Our History

Morris Pike, PhD, created Captain Book in 2000, when he became president of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Encinitas (California). He started by carrying the books in his car and fellow Kiwanian Larry Marquart’s pickup. Dr. Pike became the reading pirate Captain Book soon after his teacher–daughter told him about telling her students that books are the greatest treasure of all. To continue the pirate theme, as well as make a place in the classroom to hold the new books, he and Larry built pirate treasure chests to put them in.

In 2010, the City of San Diego gifted the Captain Book program with a surplus medical transport vehicle, which Dr. Pike refitted, stocked with some 5,000 books and dubbed the Good Ship Literacy. For many years Captain Book sailed this land-ship all across North County San Diego, presenting pirate-themed shows and handing out books, inspiring children to “read, Read, READ!” From then to today, the Captain has continued the voyage, supported by crew members from the Kiwanis Club of Carlsbad and the local community. All together since 2000, the Captain Book program has reached out to more than 200,000 children, giving them brand new books to keep as their very own.

Captain Book Today

The good pirates of Captain Book’s Literacy Program and the board members of the Captain Book Literacy Foundation, believe that books are the greatest treasure of all and that getting books in the hands and homes of children, increases their chances of a better life.

Their program is based on the Science Direct study showing that the number of books in the home is a determinative factor in the child’s success, Captain Book’s all volunteer program gives three- to 12-year-old children, living in and around San Diego County, books they can keep as their own.

Captain Book and his crew deliver books to teachers in Head Start and Title I classrooms, military bases and other groups as needed. To help inspire children to read, they sometimes read, sing songs, tell stories, and perform magic tricks.

You can peer into the depths of this website and learn how easy it is to help Captain Book buy books, get members of the crew to come to your classroom or invite a representative to speak to your club or organization.