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Magic Marks the Spot

Walmart # 560119413
$2.49$2.49
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$12.26$12.26
Was $14.30

Customer Review Snapshot

4.3 out of 5 stars
6 total reviews
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Most helpful positive review
he Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot is the first book in the new middle grade series, Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates. The second book in the series is due out in September. I loved that the main character is a girl who wants to be a pirate. She tries hard to be very fearsome and doesn't really have any feminine qualities. Hillary's best friend Claire is feminine though so it's a good balance. Because of that, this book will appeal to both boys and girls. This book is very funny for kids but also had some dry wit that probably only parents would get. So if you read this book with your child, you will be entertained as well. My favorite character was Hillary's governess, Miss Greyson. The things she said made me smile. She's very prim and proper and nicely tries to keep Hilary in line. But pirates aren't prim and proper so she has a tough time. While this book doesn't have any pictures, it does have drawings of letters and scrolls. Some of these are written in cursive so if your child can't read cursive, you can help them with that. This was a very fun book to read and my nine-year son loved it as well.

About This Item

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Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. There's only one problem: the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks. But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure. Magic Marks the Spot

Specifications

Series Title
Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates
Publisher
HarperCollins
Book Format
Hardcover
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
344
Author
Caroline Carlson
ISBN-13
9780062194343
Publication Date
September, 2013
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.47 x 5.86 x 1.24 Inches
ISBN-10
0062194348

Customer Reviews

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1-5 of 6 reviews

he Very Nearly Honorab...

he Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot is the first book in the new middle grade series, Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates. The second book in the series is due out in September. I loved that the main character is a girl who wants to be a pirate. She tries hard to be very fearsome and doesn't really have any feminine qualities. Hillary's best friend Claire is feminine though so it's a good balance. Because of that, this book will appeal to both boys and girls. This book is very funny for kids but also had some dry wit that probably only parents would get. So if you read this book with your child, you will be entertained as well. My favorite character was Hillary's governess, Miss Greyson. The things she said made me smile. She's very prim and proper and nicely tries to keep Hilary in line. But pirates aren't prim and proper so she has a tough time. While this book doesn't have any pictures, it does have drawings of letters and scrolls. Some of these are written in cursive so if your child can't read cursive, you can help them with that. This was a very fun book to read and my nine-year son loved it as well.

After my last middle g...

After my last middle grade was such a terrible dud, I was a bit afraid to embark into these pirate-laden waters. What if I felt like they'd shivered the timbers of these books unfairly, robbing them of a better life for inferior content? Or stole away my precious time, better spent with other books? Thankfully, Caroline Carlson's pirates aren't such vicious fiends. They're quite honorable, as pirates go anyway, and entirely lovable. Magic Marks the Spot is pretty close to perfect for what I want from a light-hearted middle grade: humorous, populated by lively characters, and promoting the idea that both boys and girls are capable of the same sorts of things. Before I even got to page one, Magic Marks the Spot had already made me smile and snort. See, before the page numbers even start counting, there are several pages of letters, which set the tone for the rest of the novel. In fact, letters, documents, and snippets of books are woven brilliantly throughout the novel, a technique often used, but rarely done to quite so enjoyable effect. Hilary Westfield receives a letter congratulating her on her acceptance to the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates' Piracy Apprenticeship Program and telling her that the program will change her from "a wide-eyed and innocent young man." Hilary writes back, informing them of her excitement and correcting them on a factual error: namely, she's a girl. The VNHLP writes back aghast and offended, forwarding her application on to Miss Pimm's Finishing School for Delicate Ladies, much to Hilary's disgust. In her final response to the VNHLP, she closes with this: "I assure you that I will walk the plank a thousand times, into cold and shark-infested waters, before I will attend Miss Pimm's. I remain, Hilary Westfield Really Quite Furious with You" From that moment on, I was in love with this book and its characters. Hilary is a fantastically sassy girl who refuses to let anyone, be they parent, headmistress or pirate, tell her what her gender means she can and cannot do. Magic Marks the Spot is so girl-positive and anti-stereotypes. Pirates can be friendly, girls can be pirates, boys can sew without it doing them a lick of harm, governesses can be sassy, and old ladies can be badasses. These are excellent lessons for the intended age group, and are conveyed in a totally non-preachy way. Though almost everyone she meets tells Hilary she cannot be a pirate because of her gender and social standing, she does not give up. She has a dream and will not let anyone stop her from getting there. Plus, she has a plucky gargoyle sidekick to help cheer her up when times get rough, like when she's forced to attend Mrs. Pimm's, which teaches courses like etiquette and fainting. Gargoyle is so completely precious, with his desire for ear scratches and dream of one day having a pirate hat. Hilary's governess, introduced as a rather drab, formidable figure, turns out to be wholly delightful as well. As soon as she ceases being Hilary's governess, she's able to open up to Hilary and truly be a friend. Eloise Greyson is a wonderful human being, and I totally support the ship of her with the pirate captain Jasper, Terror of the Southlands. He's basically the most lovable pirate after Captain Shakespeare from Stardust. Oh, and Charlie, his first made is adorably awkward, and I am waiting for some super cute middle grade romance to happen later. The one aspect that had me side-eyeing the book was how unaffected Hilary is to learn that her father is the bad guy. Yes, he's not been the most supportive parent ever, but she's sad for like five minutes and then is completely unaffected for the rest of the book. Admiral Westfield was not so terrible that a daughter wouldn't struggle to accept his villainy or be tempted to join up with him. Hilary's a strong girl, so I don't doubt that she would make the same choices, but I would have liked to see her feel more in response to what is a completely groundbreaking change for a child. Magic Marks the Spot kept me grinning and laughing the whole way through. There's situational humor, sarcasm everywhere, and silly puns. Basically, it's perfection for me and other people who have the sense of humor of a ten year old, like, say, actual ten year olds. I see this being a huge hit with the intended audience, but it's a delight for an older reader as well.

What a fun story, made...

What a fun story, made all the better with Katherine Kellgren's amazing narration! I can't wait to listen to the next one in the series :-)

My rating: 3.5 of 5 st...

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars A copy of Magic Marks the Spot was provided to me by HarperCollins/Edelweiss for review purposes. After recently being denied admittance to The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates simply because she's a girl, Hilary is now being forced into attending Miss Pimm's Finishing School for Delicate Ladies. Not that she has any desire to become a Delicate Lady. She can tread water for 37 minutes, can tie a knot that cannot be undone and hates dresses because dresses make climbing ship's rigging next to impossible. While Hilary is quite the vibrant character on her own, her gargoyle side-kick provided the comic relief when the story veered too far into weighty territory. The weighty territory mostly involved the odd choice in bad guy, which was a bit of a shock and surprise, however it was handled well. While the story was only occasionally serious, the remaining characters were still just as lighthearted making this a perfect read for young kids. In addition to the story there are between chapter snippets of letters, newspaper articles and other assorted information that was a charming addition. Magic Marks the Spot is an extremely cute Middle Grade novel that comes equipped with a super spunky heroine, entertaining pirates, magical gargoyles and treasure hunting adventures. While this works as a stand-alone novel with its solid wrap-up ending, it's actually a brand new start to a planned trilogy. Definitely looking forward to future mischief from Ms. Hilary!

Yay pirates! I really ...

Yay pirates! I really enjoyed this swashbuckling tale of piracy and magic. The droll tone suits the book well. I think it would be a great MSBA book.

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Electrode, Comp-389271331, DC-prod-cdc03, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.3, SHA-fe0221a6ef49da0ab2505dfeca6fe7a05293b900, CID-39dc3566-ca7-16e680ebad7a9d, Generated: Thu, 14 Nov 2019 03:57:06 GMT