Pyrate's Boy

E. B. Colin

Out of print

Quick Look

  • A thrilling pirate adventure filled with danger, skillful plot twists and brilliantly drawn characters
  • As well as being hugely entertaining for boys and girls, Pyrate's Boy also beautifully evokes its historical setting
  • This swashbuckling adventure sails the high seas from Greenock to America and from the West Indies to Glasgow

Silas, pyrate's boy on the pirate ship Tenacity, has adventures from the West Indies to the west coast of Scotland -- but what awaits him there?

198 x 130 mm
Floris Books
Age Range:
From 8 to 12 years
272 pages
Publication date:
19 Sep 2013


Shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards 2015

'The boy looks about seven or eight years old and should weigh next to nothing. And yet it takes four men to drag him out of the water. We soon realise why. Padlocked around his ankle is a thick metal chain, which plummets right down to the sea's bottom. If we want to save him, we have to pull up the chain. And whatever is at the end of it.'

Silas Orr, an 11-year-old runaway from Greenock, is saved from certain death by Captain Jon Harkin, aka the infamous pirate Black Johnnie. Choosing to stay aboard, he becomes pirate's boy on the feared ship
Tenacity. Now the crew have rescued another drowning boy, but this one has a lead box chained to his ankle. What could be precious enough to keep safe with a human buoy? Whatever it is, someone will come looking for it.

Silas must help Johnnie discover the child's secret and outwit their pursuers. But life on the high seas isn't easy. Silas' adventures become more and more dangerous as he escapes from an erupting volcano, navigates through treacherous coral reefs, and encounters a knifewielding, cartwheeling girl. The pirates' exploits take them from Jamaica to Glasgow -- but what awaits Silas there?


'This is a terrific swashbuckling adventure which combines a vivid sense of place with page-turning urgency and a roster of charismatic characters, particularly the pyrates. This is quite simply a novel of most excellent storytelling, transporting the reader across oceans and back in time at pace which never flags and always surprises.'
-- Catherine Forde, author of Sugarcoated and Fatboy Swim

'[T]his swashbuckling adventure...l offers a story of interesting characters, darkest villains and a rattling good pace that keeps the surprises coming thick and fast... Its plot, pace and characters make this story live and brings new impetus to an old genre. Recommended.'
-- Armadillo

'Blackmail, mutiny and an erupting volcano all contribute to the page-turner, but it is the bond between the captain and Silas that makes this story a page-earner. An exciting adventure with a tender heart.'
-- Kirkus


E. B. Colin (1963-2019) was a journalist and lecturer in Creative Writing at Strathclyde University. She wrote novels and short stories for children and adults, and BBC radio plays. Her work was shortlisted for a British Book Award, a Saltire Award and a Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award.


Visit the Discover Kelpies Facebook page:


Don't miss the Discover Kelpies website for children with exclusive author interviews, fun stuff and latest gossip on your favourite Scottish stories.

Just feel like browsing?

Browse our catalogues

Interested in an author?

Discover authors