Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, Book 1)

Pirates? In search for magic? With a talking gargoyle? Get ready for an adventure!

Our adventure with this story all started when my 6-year-old decided he was obsessed with pirates. (Okay, I’ll be honest, all my kids were going through a “pirate phase”, including my oldest, who had just learned how to play the theme song to the Pirates of the Caribbean on the piano, but it was the 6-year-old that continually took things to the next level: dressing up and talking like a pirate.)

So, I needed something to read aloud that would satisfy my little pirate with his need for adventure. . . enter Magic Marks the Spot, by Caroline Carlson.

Check out this back cover:

Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle?!

Caroline Carlson’s funny 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.

So… What I loved:

Everything, really. I loved everything. The story is unique and witty, taking our family on an adventure through finishing school (where young ladies learn the correct way to swoon) and out to the high seas. Each character found a place in our hearts and we were rooting for them to the very last page-well, maybe not the bad guy, but all the good ones. 🙂 The writing is fantastic. My kids begged for more chapters, laughing at with each plot twist and turn.

This series has two more books and you better believe we’ll be reading them. If you have some young adventurers in your house, you should give it a peek. . . or maybe you’re ready for your own quest for magic.

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