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In 2010, the City of San Diego gifted the Captain book program with an outdated medical transport vehicle, which Dr. Pike decorated, filled with some 5,000 books and dubbed the Good Ship Literacy. The unit became mechanically obsolete and was retired in 2018, and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Encinitas dissolved shortly after. In 2019, the Kiwanis Club of Carlsbad adopted and continue to support the Captain Book program. Since 2000, Captain and his volunteer crew of pirates, have given more than 150,000 free books to children to keep as their 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.