirate Academy Book 1: New Kid on Deck

If you’re tempted to read New Kid on Deck, the blurb may convince you…
The year is 2507. The oceans have risen. A new dawn of piracy has begun.
Jacoby Blunt and Jasmine Peacock are students at the elite Pirate Academy. This is no ordinary school! Lessons range from Knots Class and Sailing to Combat Workshop…The teachers are all pirate legends…The pressure is always on…Friendship is everything.
When a new kid, the mysterious Neo Splice, arrives, everything changes FAST. Suddenly the dangers are no longer simply out on the oceans but right here, amongst them. In the face of real peril, the students of Barracuda class must put everything they have learned to the test against a ruthless and seemingly unstoppable new enemy.
Welcome to Pirate Academy – once you step through the door you won’t ever want to leave!
Pirate Academy
Pirate Academy 

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But it’s also available pretty much wherever books are sold, so Waterstones:

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