Fish follows the adventures of a young pirate named Maurice Reidy. He’s not your average rogue. For one, he hates to fight, and refuses to wield a weapon of any kind. He also loves to swim; that’s how he earned his nickname. These might not seem like particularly good qualities for a pirate, or a kid trying to survive on a ship full of buccaneers, but Fish learns to use his brain instead of his sword, and his talent for swimming saves his life more than once.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. When the story begins, young Fish is sent to work as a courier to help support his struggling family. Before long, though, he is entrusted with a mysterious package of coins. He tries to deliver them to the intended recipient – an uncommonly small man with uncommonly large eyeglasses – but before he can do so, he’s attacked by pirates. They race off with the coins and Fish has no choice but to chase them. Determined to get the coins back, he joins a strange, funny, and foul-smelling crew, embarking on an adventure that changes his life forever.
On board the pirate ship, Fish learns that the strange coins could be the key to finding a fabulous treasure. While his distaste for violence lands him in trouble more than once, he does manage to make a few friends, including a very crafty girl named Nora, an aspiring captain named Nate, and Daniel, a young man who has spent so much time on boats that he gets land-sick.
Before long, Fish also discovers that the nasty, violent first mate, Scab, may be plotting a mutiny. Fish has to recover the coins, thwart Scab, find the treasure, and save his family.
I can’t tell you how it all turns out, but young readers and critics alike have taken to the story. In addition to being a Scholastic Book Fairs bestseller, Fish has won a few awards since its release, and I’ve been having a wonderful time visiting schools and telling kids how the story came together. Plus, it’s really close to my heart. I always hated to fight when I was younger, but I loved to swim, so I really put a lot of my twelve-year-old self into this character.
Readers keep asking me this, so I should also say that I do have a few more Fish adventures in mind. Please keep sharing ideas of your own!
If you’d like to buy a copy, check out your local independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon. But don’t feel pressured or anything. You could also check it out at your library. The book is also available in electronic format through Scholastic’s Storia app.