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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth

Author: Hart, J.V.
Originally Published: 2005
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada

Captain HookCapt. Hook is possibly one of the most notorious villians in childrens literature. He’s certainly my favourite, so I had to grab this book the moment I saw it. J.V. Hart (the same man who wrote the screenplay for the movie Hook) has written about Hook’s childhood, and how he went about becoming the character we all know and love him to be.

It starts when James begins to attend a boys boarding school. He is the bastard child of a Lord of the Queen’s court, and is judged by the fact that he is a bastard by most people he meets. The kids at Eton are, for the most part, exactly the same. And oh, the kids at Eton are horrible! Or at least, the older kids at Eton are horrible. James is a determined, though, to not let the older kids lord it over him right from the beginning when he draws his umbrella (as I’m sure it’s only because he didn’t have a sword handy) on one Arthur Darling. This, of course, is only the beginning of the animosty between the two boys.

Things escalate when James, the girl he loves, and his best friend, attempt to commandeer a boat. And this is where all the fun starts, let me tell you.

You know how with some books, you can fall in love in an instant? You were enjoying it alright, but then all of a sudden out of the blue, BAM! You’re in love with it. That happened to me in the middle of the fifth chapter of this book, with one sentence:

The vengeful young man had discovered a universal truth that his adversary had known since his early days with Aunt Emily entertaining her theatrical friends – for every life situation there is a fitting quote from the hand of Shakespeare.

Any book that talks about how wonderful quoting Shakespeare is, is automatically going to be a wonderful book in my opinion. Especially a children’s book! It’s like… a wonderful dream come true where everyone uses wonderful phrases and words and … oh hurrah!

Also, for someone who loves the bratty kids that everyone else seems to hate, I was certainly in my element. There were so many kids to hate in this book! Okay, maybe not that many, but Hook was certainly a little brat, and then there was Arthur Darling and his gang who were completely horrible too. It was wonderful! I couldn’t decide who I loved all the more, and that’s very unusual for me.

The book has also given me a bit more of insight into the character of Hook. Now, though, I’m really wanting to see the first couple of meetings between Hook and Pan.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 10:31 am April 26, 2006.
Category: Children's
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  • http://www.a-fair-substitute-for-heaven.blogspot.com rachel

    I read this awhile back and LOVED it ! You must try out Peter and the Starcatchers by Ridley Pearson

  • j.v.hart

    thanks, Rachel. good words. I am hard at work on the sequel: Capt. Hook – Pirate King which will bring you one book closer to Hook vs. Pan.

    thanks for the perceptive comments.

    to be continued

    J.V. Hart

    I really look forward to reading the next installment! –C.

  • Kristi

    Hi, I just found this book at my children’s school book fair and it is the current family read…I am curious to see if there has been another installment as I have been unsuccessful in finding information about it?