This book is a must read for boys...of any age. I read it with my 6 and 8 year olds (now 7 and almost 9) and they loved it. A group of pirates are sailing looking for booty and meet Charles Darwin and Captain FitzRoy aboard the HMS Beagle. The pirates rather deliberately sink FitzRoy's Beagle with a cannonball shot that blows the head clean off of a lady that both Darwin and FitzRoy fancied. At the time of her decapitation, this lady had driven Darwin and FitzRoy to duel for the "right" to her companionship. When she is no longer available, the boys become friends again. Darwin and FitzRoy then accompany the pirates on a journey back to England to rescue Darwin's brother who has been kidnapped by the evil Bishop of Oxford. This book is seriously silly. And it does have interesting tidbits of science here and there that my older son, Gray, really enjoyed, such as when the pirate captain and the Bishop were throwing minerals at each other, and each kept trying to throw a mineral of a higher molecular weight than the other. As I mentioned, this book is seriously silly.
I won't tell you what happened to Darwin's brother. You'll just have to read it to find out. Many thanks to Carl for recommending this book. Our next joint boy read is The Pirates! in an adventure with Communists. I can hardly wait.