Hostage on the Nighthawk
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Hostage on the Nighthawk
Author: Dave & Neta Jackson
Series: Trailblazer Books
Major Themes: Colonial America, Pennsylvania, Pirates, William Penn
Synopsis: After his silence leads to dire consequences two times, Theo learns to speak up for the right—but will the pirate’s treasure be enough to set his mother free?
All of my children have enjoyed the Trailblazer Books by Dave & Neta Jackson. After reading several of them, they begin to feel rather formulaic, but the children still seem to love hearing them. When we were discussing which books to read about William Penn, Hostage on the Nighthawk was unanimously chosen.
Theodore Story’s father was an aide of William Penn, the governor and founder of Pennsylvania. As Penn returned from England, the Story family, as well as many other people, were on hand to meet the great man. Theodore’s friend Bernie was there, with his own ideas of how to make the landing memorable. Should Theo have tried to stop his wild plans? When Bernie met with tragedy, Theo had to deal with guilt.
Theo’s mother received an unexpected message that she must return to England. Deciding to take Theo and his sister, they boarded a ship, but when there was a rumor that yellow fever was on board as well, she demanded to be put onto another passing ship. Theo had a feeling this was not a good idea—but again he failed to speak up. When things really went wrong and the little family found themselves prisoners of notorious pirates, what could Theo do to right his wrongs?
Unlike some of the other Trailblazer Books, this one hardly mentions William Penn, the historical character. It is an exciting story, and relates a small amount of history, but mainly it is an adventure in which Theodore learns more about God and his relationship with Him. He learned the consequences of being silent when someone else is doing wrong, and became bolder in speaking up to prevent wrongdoing.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12
Links to buy Hostage on the Nighthawk:
AbeBooks: View Choices on AbeBooks.com
Book Depository: Paperback
Keywords: Colonial America, Pennsylvania, Pirates, William Penn