Monday, March 17, 2014

The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot







The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson (Sept 2013, Harper, for ages 8 to 12)


Source: I purchased the hardcover from Children's Book World when I met the Lucky 13s at Haverford Township Library in November 2013. Here's Caroline reading from her book.




Synopsis (from the publisher): 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 an 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.



Why I recommend it: This is a rollicking romp of a novel. All of the characters are delightful, but especially Hilary (yay for a girl pirate!) and the adorable Gargoyle. This is precisely the kind of book I would have LOVED as a ten-year-old (and the kind I wish I could write). As a kid, I would have read this over and over until it fell apart. And I would have swooned to learn it's the first in a new series. Pirate's honor!

My only quibble (and it's minor) is how hard it is to read the hilarious letters interspersed throughout the story. Wish they hadn't used a dark background and a cramped font.


Have you read Magic Marks the Spot? If not, what funny pirate tales can you think of?




Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Messenger.








20 comments:

  1. Have not read this one, but will be. Thanks for the recommend. As for funny pirate stories the only ones popping into my head are picture books called Grandma and the Pirates by Phoebe Gilman, Pirates Don't Change Diapers by David Shannon. I wonder if the Time Warp Trio have a pirate adventure? That would be funny I am sure!

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    1. Hi, Deb! Haven't heard of the first book you mentioned but I'm familiar with David Shannon's marvelous picture books, including How I Became a Pirate. And yes, the TIme Warp Trio's second book is Not So Jolly Roger, where they meet Blackbeard!

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  2. I have this on hold at my library. It's taking some time. I think it's that popular!!! :)

    Akoss

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    1. I bet it is, Akoss! Hope you get to read it soon.

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  3. Girl pirate! Yes! This one's been on my radar -- a must read for me.

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  4. I love this entire idea! Every bit of it speaks to me. :) Heading over to add it to my list, so thanks muchly for the recommend!

    --Suzanne
    www.suzannewarr.com

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    1. You're welcome, Suzanne. I think you would love this book. Just the right amount of snark. :)

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  5. Another Whole 'Nother Story had pirates (book 2 - book one is A Whole 'Nother Story), but my favorite book with a pirate in it is Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleberger (there are shipless pirates). I really want to read this! :D

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    1. Hi, Erik! I haven't read either of those books, but I love Tom Angleberger's Origami Yoda books. Shipless pirates! That's intriguing.

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  6. This one sounds really cute. Thanks for telling me about it.

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    1. Hi Rosi! It's adorable. Hope you get a chance to read it.

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  7. A girl pirate story! What a great idea. I've talked with two people who have already read this one and they, too, gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up. Thanks for the review. I look forward to reading it for myself this year.

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  8. I read half the ARC before I lost it at a swim meet. It's on my list to get at the library one of these days soon.

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    1. Oh yes, that's the one you lost. Hope you get a chance to finish reading it. Definitely worth it!

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  9. Ooh, this sounds like a lot of fun! I love that she leaves her finishing school for the pirate life. This sounds like it has loads of humor. Thanks for the rec!

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    1. Hi Jenni! Even the way she leaves school is fun. It's a delightful read.

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  10. I have not read this one, but it sounds like so much fun! I love that Hilary is such a great MC. I have added this one to my list. :) Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess

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YAY for comments! I read and appreciate each one and I always try to answer. All opinions welcome. Let's have a conversation.