"A thrillingly exhilarating adventure and glorious coming-of-age story, rich in both imagination and history, in perception and truth. I couldn't put the book down."—Donald Sutherland
Nova Scotia, 1952. Not exactly the place you’d expect to run into pirates. But an old mariner, his boat driven ashore in a gale, brings with him enough stories about buccaneers and their lore to make it seem that he must have had firsthand experience of the pirate life. But how is that possible? Captain Charles Johnson’s uncanny knowledge of seamanship’s dark side fuels the imagination of the young boy he befriends, setting him on his own journey of mysterious adventure.
Award-winning author William Gilkerson is a sailor, painter, journalist, historian, and adventurer. He is the author of the novel Ultimate Voyage, as well as ten nonfiction books on nautical topics, and his paintings are internationally acknowledged to be among the finest contemporary maritime art. He lives with his family on the shores of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, where he sails his ancient cutter, Elly.
Winner of the 2006 Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature
"A palimpsest upon Treasure Island, William Gilkerson's beguiling creation, Pirate's Passage, has everything: irresistible characters, richly textured history, humor, suspense, and adventure. Steeped in wit, philosophy, and mystical ambiguity, it takes a maverick approach to history. A challenging children's novel with a dangerous edge, Pirate's Passage is a work of genius. . . . This novel will be read by readers of all generations."—Canada Council for the Arts
Winner of the New York Library Association "Book of the Season" Award Spring 2006 in the Young Adult Book Category
"Captivated, my imagination bound hand-and foot, I was shanghaied by Pirate's Passage."—Philip Kopper, The Washington Times
"Beautifully paced, well-written, thoughtful, and clever. Gilkerson's familiarity with seamanship (he is the author of ten books on nautical matters) makes it especially enjoyable."—The London Times
“Full of intrigue and fascinating history.”—VOYA
"A small seaside town . . . a mysterious visitor . . . a voyage of self-discovery. Around all of this swirls a centuries-spanning world of pirates, mentors, and foes—and unlikely friends. It's a mystical and illuminating tale."—Matthew P. Murphy, Editor, WoodenBoat
"This marvelous tale crashed over me like a great wave, submerging me in a gleeful yarn of adventure, intrigue, and memorable characters. Pirate's Passage creates its own kind of ship—and I advise any readers who enjoy a rollicking good story to climb aboard!"—T. A. Barron, author of The Great Tree of Avalon
"A wonderful adventure, with everything you could ask for: pirates, stolen cannon, secret passages, sea voyages, and scurvy knaves. I heartily recommend this book to the piratically-inclined reader of any age."—Garth Nix
"Wonderfully authentic . . . vividly brings to life the dark and violent world of the pirates of the Caribbean."—David Cordingly, author of Under the Black Flag
"Pirate enthusiasts, prepare to settle in for a deliciously unsettling adventure."—The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books