GIVEAWAY: A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade

A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade
By James Preller, Illustrated by Greg Ruth
Win an Copy Inscribed by Illustrator Greg Ruth

Deadline to enter to win is Monday, September 27th 2010.

Local Hilltown artist Greg Ruth has released a new children’s book titled Pirate’s Guide to First Grade and Hilltown Families has an inscribed copy to giveaway to two lucky families.  Deadline to enter to win is Monday, September 27th 2010. Details below.


Arr! It’s the first day of first grade, and it’s all hands on deck for a young pirate and his crew. How much trouble can they get into? What will they do at recess? And, most important, what treasure awaits them at school?

Written by James Preller, and illustrated by Greg Ruth, Pirate’s Guide to First Grade is a story of the first day of school. “This rambunctious first day tale is fit for any young buccaneer… Preller’s buoyant pirate-inflected storytelling and Ruth’s illustrations, which have a decidedly vintage flair, form an exuberant tribute to imagination and a spirit of adventure,” writes Publishers Weekly.

“Young would-be buccaneers facing their own first-day jitters will enjoy this droll title, which ends with a cheer for libraries. A great choice for sharing on September 19th, International Talk Like a Pirate Day.” - Booklist

The Wall Street Journal recent review writes, “Greg Ruth’s retro illustrations for James Preller’s story adhere in a satisfying way to piratical convention—his buccaneers have flowing beards, eye patches and gnarly expressions—but he adds witty modern-day touches, too, like the vaporous juice box in one man’s hand.”


Photo credit: Jen SmithGreg Ruth lives and works in Western Massachusetts with his wife and fellow artist, Jen Smith, and their two boys, Emmett and Nathaniel. He has been known to craft graphic novels, children’s picture books, music videos and illustrated novels and currently does not own a parrot. Yet.  You can find out more by visiting his website:


Meet the Illustrator

  • Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA be celebratin’ National Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sunday, September 19th with a special book signin’ and readin’ by t’ artist, Greg Ruth o’ A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade, written by James Preller from 10am till 1pm. Come by for good food, pirate goodies and a signed copy o’ t’ book. There be only a few copies port o’ t’ first edition, so make aye t’ come early! Orders will be taken for signed, personalized books as well. – This event be rated “Arrrrrrr!”
  • Later that day, Greg will also sit down for a signin’ at T’ Old Creamery in Cummington, MA as part o’ their tenth anniversary celebration at 3pm. Copies o’ his first sprogs’s book, Our Enduring Spirit, written by President Barack Obama will be available.


Your chance t’ win an inscribed copy o’ Pirate’s Guide to First Grade by local illustrator Greg Ruth be as easy as 1-2-3 (4)! T’ win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW IN YOUR BEST “PIRATESE(one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Monday, 09/27/10 @ 7pm (EST).


In addition to posting a comment below as outlined above, be part of the Hilltown Families Street Team and participate in any of the following, earning one extra entry in our random drawing:

  • Share this post with your Facebook pals (Add “Hilltown Families” to your post).
  • Tweet about this contest on Twitter (Add @hilltwnfamilies to your tweet)
  • Share this giveaway on your own blog (email the URL to
  • Email five or more friends and tell them about this giveaway (CC your email to

Once you have done any of these suggestions, we will add a thank you comment below with your name/town, adding another entry for you. If you participate as our Street Team and do not see a mention below, email us details before the deadline to let us know. Deadline is Monday, 09/27/10 @ 7pm (EST). A maximum of one extra entry per household may be added.


  1. Karen said,

    September 28, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Hurray! Henry will be just beside himself!


  2. September 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Congratulations to:

    • Jason Woolf of Northampton, MA
    • Karen Bayne of Northampton, MA

    Both families have won a signed copy of Pirate’s Guide to First Grade by local illustrator Greg Ruth and should email their mailing address to to receive their copies in the mail. Thank you to everyone who participated in our giveaway, Greg Ruth for providing signed copies, and to our sponsor Grendel Books, ABAA/ILAB.


  3. Christine G said,

    September 25, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Ahoy Matey,
    Blimey! What a great book! My lassie at home, as well as the lads and lassies in my classroom would truly enjoy this. Yo ho ho! Me name is Christine G, from Northampton, MA.


  4. Jason Woolf said,

    September 24, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Yo ho and a bottle o’ mother’s milk! Me darlin’ boy and I be wantin’ yer booty, so hand it o’er or you’ll walk the plank!

    Jason Woolf
    Northampton, MA


  5. Liz Jacobson-Carroll said,

    September 21, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Aye, we be building a bigger pirate ship (library addition) in Buckland, and want treasure to fill it!

    Liz Jacobson-Carroll, Director
    Buckland Public Library


  6. Kerry Anderson said,

    September 20, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Avast ye scurvy dogs….my scalawag son needs a book from ye lily livered landlubbers….AAAARG!!!

    Kerry Anderson
    Southwick, MA


  7. September 19, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Aaarrgh, If we be winnin’ one of them thar books, my first mate won’t be needin’ to steal one!
    We dock in Easthampton, Ma


  8. jody hadden said,

    September 19, 2010 at 9:04 am

    ahoy me mateys! And avast all you landlubbers, and bilge rats! Capt’n James o’ North Adams would be liken to be takin for his own, a copy o t’ pirate scroll u b offerin! n shiver me timbers, once the capt’n b gettin his hook in yer here pirate booty, he be sailin his ship in ta the horizon with out so much as makin any o yer wenchs or yer scalywags b walkin the plank! so yo ho! let us be grabbin a cup o grog and hoist sail to make way for capt’n James to aquire his bounty! arrrr!

    Jody Hadden on behalf of first grader James Hadden
    North Adams, Ma


  9. Amanda Saklad said,

    September 17, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Ahoy my hearties! We landlubbers would love a copy of this book, or we’ll using our own pieces o’eight to buy one ourselves. Yo-ho-ho!

    Amanda Saklad
    Belchertown, MA


  10. dina raymond said,

    September 16, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Sounds like an awesome book for my first graders !


  11. Leslie Charles said,

    September 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    ummm…I be feelin’ lucky!
    leslie charles >chesterfield proper >massachusetts


  12. Karen said,

    September 15, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Readin’ be fundamental!
    Me kid must have this –
    by hook or by crook!

    Karen Bayne, on behalf of 1st grader Henry,


  13. Scott McGinley said,

    September 14, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Shiver me timbers! Thar be no booty like BOOK booty! Argh!

    Captain Scott
    Springfield, MA


  14. Tina Cornell said,

    September 14, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Avast ye Hilltown Familieers, out of me way so I cin win what’s sure to be a hardy read!! Aaaargh!
    Tina Cornell, West Chesterfield. (not able to get my pirateese on for this part)


  15. Libby Maxey said,

    September 13, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Arrrrrrrrrr, I be Libby Maxey o’ Conway, and I be lookin’ t’acquire me own copy o’ this ‘ere piratical tome.


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