pirate books and project for kids, non fiction for kids, GenZ, GenZ online

Summer Reading Fun and Giveaway from GenZ!

Note: I think GenZ Read Together is out of business!

My son and I started reading very short non-fiction stories from GenZ Read Together, a website that makes reading together an entertaining educational experience. We get a wide assortment of non-fiction stories which include:

  • vocabulary building exercises
  • a hangman reveal-the-hidden-picture puzzle
  • an educational video

As part of their Summer Reading program, some of my favorite educational, arts, and children’s book bloggers are hosting a Blog Tour where we come up with activities you can do at home with your kids for one of GenZ’s non-fiction stories.

GenZ Online, GenZ, GenZ Read Together

We are also each hosting a giveaway so YOU can win 20 stories from GenZ Read Together. Finally, if you don’t win but want to try it out, GenZ is offering a special discount to my readers:

20 stories for $3.99!!  Use promo code:  SUM20

Today, my son and I read about the largest pirate treasure ever discovered, The Atocha! After 16 years searching with his family, Mel Fisher finally located $400 million dollars of gold, silver and emeralds — lost treasure from the Spanish Galleon, The Atocha, near Key West, Florida. 


Pirates and Spanish Treasure Activities for Kids

Pirate treasure and The Atocha story sparked my son’s imagination! The clue that let Mel to the treasure came from someone in Seville. He immediately wanted to know where Seville, Spain was located. We had traveled to Barcelona two years ago, so I found a map to show him it was in Spain and south of Barcelona.


We also learned from the story that Spanish galleons followed a specific path as it picked up treasure and returned to Spain. The Spanish treasure ship route looked like this:

Spanish treasure route

image from Arauco: A Novel

To extend The Atocha story at home, I found a pirate ship craft and two books (a picture book and a chapter book) for kids who like pirates and treasure hunting.

Pirate Ship Craft

One of my favorite arts and crafts blog is Red Ted Art. She has a cardboard craft to make a pirate ship. Instructions include a template  to cut out the pieces and turn ordinary cardboard …

Red Ted Art Blog, pirate ship craft

… into this beauty!
Red Ted Art Blog, pirate ship craft


2 Exceptional Children’s Books on Pirate Treasure

Pirates, at least in picture book How I Became a Pirate, like to be tucked in and read to. I’ve included a picture book and a chapter book perfect for pirates or treasure hunters.

How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long and illustrated  by David Shannon

Young Jeremy Jacob demonstrates how easy it is to be a successful pirate in this fun and funny picture book. He joins the pirate ship of Captain Braid Beard and his crew but finds that pirate life, while fun, lacks the charms of home.  [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Fish Finelli: Seagulls Don’t Eat Pickles by E. S. Farber, illustrated by Jason Beene

Fish and his two buddies must find Captain Kidd’s treasure assuming they can locate the treasure map first in order to show up Whooping Hollow’s town bully, Bryce Billings. This easy chapter book has a larger font with text broken up with plenty of  full page illustrations and informative sidebars. This book would appeal to boys who like facts mixed with a not-to0-scary mystery adventure. [easy chapter book, ages 7 and up]

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

11-year-old Turtle has to move to her mama’s hometown in Key West, Florida to live with relatives she’s never met after her single mom gets a job as a housekeeper at a child-unfriendly home. It’s the Great Depression — 1935 to be exact — and Turtle unearths all kinds of family secret and scams including rumors of lost pirate treasure. This historical fiction chapter book rings true because it’s based on Jennifer L. Holm’s actual family history! It’s also a Newbery Honor book! [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

GenZ Read Together Giveaway

I will be giving away 3 Summer Reading Packages of 20 stories worth $4.99 to 3 lucky winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a Blog Tour!

Monday, July 29          PragmaticMom on the The Lost Atocha Treasure
Tuesday, July 30          Artchoo! on The Invention of Velcro
Wednesday, July 31    No Twiddle Twaddle on Christian the Pet Lion Returns to the Wild
Thursday, August 1     KC Edventures With Kids on The Deadliest Diamond
Friday, August 2           Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas on Anita and Arabella in Space

To view either book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

pirate books and project for kids, non fiction for kids, GenZ, GenZ online

I am an Amazon Affiliate which means I earn a small commission at no charge to you if you buy anything at Amazon through my blog. I use these proceeds to pay for postage and handing of my giveaways. This is a sponsored post. My opinions are my own.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. My grandkids favorite non fiction topics are trains and trucks. We have not graduated to pirates just yet, except, of course, for their grandfather’s book, Captain Crossbones in the Treasure Hunt.
    Barbara Mojica recently posted…MIND GAMESMy Profile

  2. Dee

    Very intrigued. I wanted to try the free try-it-now story, but I want Dylan to be available when I do! The story you described sounded right up his alley! And I have to admit that “How I Became a Pirate” is one of my very favorite picture books! I used to love reading it to Dylan. Such a fun story. We also got a lot of mileage out of telling him to brush his teeth or they would end up green like a pirate’s!
    Dee recently posted…Link to a great resource on building your child’s self esteemMy Profile

    • Hi Dee,
      Oh, I loved that line too. I think I used it as well to get the kids brushing! So wonderfully graphic! I think Dylan might like the GenZ program. The idea is to have the parent read to the child and there are discussion questions that are interesting for each story. GenZ also sneaks in two vocab and a reading comprehension question that Dylan can earn points called Zoints for answering. My son’s favorite part comes after that: a puzzle that reveals a picture as you solve a hangman type of game. Then a video on the story. It’s very entertaining so the educational part is a breeze!

      Enter to win all week. Each of us on the blog tour are giving away 3 subscriptions so there will be 15 winners in all!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Summer Reading Fun and Giveaway from GenZ!My Profile

  3. Jeanette Nyberg

    I’m so excited to be doing this with you, Mia! Pirates are always a kid favorite, and that craft is really cute. We are loving GenZ and exploring the stories!
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…Creative Kids: Making Do With What You HaveMy Profile

  4. Maria Gianferrari

    Thanks, Mia!!

    Turtle in Paradise is one of my all-time favorite books! I so love Turtle’s voice–it’s hilarious, and the book is funny, and very moving.

    Sailor Moo is a funny picture book in rhyme that’s indirectly pirate relate. It’s a very fun read aloud.

    • Hi Maria,
      Thanks so much for your great suggestion! I will try to find it at my library! I’m glad you liked Turtle in Paradise too. I loved that book so much! It was also fun to realize that the Florida Keys wasn’t always the swanky place it is today. Still, if I had to live somewhere during the Great Depression, the Florida Keys sounded pretty nice!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Summer Reading Fun and Giveaway from GenZ!My Profile

  5. Kay Fudala

    The Pirate Boat craft project looks fun and will keep my boys occupied for a while. We have watched Pirates of the Carribean. We will enjoy the How to Be a Pirate book, thanks for the suggestion! I will allow even Pirates in my bookcase, to build lifetime reading habits in my kids.

  6. GenZOnline

    So glad you enjoyed The Atocha, and thank you for the excellent activity idea!

  7. I’m looking forward to reading all the Gen Z experiences this week. It’s an interesting program for parents who like to share ebooks with their kids. I love that you extended it with a craft and more book. (Love Turtle in Paradise!!!)
    Erica recently posted…21 Picture Books with Diverse CharactersMy Profile

    • Hi Erica,
      We are really enjoying the stories, my 8-year-old son and I. He’s actually asking for “more GenZ” at bedtime, choosing these stories over books. That actually surprised me because he like reading graphic novels and chapter books. We are also finding that both of us learn something with every story. We both love the video at the end that ties it all together. Usually, the video takes the story a little deeper, or illustrates the story, or is just plain funny. For the invention of velcro story, the video was David Letterman’s famous Velcro Suit! Loved that!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Summer Reading Fun and Giveaway from GenZ!My Profile

  8. Favorite non-fiction topic for kids at school – hard one – animals, discussing their baby teeth and how they lost them, and presidents.

  9. Ann

    Animals by far! Snakes these day. Although my kids just begged and begged for a chemistry book. How could I say no to that?! They are either little brainiacs or up to no good ; )

    My favorite pirate book is Tough Boris.
    Ann recently posted…Northern Flicker FeedingMy Profile

  10. My kids LOVE non-fiction! Right now they have a variety of books about animals (including one on how to convince your parents that you’re ready for a pet hamster), books about various presidents, and one book on costume design!
    maryanne recently posted…Setting Goals Month by Month: August 2013My Profile

    • Hi MaryAnne,
      Your kids might really like GenZ! They sound like they love a variety of non fiction and that is exactly what the site is all about. I’m not sure, though, if there is a story on costume design there … yet!

      I love that your kids are finding books on convincing parents to let them buy a pet hamster! Let me know how effective that book is! I hope you can at least wait until after your move!!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Summer Reading Fun and Giveaway from GenZ!My Profile

  11. Erin Clouser

    My girls have enjoyed reading about historical figures, but they don’t read a lot of non fiction, so this would be a good way to help them branch out a bit more from their favorite fiction writers.

    • Thanks so much for entering Erin! My kids too tend to read more fiction so it’s been a wonderful experience to read the best non fiction stories fed to us via email. I think we are getting spoiled! I’m not sure if I can find that quality of non fiction for them at the library!! My son now asks for GenZ stories every night.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Multicultural Starting School Books for KidsMy Profile

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