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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Children's Titles for Ages 8-12, 2014
Admiral Westfield sucked in his breath and released it in a tremendous gust. "My dear," he said, "let me be clear: You are a young lady. You will not tell silly tales and you will never be a pirate."
Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for 37 minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors. She particularly enjoys defying authority, 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.
Girls belong at Miss Pimm's Finishing School for Delicate Ladies, learning to waltz, faint, and curtsy. But Hilary and her dearest friend, the gargoyle, have no use for such frivolous lessons - they are pirates! (Or very nearly.)
To escape from a life of petticoats and politeness, Hilary answers a curious advertisement for a pirate crew and suddenly finds herself swept up in a seafaring adventure that may or may not involve a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn't exist, a rogue governess who insists on propriety, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous - and unexpected - villain on the High Seas.
Will Hilary find the treasure in time? Will she become a true pirate after all? And what will become of the gargoyle?
©2013 Caroline Carslon (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By gkbowood on 12-05-14

Best Narrator Ever!

If you could sum up Magic Marks the Spot in three words, what would they be?

So much silliness!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Her gargoyle was a great addition; love the novelty of a traveling gargoyle.

Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Such a range of wonderfully unique and funny voice makes this story SO much better than when read in the book. Crazy, silly, funny characters are completely experienced when K.K. does them!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not required, you can stop and pick up later without losing out on the enjoyment.

Any additional comments?

Thank you for two of my favorites in one book: Magic and Pirates!

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By GLENNO on 07-23-14

Utterly Charming and Hilarious!

This is truly the funniest book I have read in years! The characters are engaging and sympathetic. Every one is over-the-top and quirky in their own way.

Our heroine Hilary is a plucky girl with a pet gargoyle who is the daughter of an admiral in the Augustan fleet. She wants to become a pirate instead of going to Miss Pimm's Finishing School for Delicate Ladies.

The story is interspersed with excerpts from the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates (the VNHLP, serving the high seas for 152 years) Handbook and letters written by Hilary, her friends, the Queen of Augusta and many others. They're always funny.

From Hilary: "I should mention that your information regarding my appearance is not entirely accurate. First, I am not wide-eyed. Thanks to the interminable lessons delivered in a tortuous monotone by my governess, my eyes are frequently closed. Second, I am not a young man but a young woman. ...

Miss Westfield:
We are pirates. We are not easily horrified. We have seen shipwrecks. We have seen sword fights. We have seen men eaten by crocodiles and crocodiles eaten by men. We have on occasion hung skeletons from trees. None of these things horrifies us in the least.
Your letter, however, is another matter! ... No woman, young or otherwise, may join our league. ...if there is one thing upon which the VNHLP and the Royal Navy can agree, it is this: permitting girls to prance about on the high seas would be entirely undignified. Under normal circumstances, we would of course require you to walk the plank. However, our code of piracy does not permit us to treat young women in such a fashion. So we will be generous. ...
With shock and consternation,
One-Legged Jones
Membership Coordinator, VNHLP

Mr. Jones:
... 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)"

Hilary answers an ad from a freelance pirate hoping to get a job on his ship. As to what happens next, suffice to say that there is a reason that Hilary and hilarity differ only slightly.

The narrator (Katherine Kellgren) is a gem and absolutely perfect for this story. She expresses sarcasm, wit and earnestness with equal zest. Her English accent adds just the right flavor. I have to find out who beat her out for the Audie in this category because I can't imagine why she lost!

I graduated from third grade decades ago but I still found this story to be thoroughly enjoyable and look eagerly for its sequel. Any child who can follow and enjoy chapter books should love this book as well.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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