I was glad I picked up The Dark Frigate by Charles Boardman Hawes winner of the third Newbery Medal award. This book goes much deeper than just sea voyages and pirate tales. It talks of a young man (Philip Marsham) trying to figure out what he wants to become in life and the road he should take.
He is a runaway after an accident forces him to leave the alehouse he was living in due to an illness. He finds himself alone with very little money and no place to go. He meets up with two sailors and eventually finds himself leaving England on the Rose of Devon Frigate.
The frigate comes upon a shipwreck and saves half of their crew. This new crew takes control of the ship and murders the captain after being saved by him. Philip is forced to join them and become a pirate if he wishes to survive. They then set off on a new course robbing and murdering many people on the way. Philip escapes and eventually gets caught and sent back to England to await trial.
The language this book is written in is much different than today and at times can be a little tricky to follow. It uses many phrases that people don't say today but with careful reading you can figure out the meaning to most of the words.
This book teaches many themes among which are Loyalty, bravery, and Courage. Philip learns that not everyone is as honest and as good a person as himself. He loses almost everything he has come to know and everything that he has looked forward to having in the future. He eventually turns his back on England with much disgust and sails again as a captain in the same ship he once left before and vowed he would never return to.
I would definitely recommend reading this book. It has many adventures on the sea and teaches much about courage and loyalty.