New Horror Stories

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom by A. C. Crispin

Reading Level: Grades 7+

First Mate Jack Sparrow, an employee of the East India Trading Company, is somewhere in the Caribbean when his cargo ship is attacked.  Luckily, the pirate captain of the attacking ship is a friend of Jack’s, and doesn’t steal his entire cargo.  Unluckily, Captain Baimbridge, furious at being attacked, boarded, and stolen from by a female pirate, tries to attack la Dona Pirata.  In the ensuing swordfight, Baimbridge suffers from a heart attack and dies, leaving Jack in charge of the ship (though not officially captain… yet.)

Across the ocean, a princess and her brother set sail from a magically hidden island in search of their missing father.  They are captured and sold into slavery, but not before Princess Amenirdis casts a protective spell over herself, altering her appearance to that of an old ugly hag.  Separated from each other by the cruel slave trade, Amenirdis (now calling herself by the name Ayisha) longs for her brother and hopes for a chance at freedom. 

Back at port, EITC employee Cutler Beckett comes into possession of a few pieces of golden jewelry he believes are connected to the legendary island of Kerma - and if he can locate the slave these pieces were stolen off of, he can locate Kerma’s treasure.  His hunt soon leads him to suspect Ayisha’s involvement with the royal Kerman family, though her disguise and self-imposed language barrier deter Beckett’s ability to question her further.

Upon Jack’s return to shore with the pirate-lightened cargo ship, and explanation to Cutler Beckett the events of the pirate attack, he is promoted to Captain (huzzah! huzzah!) and given command of the vessel Wicked Wench.  Beckett, ironically convinced that Ayisha was once a slave on the island of Kerma, tells Cap’n Jack to offer the woman escape from Beckett’s ownership and then charm her into giving up the location of the island.  Then, Jack is to return to Beckett with the coordinates and the fabled Kerman treasure - and Beckett will set sail for Kerma with a dozen slave ships, prepared to snatch up the citizens.

Of course, we all know Cap’n Jack to be a moral man.  Don’t we?  And of course, Cap’n Jack has another plan up his sleeve - one that doesn’t involve stealing an entire population to be slaves or giving Cutler Beckett any treasure at all.

In The Price of Freedom, Pirates of the Caribbean fans will get to know Jack in an entirely new light than the four movies and love him all the more for it.  His wobbling morality and quick wit, paired with his prowess at the helm (of both a ship and a woman) make him an entirely lovable, dimensional character.  Yet one doesn’t have to have seen the movies to fall in love with this adventurous naval romp.  It's not one to miss.

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More books by A.C. Crispin

Pirates of the Caribbean movies

Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire: Because the Undead Have Feelings Too! by Tim Collins

Reading Level: Grades 6 - 8

Nigel is about to turn 100 and he has yet to have a girlfriend. His problem is that, although he is a vampire, he does not have super strength, preternatural speed, or hypnotizing beauty. In fact he is weaker and slower than most of his classmates, and sunlight gives him a bad case of acne. In short, he is forever trapped in the body of a geeky 15 year old boy. How will he ever be able to impress the beautiful new girl and maybe, someday, get to bite someone?

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More books illustrated by Andrew Pinder

Lark by Tracey Porter

Reading Level: Grade 8+

He was the father of one of the younger kids on her gymnastics team. How was 16-year-old Lark supposed to know that he was a predator? Lark died of exposure after he assaulted her and left her tied to a tree in the winter woods.

Lark's ghost begins visiting Nyetta soon after. Lark needs Nyetta to do something for her, something Nyetta is afraid to do. If Nyetta does not do it, Lark will be condemned to a horrible fate for eternity.

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More books Tracey Porter

Other ghostly tales include

The Sledding Hill by Chris Crutcher

Elsewhere by Gabrielle by Zevin and

The Everafter by Amy Huntley

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