Thursday, October 3, 2013

Review: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson

Well, now, this stinks.
The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot
No, not the book. The book I loved! What stinks is that I just spent two weeks shifting and weeding the juvenile fiction, making a list of all the series we have (there are over 400), then making a spreadsheet for each one, including reading level for every single title, and making order cards for any we don't have. I just finished.
And now there's a new series, The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, that we absolutely must have.
"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."
I knew I was going to love the book by page 3, when I read: "...her father would kiss her on the forehead and say, 'Run along and be a good little girl.' Hilary intended to be a great many things, and a good little girl was not one of them..."
Nobody in this book is exactly who they are supposed to be, but everyone is exactly who they need to be to make it a thoroughly enjoyable tale. Perfectly suitable for elementary school, an easy fit for middle school, and I predict secretly enjoyed by high schoolers. Pirate stories are always a hit, and after reading this I now think every good pirate ship should include a talking gargoyle and...a governess? Why not! A promising start to...sigh...another series I am about to become addicted to.


  1. Oh the series, the series....I have a complicated set of excel files listing active series, inactive series (out of print or complete) including Baker and Taylor continuation ids (if available) and call #, since we just started adding series info to our call number labels. When I showed my cataloger what I'd done, she bowed to my, of course, it's been a couple months and I need to update the lists...

  2. get to feel all efficient and organized for about thirty seconds!