Magic Marks the Spot

“Magic marks the spot” is a children’s book written by Caroline Carlson. This is the first book in a series called ” The very nearly honorable league of pirates”. It is aimed at children from 9 years and up, but I think smaller children will also love this book.

Hilary is a young girl who dreams of being a pirate, but with a father who is an admiral in the navy, it is not a career choice her parents particularly support. Instead she is sent to an academy of high society girls where she is supposed to learn how to swoon and waltz and crochet. Naturally Hilary cooks up a plan to escape, and when she sees an advert for “crew wanted” on a pirate ship she seizes her chance.

I absolutely adored this book! It is funny, sweet, clever and creative. I love how it is not gold and diamonds the pirates are after but magic! I love the heroine, Hilary, she is kind, determined, confident, sensitive and fiercely courageous. She is a breath of fresh air in the current literary climate, where female heroines are often rude, defensive, hostile and selfish, all in the pretense of being independent and strong. But being rude is NOT the same as being confident. There is a scene in the book that sums up what I mean: while hunting for treasure Hilary and her crew mate Charlie face a big wall they have to get over. First, Charlie tries to lift Hilary over the wall, when that doesn’t work, Hilary tries lifting Charlie, but she is also unsuccessful, so they start looking for secret passageways through the wall instead.

The language in this book flows so easily, and there is something to entertain you and make you laugh out loud on every page, so you don’t have to race-read to the end to get to the action part, or to find out how it eventually ends. The dialogue is super witty and clever and highly entertaining. I especially love the gargoyle, an enchanted stone figure with the most fabulous personality.

I will very very strongly recommend this book, to girls, boys, and to adults. I think it is a perfect book to read out loud together with a child. Even to very small children. This book is just a wonderful treat, especially to pirate lovers! To me, Hilary represents exactly the kind of pirate I dreamt of being when I was little.

Of course five fat shiny stars to this magical book! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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