Daily Archives: August 8, 2021

The Day the Pirates Went Mad by Trevor Atkins Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young girl must face impossible odds when she is the only one who stands in the way of a pirate curse taking over her entire ship’s crew in the Golden Age of Piracy in author Trevor Atkins’ novel, “The Day the Pirates Went Mad”.


The Synopsis

In 1701, orphanage runaway Emma Sharpe changed the direction of her life when she stowed away aboard the New Adventure. A year later, she’s rated an able seaman and is an important part of the crew. Just how important becomes clear during her next voyage to the West Indies when the crew recovers an abandoned pirate treasure. As tempers fray and unusual arguments become more frequent, Emma starts to believe there might really be a curse on the gold they took. With the help of cabin boy Jack Randall, Emma dares to confront the growing threat of violence amongst the formerly close-knit crew. Will they save everyone in time? Can they save themselves?

THE DAY THE PIRATES WENT MAD takes place at the turn of the 18th century and the Golden Age of Piracy is just around the corner. 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!

[Warning: Some readers may find the descriptions of discovered deceased pirates disturbing.]


THE DAY THE PIRATES WENT MAD is an entertaining ‘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.

Intended for grades 5-7, this story can also be suitable for sharing with younger grades when supported by an adult. You know your kids best! 

The Review

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.

The Verdict

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!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Trevor Atkins lives with his family on the west coast of Canada. He has been working with words for much of his life, but has only recently pursued historical fiction. A storyteller and role-player of detailed characters, Trevor finds it natural to weave together many intertwining plot threads when writing. His bane is the perfecting effort of revision‌—there’s always something more that can be tweaked and improved. But then comes the day when enough is enough, and the story must be set free for others to read!

Inspired by R. L. Stevenson’s novel “Treasure Island” and Y. E. Allison’s poem “Derelict”, THE DAY THE PIRATES WENT MAD was originally intended as a short story for my daughter, peppered with nuggets of knowledge about real life during the Age of Sail and the Golden Age of Piracy in particular. As I found myself diving down one research rabbit hole after another, the tale grew into the novel it is today.

Follow Trevor on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/trevor.atkins.author and check out https://emmasharpesadventures.com for “behind-the-scenes” and additional materials meant to deepen the educational aspects of Emma’s adventures.

Want More Pirates?

Trevor also designs educational tabletop games. “Pirate Pursuit – The Spanish Treasure Fleet” is a game of cat-and-mouse on the high seas where 3–5 players must use their knowledge of real pirate lore to catch the crafty pirate before they plunder the Spanish treasure fleet! Visit http://silverpath.com for more…

 E-book: https://www.amazon.com/Day-Pirates-Went-Mad-ebook/dp/B091JMKVG3/

·       Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Day-Pirates-Went-Mad/dp/1989459021/