Many of the Jewish people living in Spain in the 1700s who were mistreated and ultimately expelled became privateers, or pirates, to plunder the Spanish ships that sailed the Caribbean waters. One of the most notable was Jewish pirate, Jean Laffite. Author Susan Goldman Rubin takes us on an exciting adventure, beginning with Laffite’s childhood. Raised by his grandmother, Laffite grew up well educated and, aside from his desire to be a pirate like his older brother, instilled with strong moral values. He captured and plundered Spanish ships but with as little violence as possible. He carried with him a Hebrew Bible given to him by his grandmother. He later settled down in New Orleans and became a favorite citizen of the town with stylish clothes, polished nails and charming manners. When the British attacked the United States in 1814, Laffite used his pirating skills to help defend the city in the critical Battle of New Orleans, earning him the title of The Hero of New Orleans and he is known as the pirate who saved America.
Cinematic illustrations by Jeff Himmelman add to the excitement. Filled with fascinating facts and dynamic pictures, Jean Laffite: The Pirate Who Saved America is sure to captivate both pirate-loving children and their parents, as well. Recommended for ages 8 – 11.
Marcia Berneger is a retired teacher who lives with her husband and three crazy dogs. She taught both first and second grade, as well as special education. She currently teaches Torah school, in addition to her volunteer work in classrooms, libraries, and with various fundraisers. She lives in San Diego.