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Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates Series #1)
     

Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates Series #1)

4.3 8
by Caroline Carlson, Dave Phillips
 

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Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle? Caroline Carlson's hilarious tween novel The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society.

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread

Overview

Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle? Caroline Carlson's hilarious tween novel The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society.

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword.

There's only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.

But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn't exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.

Written with uproarious wit and an inviting storyteller tone, the first book in Caroline Carlson's quirky seafaring series is a piratical tale like no other.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
09/01/2013
Gr 3–6—Hilary strives to be a pirate, but it's hard when the VNHLP (Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates) declines her application because of her gender. She's also the daughter of the Admiral of the Augusta Royal Navy, who is a sworn enemy of pirates, and she's been sent to a finishing school run by Miss Pimm where she is trapped in fainting, waltzing, and embroidery classes. Luckily, Hilary has her magic gargoyle to assist her in running away to the ship of the Terror of the Southlands, a polite pirate named Jasper Fletcher. Along with Jasper's ward, Charlie; Hilary's governess, Miss Greyson; and a boy she suspects is a spy, Hilary sails off on the Pigeon in search of magic buried by the Enchantress of Augusta. But there is something fishy going on in Augusta with magical items being stolen, Miss Pimm taking her girls to sea, and the admiral in hot pursuit of the Pigeon, unconcerned that his daughter is onboard. Will the magic fall into the wrong hands? Will Hilary and Charlie be able to rescue their friends from the dungeons into which they have been mistakenly tossed? In the end, no one is who they seem. In the magical world of Augusta, pirates grow beautiful flower gardens, letters mysteriously get to ships within hours, and the dungeons contain crocheted rugs. The narrative is interspersed with letters, forms, and quotes from the VNHLP handbook that make for entertaining reading, and the whole package is a silly, rollicking good time.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
The New York Times Book Review - Marjorie Ingall
…this is a drawing-room comedy set on the high seas…The book is deliciously feminist but wears its politics lightly. Relationships are sweet and beautifully drawn, there is at least one laugh per page, and I quite enjoyed the notion of entrenched pirate bureaucracy…
Soman Chainani
A whimsical, swashbuckling romp into a deeply imaginative world; Carlson’s novel is as plucky and clever as its heroine.
Sarah Prineas
Avast! Pirates, magic, girl hero and a gargoyle sidekick? YES!! MAGIC MARKS THE SPOT is an amazing debut, a funny, rollicking adventure featuring a take-no-prisoners heroine and a cast of colorful characters. I eagerly look forward to the next book.
Kirkus Reviews
A conked-out attacker lying in a pool of…beet juice is as close as this dainty piratical escapade gets to actual gore or violence. Except for providing application forms and refusing to let young Hilary Westfield be the pirate she's always longed to be, the bureaucratic buccaneers of the series' title remain in the wings in this kickoff tale. She must, perforce, accompanied by her brisk governess and trusty talking stone gargoyle, take matters into her own hands. She slips away from Miss Pimm's Finishing School for Delicate Ladies to join gentlemanly freelance pirate Jasper Fletcher ("Terror of the Southlands," as he's repeatedly dubbed) on a search for a certain fabulous trove of magical gold hidden long ago. Ensuing complications include the horrifying revelation that her own father, a renowned admiral, is scheming to take over the kingdom and banish piracy forever. The tongue-in-cheek tale is punctuated by vigorous but injury-free melees, plus images of tabloid newspaper pages, advertisements, extracts from the titular league's "Treasure Hunting for Beginners" manual and "handwritten" correspondence, including breathless exchanges between Hilary and a school friend. The adventure winds its way to a glittering hoard, a fabulous wedding and, best of all, a well-earned league membership card for its plucky protagonist. Even the gargoyle comes away with a pirate hat. A polite chorus of "Aaarrgghh"s all round, please, for this rather twee outing. (Fantasy. 10-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062194336
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/10/2013
Series:
Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates Series , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
338,579
Lexile:
900L (what's this?)
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Caroline Carlson holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is an assistant editor of Children’s and Young Adult Literature at the literary journal Hunger Mountain. Before writing her first book, she worked as a textbook editor and helped to organize the children’s summer reading program at her hometown library. Caroline grew up in Massachusetts and now lives with her husband in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You can visit her online at www.carolinecarlsonbooks.com.

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Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
SunnyinDC More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic middle grade adventure perfect for girls and boys! It is hard not to love and root for our spunky main character, but when you throw in a very funny, talking gargolye into the story, it's hard not love this whole story! It's filled with action and intrigue and I can't wait for the sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Made the next book yet?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the next installment!
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