The Black Banner

Children's Books, General Fiction, Young Adult

By Helen Hart

Publisher : SilverWood Books

ABOUT Helen Hart

Helen Hart
Helen Hart has written novels under various pen-names including Maya Snow (Sisters of the Sword Bks 1 & 2) and Sebastian Rook (Vampire Plagues Bks 4, 5 & 6). This is the first book to feature her own name on the cover!



Set sail on the high seas of adventure with Beck Baxter and her band of pirates!

1719, and the high seas are plagued by the lawless. Pirates rule the crystal waters of the Caribbean, hunting heavily-laden merchant ships with savage ferocity. Entire crews are condemned to die beneath a cutlass blade unless they swear allegiance to the black banner.

Penniless Becky Baxter crops her hair, dresses in breeches, and leaves the dangerous backstreets of Bristol far behind. She embarks on a new life of adventure and fortune as the youngest deckhand on a merchant ship, the Bonny Marie. But she quickly discovers that there are far more dangerous enemies than her drunken Ma and evil Mr Crudder…


My dad is a blue water yachtsman and I grew up on the Dorset coast, where pirates and smugglers are big part of local legend. The story of Becky Baxter and her adventures is the story I always wanted to write... a swashbuckling mix of 'Treasure Island' and 'A High Wind in Jamaica' (two of my favourite books as a child!).

"Not since Treasure Island have we had such a fast- paced swashbuckling yarn come out of Bristol, and this time the hero's a heroine! With excitement and plot twists a plenty, Robert Louis Stevenson would have been proud. Look out for some ghosts from Bristol's rich maritime past…"
Mark Steeds, Secretary – Long John Silver Trust, Bristol

"No one is going to get bored while reading this story. A rollicking good tale."
Jo Ann Hakola, Journey of a Bookseller

"The perfect combination of Treasure Island and Pirates of the Caribbean for young girls… the author captures the spirit and sound of the period as she whisks the reader back in time and immerses them in an era of upheaval and adventure. The characters are richly drawn and the dialogue rings true."
Patricia Rockwell, author & publisher

"Sail away on a swashbuckling adventure aboard the Bonny Marie with young Billy Baxter – who is not the boy he pretends to be! The Black Banner has it all – pirates, plunder, and the pleasure of a rollocking good read!"
Helen Hollick, author of the Sea Witch series

"How can you resist a book which features pirates, swashbuckling adventures on the high seas, adventure and excitement?  The answer is you can't, which is why I enjoyed 'The Black Banner' so much."

Samantha Huddart, A Dream of Books

"The Black Banner is a wonderful YA read that will appeal to both sexes and adults who love a good pirate tale."

Debbie Lester, Debbie's Book Bag

"Filled with excitement and adventure, The Black Banner is written in the first person, by Becky herself, in the form of her private journal, and is brimming with her bravery, determination and hope for the future. What an awesome, heart-warming tale!Very highly recommended."

Amanda, Teenage Fiction for All Ages

This was such a fun read! From the first page of The Black Banner I was thrown into a different time with a different way of speaking, dressing and travelling. The story was packed with a perfect combination of adventure and great characters. Overall, The Black Banner was a fantastic read and is definitely recommended.

Maryam Hussein, Books Glorious Books

The best things about this novel are its numerous colorful and endearing characters, both pirates and honest folk, its fidelity to the history of the time, and its willingness to at least approach gritty realities about death and desperation. 

Nan Hawthorne, That's All She Read