I mentioned, in my review of The Mines of the Minotaur that Julia Golding seems to have turned into a one-woman storytelling phenomenon lately. Her stand-alone novel The Ship Between the Worlds is the second of the books she's published this year that I've read.
The Ship Between the Worlds marks something of a departure for Golding - it's the first novel she's written from the point of view of a male protagonist, not a female one. Young David Jones (whose father went missing one day, resulting in him and his mother moving to a new area where he's bullied at his new school) loves ships, especially ships in bottles and his latest, the "Golden Needle", is a fine pirate vessel that he's been making for some time. So when David finds himself being press-ganged on board the "Golden Needle", he just assumes it's a dream. The only thing is, he isn't asleep! The "Golden Needle" is crewed by an astonishing assortment of fiendish pirates, not many of whom are actually human, who are led by the once-terrifying Captain Fisher. The only thing the pirates have in common is a desire to atone for past misdeeds, oh and a lot of gold thread! The pirates are desperately attempting to stitch together the many worlds - including our own - that are sliding towards obliteration into Inferno Rim. However, not every pirate in the dimension Between the Worlds is good. Some of them still have a yearning for gold and the "Scythe", crewed by pirates who live only to steal the golden thread anchoring the worlds, is in hot pursuit of the "Golden Needle". Soon the Golden Needle will run out of both time and golden thread, and then her crew will have to turn and face the "Scythe". What will David do when the day of battle dawns and who will win this fight to the death? If it's the "Scythe", who will take on the role of trying to save the worlds?
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm a big fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (I'm eagerly awaiting the third movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End which is out at end of this month), and pirate tales definitely catch my imagination. This one, like The Wave Runners by Kai Meyer, is great fun and should appeal to both boys and girls.