First introduced in The Prince Who Was Just Himself, our hero, Prince Noah, is a little boy as unique as any other little boy. He loves to help, to cook, to dance; he has two brothers who love to kick soccer balls. Noah also has an extra chromosome–Down Syndrome–but you won’t know that unless you read the author’s note. This story follows him as he begins school.
Prince Noah and the School Pirates: Book Review
Children in Prince Noah’s world are separated into school ships according to perceived abilities and gender, with the curriculum dictated according to the strengths and weaknesses associated with each category. Consequently, of course, the needs of individual students are not met, the curriculum is too narrow, and the kids don’t get to learn from and appreciate each other’s differences. This speaks to the author’s experience (again, see her note) with her son. I’m sure this is a controversial and complex topic, and the author’s analogies are thought provoking. However, this is grown-up stuff; what’s in it for the kids?
Fairy tale kingdoms! Pirate ships! Daring exploits! Prince Noah and the School Pirates has them all, accompanied by colorful, playful illustrations. Better yet, everyone gets to participate and everyone has an important role. This is the strength, I believe, of the Prince Noah books. When I read the book to my four-year-old niece and 2-year-old nephew, it held their attention well, though it is on the long side. My niece said she liked it. Her favorite thing was the ships, which is handy since they’re in the whole book!
Though the first book is still my favorite of the two, I enjoyed the sequel as well. As with the first one, I thought the older princes got the short end of the stick a little bit, but on the whole, the book is a great story about valuing each individual and what they have to contribute. I recommend this book and will enjoy reading it to my children.