Kemosha of the Caribbean

Publisher: Andersen

14 year-old Kemosha Black is born into slavery in Jamaica in the 1660s, living on a plantation with Marta the cook and her beloved little brother Gregory. When she’s 14, she's sold to the horrendous Mr Powell who plans in turn to make money selling Kemosha’s body to the rough and horrible men around the port. But she escapes with the help of an amazing barrel-maker named Ravenhide, a Black free man who teaches her how to swordfight. So begin her pirate adventures on board the ship The Satisfaction with Captain Morgan - and her quest to make enough money to buy the freedom of Marta and Gregory.

Alex Wheatle is a writer with a great ear for dialogue and this is a thrilling, brilliantly written tale of pirates in the Caribbean. But this is also a harsh world full of evil, pitiless drunks, murder, violence, cruelty and lots references to the exploitation of women including rape and prostitution as well as Kemosha’s own sexual relations with her new girlfriend Isabella -  although there are no graphic sexual descriptions in the book. There are no modern swear words. The teenagers in the book drink spiced wine.

A thrilling and exciting read, but the violence and exploitation mean it is not a book for sensitive or younger readers.

More books like this

Cane Warriors

Author: Alex Wheatle

This story is inspired by a real life rebellion in British-owned slave plantations in Jamaica in 1760. Moa has spent his entire life on the slave plantation in horrific conditions - but a charismatic leader offers the chance to seize freedom.

Read more about Cane Warriors

Freedom (1783)

Author: Catherine Johnson

This is a brilliant adventure story that manages to give young readers a really important insight into slavery without being so upsetting that it’s impossible to read: a very fine balance, masterfully achieved.

Read more about Freedom (1783)

Share this book with your friends

Use our Bookfinder to discover the perfect children's books for every age...