The Dagger Quick

By Brian Eames
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9781442423114, 320pp.

Publication Date: May 10, 2011

List Price: $15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Description

A stirring tale of rousing old-fashioned adventure, THE DAGGER QUICK is the story of twelve-year-old Christopher, a boy with a clubfoot seemingly doomed to follow in the boring footsteps of his father as a cooper in 17th century England. That is, until he meets his uncle- William Quick, infamous pirate, and the only man ever crazy enough to steal from the infamous Governor of Jamaica. With his mother kidnapped, his father murdered, and Christopher unjustly blamed for the crime, he has no choice but to set off on a dangerous seafaring adventure with bounty hunters on his trail and his only ally an uncle he hardly knows.




About the Author
Brian Eames has taught for fifteen years at the Paideia School, a K-12 independent school in Atlanta. He read his first novel, "The Dagger Quick", out loud to his class as he wrote it. "Publishers Weekly "called "The Dagger Quick ""thoroughly researched, fast-paced, and tense...embraces the mythical glamour of a pirate's life." He lives with his wife and children in Atlanta. Visit him at TheDaggerQuick.com.



Praise For The Dagger Quick

The Dagger Quick

Brian Eames. S&S/Wiseman, $15.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2311-4

Eames makes his debut with an exciting and richly detailed historical swashbuckler, set in 1678. Christopher "Kitto" Quick is the 12-year-old son of an English barrel maker, bullied for his clubfoot and yearning for a better life. When his previously unknown privateer uncle, Capt. William Quick, comes to visit, trouble and tragedy follow. Before Kitto knows it, his father is dead, and his stepmother and brother have been kidnapped by the ruthless John Morris, who's hunting William to recover a long-hidden treasure. Joining William's crew, Kitto must adapt quickly in order to rescue his family, avenge his father, and survive life at sea. Along the way, he discovers his family's hidden past as it ties into the pirates of Jamaica, while safeguarding the mysterious dagger left to him by his father. Readers are likely to relate to Kitto's drive for adventure, sense of loyalty to his family, and desire to do the right thing. Thoroughly researched, fast-paced, and tense, this coming-of-age adventure doesn't sugarcoat the dangers of the era, even as it embraces the mythical glamour of a pirate's life. Ages 8–12.

--Publishers Weekly, April 4, 2011

"An exciting and richly detailed historical swashbuckler...Readers are likely to relate to Kitto's drive for adventure, sense of loyalty to his family, and desire to do the right thing. Thoroughly researched, fast-paced, and tense, this coming-of-age adventure doesn't sugarcoat the dangers of the era, even as it embraces the mythical glamour of a pirate's life"-- Publishers Weekly

"Pirates! Bullies! Murder and mayhem! Family secrets! Seventeenth-century England to Cape Verde and the Caribbean! … Kitto, 12 years old, clubfooted, about to discover that his last name is different from what he thought, that his deceased mother had a dark and complicated past and that his uncle is a pirate. Kitto’s father, a cooper, is murdered, and Kitto kills his attacker, then is off to sail with his uncle after his stepmother and adored little brother are kidnapped."-- KIRKUS

"Readers will undoubtedly identify strongly with the scrappy Kitto, and this will heighten the tension built around his inevitable struggles and ultimate hard-won successes. The story is accurate enough to grab historical fiction fans and sharp and quick enough to keep adventure fans enthralled"--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Eames’s swashbuckling adventure on the high seas begins in 1678 England. Christopher “Kitto” Quick, 12-year-old apprentice barrel maker to his father, Frederick, has always been ridiculed for his clubfoot and longs for excitement and new experiences. He gets more than he bargained for when a pirate, Captain William Quick, appears with trouble on his heels, claiming to be Kitto’s uncle and bringing to light a score of hidden family secrets. Soon, Frederick is dead, and the ruthless privateer John Morris, who is hunting William Quick and a long-lost treasure, has kidnapped Kitto’s stepmother and stepbrother. The youngster joins Captain Quick’s crew, equipped with nothing but the dagger Frederick left him and the resolve to rescue his family and avenge his father’s death. Fast-paced, well-developed, and historically accurate, the lively narrative grabs readers from the get-go and keeps them sailing through the pages. Kitto must determine whom he can trust if he is to save his life and those of his loved ones. Not for the lily-livered, this coming-of-age quest is perfect for landlubbers and pirate aficionados alike. Eames has left readers yearning for the sequel with a true cliff-hanger.–Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA

School Library Journal, August 2011

Eames, Brian

The Dagger Quick

2011. 336pp. $15.99 hc. Paula Wiseman Books (Simon & Schuster). 978-1-4424-2311-4. Grades 5-8

All 12-year-old Christopher “Kitto” Wheale wants to do is sail the seas instead of learning barrel making, but that is not an option for a 17th century boy born with a club foot. All appears hopeless until his long-lost uncle, the infamous Captain Quick, appears. Agreeing to rejoin his brother for one last high seas adventure, Mr. Wheale grudgingly gives in and promises to take Kitto along to make the barrels needed to smuggle priceless spices. All goes horribly wrong when, in a struggle with a rival captain, Kitto accidentally shoots his father. With a bounty on his head, Kitto goes on his uncle’s ship. What follows is a high-seas adventure worthy of any swashbuckler. Although the characters are not terribly well-developed and rather cliché, the adventures are non-stop, page-turning fun. With an ending that begs for a sequel, there’s no doubt this book will become a new hit.

--Library Media Connection, November/December 2011

Kitto is used to a hard life of ostracism and tedious labor—as a child with a clubfoot in seventeenth-century England, he can only hope to remain his father’s apprentice, even though being a cooper is a long way from the seafaring adventures for which he yearns. Everything changes in an instant, however, when his dad’s long-missing piratical brother returns, bringing untold danger and excitement in his wake.Unfortunately, too much of both await Kitto, who soon loses his father and finds himself embroiled in an elaborate scheme that may bring him riches and definitely nets him dangerous enemies; at the same time, he’s frantically plotting ways to retrieve his kidnapped mother and little brother. Kitto possesses the perfect personality traits for just these sorts of life-and-death situations: he is unflinchingly bold, he has a clear moral compass, and he is adept at shelving otherwise overwhelming emotions until he has a more opportune moment to process them. Rather than simply sending a perfect protagonist into a grand (and horrifying) adventure, Eames is also careful to show how Kitto evolves and how subtle familial and cultural influences shaped him. Readers will undoubtedly identify strongly with the scrappy Kitto, and this will heighten the tension built around his inevitable struggles and ultimate hard-won successes. The story is accurate enough to grab historical fiction fans and sharp and quick enough to keep adventure fans enthralled; though both groups will likely be startled by the abruptness of the ending, they’ll enjoy imagining how the subsequent events might play out in Kitto’s able hands. AS

--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July/August 2011

Kitto is used to a hard life of ostracism and tedious labor—as a child with a clubfoot in seventeenth-century England, he can only hope to remain his father’s apprentice, even though being a cooper is a long way from the seafaring adventures for which he yearns. Everything changes in an instant, however, when his dad’s long-missing piratical brother returns, bringing untold danger and excitement in his wake.Unfortunately, too much of both await Kitto, who soon loses his father and finds himself embroiled in an elaborate scheme that may bring him riches and definitely nets him dangerous enemies; at the same time, he’s frantically plotting ways to retrieve his kidnapped mother and little brother. Kitto possesses the perfect personality traits for just these sorts of life-and-death situations: he is unflinchingly bold, he has a clear moral compass, and he is adept at shelving otherwise overwhelming emotions until he has a more opportune moment to process them. Rather than simply sending a perfect protagonist into a grand (and horrifying) adventure, Eames is also careful to show how Kitto evolves and how subtle familial and cultural influences shaped him. Readers will undoubtedly identify strongly with the scrappy Kitto, and this will heighten the tension built around his inevitable struggles and ultimate hard-won successes. The story is accurate enough to grab historical fiction fans and sharp and quick enough to keep adventure fans enthralled; though both groups will likely be startled by the abruptness of the ending, they’ll enjoy imagining how the subsequent events might play out in Kitto’s able hands. AS

--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July/August 2011

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