New Kid On Deck: Pirate Academy #1

New Kid On Deck: Pirate Academy #1

By Author / Illustrator

Justin Somper, Teo Skaffa



Age range(s)



UCLan Publishing




Paperback / softback




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!  Cover and interior art by Teo Skaffa.   

Pirate Academy Resource:    My Day at Pirate Academy; Design a Pirate Uniform; Pirate Academy lessons and more!

Watch Justin Somper read from Pirate Academy, or read our Q&A with Justin, to find out more!




What a great start to what promises to be a fun, adventure-filled series, Pirate Academy.  In New Kid on Deck we're introduced to a strongly bonded group of children who are training to be - pirates! I love the concept and know many young readers will be hooked on the idea of 'pirate school'.

The story is pacey, with the young pirates suddenly having to use their training in a dangerous situation, and the illustrations by Teo Skaffa help keep younger readers engaged. As well as a strong individual read, this would also be a great story to read aloud to a group as there are many hooks to keep them guessing what's going to happen next and what lies behind the dangers they face.

There are also themes to think about and discuss, including teamwork, inclusion and privilege; the 'new boy' at Pirate Academy doesn't have pirate ancestry like the other children, and the children are encouraged to recognise their privilege.

Pirate Academy is loosely linked to author Justin Somper's older Vampirates series, with the setting in a future world where waters have risen and pirates rule the oceans, so there is something for readers to look forward to further down the line.

I'm looking forward to finding out what's on the horizon for Pirate Academy!

240 pages / Reviewed by Elen Green

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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