Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson is the first book in the new series, The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates. I was happy to receive an e-galley and can say with confidence that teachers and librarians will want to take note of this book. Kids are going to eat it up.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
Magic Marks the Spot is full of all sorts of fun. In a world where buried treasure is valuable if it's magic instead of gold, and nefarious High Society members use the little magic the country has to be unpleasant, it takes a special group of pirates to find the treasure and stop the evil plans of those who would hoard it all themselves. Here we certainly find an interesting group of pirates that include a young finishing school escapee, her erstwhile governess, and a gargoyle head. The book has a lot of quirky and a rather nonsensical sense of humor. It's the sort of writing that ensnares children and keeps them coming back for more. (Bit took one look at the cover and salivated. She can't wait to get her hands on a copy of the book.) I think that this will be the case in librarians and classrooms everywhere.
I found it to be a cute and fun read, if predictable and a bit too quirky for my tastes. I am happy to have found a new book to encourage my students to read. (Not that they will need much encouragement.)
I read an e-galley made available by the publisher, Harper Children's, via Edelwiess. Magic Marks the Spot is available for purchase September 10.