The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates

Magic Marks the Spot

HarperCollins Children’s Books (September 2013)

★ “There’s merriment and intrigue on the high seas in this debut novel… Carlson’s characters are as memorable as they are entertaining.”—Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

“Relationships are sweet and beautifully drawn, there is at least one laugh per page, and I quite enjoyed the notion of entrenched pirate bureaucracy.”—The New York Times

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 the first installment in the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates trilogy.

Cover artwork by Yarrow Cheney

Awards and Accolades

New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
A Junior Library Guild selection
A Kids’ Indie Next List selection
An ABC New Voices title
ABC 2013 Best Books for Children
A 2014 ALA Amelia Bloomer Project title
A BEA Middle Grade Buzz pick
A 2014 Audie Award finalist [audiobook]
A 2014 Sunshine State Young Readers’ Award nominee
A 2016 Garden State Children’s Book Award nominee

Other Editions

Available in print, e-book, and audiobook formats. International publishers include Simon & Schuster (UK/Commonwealth), Companhia das Letras (Brazil), RBA (Spain), Bayard (France), Kerle (Germany), and Host (Czech Republic).

International Covers

Czech Republic
United Kingdom