Cover of Sea Queens by Jane Yolen

Sea Queens

Pictures by Christine Joy Pratt
Charlesbridge 2008
ISBN# 978-1-58089-131-8

Yes, I published PIRATES IN PETTICOATS back in 1963, but this book about women pirates is not a simple retread. It is entirely different, some new pirates added (like Grania O’Malley and Queen Teuta and Artemesia) and some dubious ones from the first book dropped. There is much more pirate fact because–in the forty plus years between publications–a lot more has been discovered about female buccaneers. I no longer use made-up conversations, there is a huge bibliography, lots of marginalia, and of course-I think-I am a better writer than I was on that first book at age 24. (Well, I actually wrote it when I was 22!)


Around the web:

What reviewers have said:

  • *STARRED REVIEW* “Piracy wasn’t pretty, but sometimes it was sanctioned. It was always bloody and sometimes lucrative. Yolen tells the tales of 13 female pirates from Persia to China. . . .Not only does she tell them vividly, she also strives to untangle fact from fiction, history from legend, highlighting the telling details that will draw kids in. This volume is very prettily produced, with Pratt’s gorgeous pen-and-ink-on-scratchboard illustrations. . .Sidebars with further tidbits, legends, historical records embellish the pages. Young pirate princesses (and princes) will be dazzled.”–Kirkus
  • “If it’s any indication of how much I enjoyed this book, you should know that day it arrived I sat on the couch in my office (okay, reclined!) and read it from cover to cover. It is a fascinating, well-written text that is thoroughly engaging. This may actually be one of my favorite nonfiction reads of the year to date. I highly recommend it.”-Miss Rumphius Effect
  • “Definitely a book pirate lovers will take an interest in and a great book to give them to expand their knowledge on the subject.”– Biblioreads
  • “Younger teens who love the Pirates of the Caribbean movies can get a taste of real history in Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World, full of facts and fascinating anecdotes.”—Providence Journal
  • “Sea Queens” delves into the fearful and fascinating lives of thirteen female pirates, and some did just as much thieving, plundering and murdering as their male counterparts. Young readers will enjoy discovering these swashbuckling female pirates from around the world.” –
  • “Sea Queens tells readers this much is true about pirates: “They pillaged and murdered and sank many ships. Even the women. Especially the women.” This gorgeous volume gives pirate-addled little girls the down-and-dirty on 13 female pirates and their riotous misdeeds. It’s no easy feat to negotiate the undeniable romance of the pirate and the seamier truth, but veteran Jane Yolen, whose fascination with women pirates stretches back to seventh grade, manages with ease.”—Big Book Guide
  • “(T)he book is filled with fascinating, dramatically told stories and sidebars, and they could serve as a good starting point for further research, as well as discussions about historic accuracy and bias.”—Booklist
  • “Jane Yolen’s new book details the true stories of women throughout history who have sailed the seas as pirates and privateers. She shares the history of piracy, the pirate code and the kind of “treasure” pirates were likely to capture (not so much the chests of jewels and gold.) . . .. With a nice balance of fun, high interest and facts, the chapters are short enough to keep the attention of readers. I would love to hand this to a student who needs a “biography” to read but wants something a little different.”—