Pirate Queen: A Story of Zheng Yi Sao by Helaine Becker and Liz Wong
Who’s it for: Kids
Pirate Queen: A Story of Zheng Yi Sao by Helaine Becker (illustrated by Liz Wong) is about a young woman who would become the most powerful pirate in history.
When pirates raid her city, Zheng Yi Sao boldly makes the pirate captain an offer: she will marry him only if she gets an equal share in his enterprise. He agrees. Years later, her husband has died, and at thirty-two years old Zheng Yi Sao has 70,000 men and 1,800 ships under her command. Her power would eventually come to rival the emperor himself.
In Pirate Queen, Becker takes what little is known about Zheng Yi Sao and weaves together an exciting and intriguing story of her accomplishments and what her life may have been. Wong’s illustrations are simple and muted, yet effective in highlighting Zheng Yi Sao’s cleverness, bravery, and ferocity. I would recommend Pirate Queen for children ages 6-12, or for any adult with an interest in pirate queens.