Blackbeard’s Ghost

Title: Blackbeard’s Ghost
Author: Ben Stahl
Genre: fiction, YA fiction
ISBN: none (too old)
Pages: 184
Year Published: 1965
Source: public library
Rating: 4/5
Challenge(s): Years of Books Goal

This book is, to say the least, completely different from Disney’s film Blackbeard’s Ghost (1968). I had no problems with reading it because it was so different, I just completely ignored what happened in the film.

To summarize the story, JD and Hank are two 14-year-old boys who happen upon an old scroll of parchment in the Boar’s Head Inn, built by and home of notorious pirate, Captain Edward Teach, or Blackbeard. Thinking nothing of the spell that’s written on the scroll, they read it aloud and bring Blackbeard’s ghost “to life”. Blackbeard soon learns that the Boar’s Head is to be torn down by the descendants of the men who schemed his murder hundreds of years ago. And he is LIVID! He sets out to stop the destruction of his homestead and receives help from an old school teacher in town, who isn’t the only one who wants to save the Boar’s Head as a historical landmark. And the story has a happy ending.
By the way, for 99% of the story, Hank and JD are the only people who can see and hear the ghost of Blackbeard, because they read the spell wrong 🙂

I enjoyed the book, but found it a little dull at times. Written in the 1960s, it was full of “Jeepers!”, “Golly!-s” and “Holy Cows!”. I was surprised I never read any “Shucks” and “Gee whiz”. I think I honestly might have found it funnier if I hadn’t seen the film. The film is hilarious, with a grown man as the only one who can see Blackbeard and can’t hide what the rambunctious ghost does to others who can’t see him. I guess this book wasn’t necessarily supposed to be humorous, like I find the film, but I think I was expecting it to be so.

It was a quick read, however, and I loved the illustrations in my edition. Ben Stahl did a great job with those illustrations.

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