Hey Read This… Sharks Will Eat Your Face if You Steal Their Pearls

Posted on December 5, 2011

The Pearl Lagoon by Charles Nordhoff

A ripping good adventure story!

What’s the point of reading? Is it to learn things about ourselves and the greater humanity? Is it to enrich your mind? No. It’s about having fun. And sometimes you have to dust off a leatherbound book written for kids, written in 1927 to remember that.

“The Pearl Lagoon” by Charles Nordhoff is a tale of adventure in the Polynesian islands. Charlie, a young lad, is at the beach one afternoon when a schooner appears over the horizon. It turns out that the pilot of the mighty ship is none other than his uncle, Harry. And he offers Charlie a pre-adolescent wet dream, the opportunity to come along with him and dive for pearls in the lagoon of a small island near Tahiti.

Charlie accepts and the next day is hunkered down in a stateroom, bound for bright blue oceans. At first they stop over at an island where Charlie is in charge of some villagers making some canoes. Does it make sense? Not really. Get over it. While he’s there he murders a pig and gets to eat it. That’s island life!

They finally make it to the island. If I was more proactive, I would look up whether the island actually exists. Either way, Charlie is put in charge of fishing for the entire group. However, he ends up becoming one of the divers. I’ll gloss over it from here but you can expect shark battles, piracy, pearls, a hidden cave and getting caught out in the deep ocean when a squall blows through.

I’ve read a lot of books that have awful nautical descriptions. This is not one of those books. It is obvious that Nordhoff has done his research. And by research, I mean, been there, done that. He applies just the right amount of prose. Not to rhapsodic. Not too dry.

Nordhoff is pretty straightforward about not wanting to write anything lofty. He says, and I agree somewhat, that the most exciting things are the things that excite the mind of a child.

Now, while you may not be able to pick up this specific book (I looked it up on Amazon and you can pick it up for a solid $120!) but the larger lesson is that if you want your child to be occupied with a book for the next couple of days, then you may want to consider picking up one of the billions of these that are all around. It’s almost worth it to appreciate the binding.

You’ll be able to find books about nautical adventures, boys at war and cowboys and indians. I can’t vouch for any of them, but you can probably pick them up for about 5 bucks each at an estate sale.

And you know what grownups? You might even enjoy it too!

Like this book review? I’ve got a whole lot more. Here you go!


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