Book Reviews

We are 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.

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 find her place on a ship that trades around the world. She sails to Africa and beyond, learning from the rest of the crew, often comprised of female sailors. 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.

Margriet RuursGlobal Book Reviews, TIE Blog

A truly fantastic and engaging historical fiction read. The author not only finds a means of balancing the historical aspect of this narrative but writes the protagonists and the novel in a way that allows for children ages 10-12 to learn and discover life in the 18th century on the high seas. 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.

What stood out the most however was the incredible character growth and development here. Emma is a fantastic school-aged heroine for the age of pirates. An orphan who became a sailor and part of a crew and family makes for such a gripping tale, and the evolution of her character as she makes her way up the ladder of the ship’s crew and finds the adventure she has always sought was truly a great means of investing in this story.

A marvelous, entertaining, and educational read, author Trevor Atkins’s “The Day the Pirates Went Mad” was a must-read historical fiction and middle-age level narrative. The way the author writes really brought out the imagery and tone of what life on the high seas must have been like, and the swashbuckling adventure that the crew found themselves on as they traded treasure for trust made this a masterful story to get lost in. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Anthony Avina – Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

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!


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. There’s a game, Pirate Pursuit. Trevor has used his creativity to completely immerse anyone who wants to jump off the plank and into The Day the Pirates Went Mad.

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!


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 old

C 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