Review: Powder Monkey by Donna M. McDine, illustrated by K.C. Snider

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, May 20, 2013
Genre: Children's Books, historical fiction, sea adventure.
Age: 8-12
Format: Paperback
Pages: 20
Rating: 4 Stars for Very Good.
Source: Free copy from Donna McDine, and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour, in exchange for a review.

Time period 18th Century (this is a guess).
Brothers James and Tommy Kitt, are abducted from their English family farm, by the feared Royal Navy Press Gang. They are pressed into service at sea. There is no choice. Family cannot rescue them. Life at sea is laborious and hazardous.

My Thoughts:
The first thing I disliked about the book is there are no page numbers.
A second thing I disliked about the book is I don't believe age eight or even nine is appropriate for the book. I have a grandson that is eight years old, he would not understand the term "pistol-whipped"and frankly I'm not interested in him have this mental image in his head at his age. Middle school ages eleven through fourteen I feel is the more appropriate age for the book.
What I liked about the book are the illustrations. When I look at illustrations in a children's book, I pay close attention to the facial expressions of the people. I feel the illustrations told a story all on their own.
I love reading sea adventure books. A life at sea aboard a ship is hard work, the work probably never ends, the cycle is repeated each day unless the men on ship are at war, and then there is a different cycle. Life for them is often brief. Their families at home may never see them again. I admire them, but they are also a mystery.
Powder Monkey gave a sober view of life aboard ship for a lad, this includes the manner in which the young sailors were treated, and during a time of war.

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Passages to the Past

Buy the Book:

Powder Monkey Blog Tour: 

Monday, August 25
Spotlight at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Wednesday, August 27
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Monday, September 1
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Tuesday, September 2
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, September 4
Review at A Leisure Moment
Monday, September 8
Review at Bookish
Tuesday, September 9
Interview at Closed the Cover
Wednesday, September 10
Review at Historical Tapestry
Thursday, September 11
Review at Impressions in Ink
Friday, September 12
Review at Just One More Chapter
Friday, September 19
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

About the Author

Donna McDine is a multiple award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions, A Sandy Grave ~ Story Monster Approved and Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, The Golden Pathway ~ Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Pre-editors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books.
Her interest in ocean life resulted in writing and publishing, A Sandy Grave (January 2014). Other books by McDine, Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010). A fifth book is in the publishing pipeline with Guardian Angel Publishing. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.
For more information please visit Donna McDine’s website. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and Goodreads.


  1. Hi Annette,

    Thank you for your time and honest review of my historical fiction children's book, Powder Monkey.



Post a Comment