The Day the Pirates Went Mad
THE DAY THE PIRATES WENT MAD was written for my daughter and started off as a short story. One about a girl overcoming a cursed pirate treasure to save her found family, inspired by the greedy in-fighting and backstabbing represented in R.L. Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” and Y.E. Allison’s poem “Derelict” – all for a bit of gold and silver. This tale would take us on our own adventure, and simultaneously let us talk about what life was really like during the Age of Sail and the Golden Age of Piracy in particular – but without dwelling on some of the grittier realities (that’s the ‘cozy’ part). Entertainingly educational!– Trevor Atkins, author of “The Day the Pirates Went Mad”.
Over the course of five years(!) the short story developed into a novel and was published in 2021. I was (and still am!) very happy to share it. I hope it helps make learning fun for some young readers. 🙂
THE DAY THE PIRATES WENT MAD is a ‘cozy’ historical fiction that also conveys a ‘boatload’ of learning about the life and times of those sailing the seas 300 years ago, during the Age of Sail. Follow the adventures of eleven-year-old Emma Sharpe as she learns to sail the sea, bonds with her shipmates, and then must save them all from a cursed pirate treasure before it’s too late! [ Read the full description… ]
Want to Know More?
- Meet the Author: The Day the Pirates Went Mad by Trevor Atkins
- Shaz’s Book Blog: Author Interview with Trevor Atkins
In Support of BCCHF
Since the release of “THE DAY THE PIRATES WENT MAD”, 100% of all royalties have been collected in support of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. For maximum impact, we also encourage you to give directly via https://www.bcchf.ca/
We’re so grateful for the reviews we have received via Amazon, Goodreads, and directly from readers of The Day the Pirates Went Mad. We are pleased to re-share some of them here. We’d love to hear what you think too! 😉
The New Adventure is not a typical merchant ship. Her blended crew of men, women, and children share in the profits garnered from each voyage. They also do a bit of smuggling and privateering, but never pirating. They form a cohesive unit until Emma stumbles across the sole survivor of a derelict, treasure-laden pirate ship.Cindy Vallar – Historical Novel Society & Pirates and Privateers
The piratical elements are true to history, and the author includes a glossary and website where teaching resources can be found. “The Day the Pirates Went Mad” is a good introduction to life at sea and is written in a manner that makes the Age of Sail more interesting to today’s young readers.
Atkins writes this historical fiction with an easy fluidity that readers young and old can lose themselves in. Life on the New Adventure is far from idyllic. Emma and the crew find themselves facing the doldrums, treacherous seas, pirates, and cursed treasure while sailing from exotic ports of call all over the seven seas.Tammy Catherine Greene – The Miramichi Reader
Empathetic Emma uses her youthful outlook, level-headedness and critical thinking to help overcome any adversity and soften their hard edges. By building his characters with tidbits of their backgrounds and beginnings, within each chapter, Atkins gives his readers inklings of future plotlines as he skillfully anchors his story with historical facts.
This is a fictional story placed in the early 1700’s. The details about the ways of living, customs, food, clothing and especially ships is impressive. The story is well written so I could ‘see’ it unfold as Emma escaped a Bristol, UK orphanage and finds her place on a ship that trades around the world.Margriet Ruurs – Global Book Reviews, TIE Blog
The story is gripping – I couldn’t put it down. The author’s thorough research and knowledge of the topic and era truly bring the story to life. Any student interested in history and/or pirates will love this novel.
A truly fantastic and engaging historical fiction read. The author’s attention to detail in terms of language and terminology amongst the sailors and the era the narrative took place in was amazing, and the theme of how wealth and power can influence the mind, whether you believe it to be a curse or not, was really fascinating to see unfold here.
“The Day the Pirates Went Mad” is a must-read historical fiction and middle-age level narrative. Emma is a fantastic school-aged heroine for the age of pirates.Anthony Avina – Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
The amount of research that went into this middle-grade adventure is phenomenal. I learned so much about the early 1700s — sea life, ships, geography, politics, speech, culture, flora/fauna, and food. There’s even a great glossary at the end. I would have liked more action and adventure in the first half of the story, but the last half really amps up the pace, and the ending is terrific.
Emma is a likeable protagonist — feisty and intelligent but also thoughtful and hardworking, and she has a big heart. I look forward to her next adventure.K Butcher
This is a good story based on real historic events and facts. Not only is it an adventure story, it is funny and exciting! The book taught me a lot about real pirates. I liked all the historic information and highly recommend it to all those who like sailing, traveling and looking for treasure!Nico (12)
This book provides so much fun and intrigue. It took me back to my childhood days of reading action adventure novels. A great book for any child’s birthday or for the holidays.J Vandervlugt
This thoroughly researched middle grade adventure novel includes fascinating details of life then, such as the variety of food, navigation techniques, and leisure activities like dancing the hornpipe. I loved the joke about the glazed pot of flour! Full speed ahead, Emma, in your quest for more adventure!Karen
This book is full of rollicking fun and lots of discoveries. I enjoyed the story and the history. The characters and plot points are tight and well-woven. The writing itself is full of great imagery—poetry. Fascinating details kept me engaged in the text. Emma is very resilient and persistent. A strong female character.
There are many teaching resources for those who want to go further than the reading of the book. The glossary at the end of the book is quite helpful.L Ayre
I read this to my boys, 11 and 14 at bedtime. Sometimes it wasn’t the best idea before bed, because they broke into sea shanties and got too excited. Trevor definitely did his research in naval history. I learnt a thing or two.E DSouza
I enjoyed reading “The Day the Pirates Went Mad”! The story itself is intriguing – Emma is a strong and smart girl so you are instantly attached to her. Curiosity made me read one chapter after another to find out more about Emma and the other characters. I also liked the historical facts and how they are woven into the story. It is well written and fun to read. Hoping to see what happens next!C Cesar
I enjoyed reading The Day the Pirates Went Mad by Trevor Atkins. I loved the rhythm of the sentences because they made me feel like I was experiencing a 1700’s sailing tale. I learned a lot of sailing terms that I hadn’t heard before. Each character had their unique voice and speaking pattern. Unique voices make the characters come alive. The clever use of flashbacks provided not only background information but added depth to the story. All in all, this novel was a page-turner, and I had difficulty putting it down!N McNeil
This is a fabulous book. The characters are well developed, the plot maintains suspense and it’s hard to put it down. The end is a bit abrupt but it seems to promise that there will be sequels to Emma Sharpe’s adventures. I hope so!Wolfgang
Trevor’s book is a enjoyable story with exciting climax and good characters. The heroine Emma is quite a brave young girl forced by circumstances to do extraordinary things. The setting and time in history are well done and interesting. Worth a read for anyone but ideal for the younger set ages around 10 years oldC Anderson
A rollicking adventure in the tradition of Treasure Island. Full of fun pirate facts, Emma Sharpe’s first adventure is a delight. Let’s hope it is the first of many!M Wakefield