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Kemosha of the Caribbean

In this swashbuckling new adventure, fifteen-year-old Kemosha and her eleven-year-old brother have lived their young lives in slavery. Sold away to work in lawless Port Royal, Jamaica, Kemosha takes her chance to escape brutal treatment. With fortune on her side, Kemosha befriends Ravenhide, a man with a mysterious past who teaches her the art of swordfighting, and introduces her to the beautiful runaway Isabella.

Yet Kemosha’s greatest test yet is upon the deck of the Satisfaction: the notorious Captain Morgan’s ship. His next adventure on the high seas could be the making of Kemosha – and her one chance to free her brother…

Kemosha of the Caribbean is a thrilling pirate adventure with a thought-provoking message about violence and a brilliant heroine.

Shortlisted for The YA Book Prize 2023

Library Junior Guild Gold Standard Selection in the USA and Canada

Nominated for the Yoto Carnegies 2023

Kemosha of the Caribbean -Alex Wheatle.jpg


Andersen Press UK
Akashic USA
WF Howes audio


‘[A} stunning historical adventure… Wheatle has a big heart, an easy style and natural empathy and doesn’t compromise on the grim details as he introduces us to a little taught period of history through a girl with many of the same dreams as today’s teenagers.'  The Times, Children’s Book of the Week

Inspired by accounts of women pirates, this fantastical tale represents the era’s cruelty without romanticizing it. Kemosha’s love and persistence combine with forceful action, the terror of harsh racism and passionate, colourful language. Toronto Star

“A thrilling YA pirate adventure, filled with the grimmest details of history and a joyous sense of what happens when the oppressed are empowered.”  Guardian - Books - Children’s and teens roundup

'A thrilling high seas adventure… Kemosha’s indomitable spirit, determination and wit make for an unforgettable heroine.'  The Observer - Young adult books round-up – review

‘There's pirates, cut-throats and swashbuckling action, but the star turn is the fierce and unforgettable heroine in pursuit of her freedom and the girl she loves’  The Bookseller, February previews – Editor’s Choice

‘Wheatle is a born entertainer as well as a black writer with a mission. This latest story is not just a splendid read; it would also make a stirring film’  Books For Keeps - ***** 5 Star Review


'Wheatle's swashbuckling latest blends adventure, history, and poignancy... Well written and full of thrills, this cross between Margarita Engle's Hurricane Dancers and L.A. Meyer's Bloody Jack Adventures series will inspire hope and spark inspiration.'  Booklist

'Alex paints a vivid character in Kemosha, a stubborn and strong willed slave who refuses to accept defeat at every corner. It is a story about courage, determination, and never giving up even when the stakes are constantly against you. Even when there is no way out. Kemosha never accepts defeat, she has the strength of a lion and I was rooting for her from the first page to the very end. 
I saw her stubbornness as strength, and her short temper as courage.

Such is Alex’s talent that I am left wondering where is Kemosha now, I hope she is doing okay. Can’t wait to read this again.’' Kereen Getten, author of When Life Gives you Mangoes

'There's pirates, cut-throats and swashbuckling action, but the star turn is the fierce and unforgettable heroine in pursuit of her freedom and the girl she loves '  The Bookseller, Editor's Choice

‘A thrilling, incredible story with a wonderful young Black woman at its heart, told by one of the most accomplished writers in the world today. Wheatle creates a heroine who is impossible not to love and who will stay in the reader’s mind and heart long after finishing the book.’ Sunny Singh, author, professor

‘A vivid and powerful story centred around the struggles of a young enslaved woman who is determined to stand up for herself and fight for what is right, often in the face of danger and cruelty. Another tour de force by Alex Wheatle a truly gifted storyteller.’ David Olusoga

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