When I was in 5th grade, I obsessed over The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, a high seas adventure about a proper young lady who transforms into a tough-as-nails sailor. I turned to the classic Treasure Island next, but didn't like it -- I was back to being a literary landlubber. Lately, I've rediscovered my love of seafaring fiction. Here are three excellent children's books filled with oceans, pirates, and buried treasures.
Jacky Faber is a lowly London street urchin until she disguises herself as a boy to join the crew of the HMS Dolphin. Her escapades (which take place over 12 books!) include romance, history, and lots of danger. Excellent as an audiobook, too. Suggested for ages 12 and up.
An unlikely friendship is at the heart of this saga set in 1663. Petra is a rich Dutch girl running away from home. Bram is the biracial son of a ship's carpenter. On a long voyage from Amsterdam to Batavia (present-day Jakarta), they struggle to survive raging storms, both literal and metaphorical. There's so much engrossing historical detail here, from what they eat and drink to how inequality affects the entire crew. Suggested for ages 10 and up.
If you love stories set at sea and cats, I've got the book for you! This is a classic fantasy tale about a boy with a mysterious past who can talk to cats. Super entertaining and full of well-drawn characters (especially the cats). Suggested for ages 8 and up.