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The Magic Misfits
Contributor(s): Harris, Neil Patrick (Author), Marlin, Lissy (Illustrator), Hilton, Kyle (Illustrator)

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ISBN: 0316355577     ISBN-13: 9780316355575
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: September 2018

Annotation: A New York Times bestseller and USA Today bestselling book! From award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris comes the magical first book in a new series with plenty of tricks up its sleeve.

When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on.

After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded illusionists. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they'll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso's villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series.

(Psst. Hey, you! Yes, you! Congratulations on reading this far. As a reward, I'll let you in on a little secret... This book isn't just a book. It's a treasure trove of secrets and ciphers and codes and even tricks. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll discover more than just a story--you'll learn how to make your own magic!)

Click for more in this series: Magic Misfits
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
- Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure - General
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes - Friendship
Dewey: FIC
Age Level: 9-12
Grade Level: 4-7
Series: Magic Misfits
Physical Information: 0.8" H x 5.2" W x 7.5" (0.50 lbs) 288 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 193102
Reading Level: 4.8   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 6.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Neil Patrick Harris is an accomplished actor, producer, director, host, author, husband, and a father of magical twins. Harris also served as President of the Academy of Magical Arts from 2011-2014. His memoir, Choose Your Own Autobiography was a New York Times Bestseller. The Magic Misfits is his middle grade debut.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Fall)
Runaway orphan Carter's sleight-of-hand ability comes in handy when he works with five other magically minded kids to expose a criminal group of circus performers in the town of Mineral Wells. Containing spot and full-page black-and-white illustrations, this new series introduces a diverse cast of characters and a satirical Lemony Snicketlike narrator. Beginner magic tricks included throughout make this ideal for young magic enthusiasts. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2019 Spring)
Escape-artist Leila, who has two adoptive dads and was first introduced in The Magic Misfits, is this second entry's protagonist. The six Misfits use magic tricks, codes, and logic to confront another scheme, here involving clowns, ghosts, and a psychic with surprising secrets; meanwhile, the series' overall mystery, involving a disbanded adult magic club, deepens further. Once again, spot and full-page grayscale illustrations and beginner magic tricks appear throughout. Copyright 2019 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

Carter, a young street magician, "stopped trusting in wonderful, happy, fantastic things" after his parents vanished and he was taken in by his "uncle," Sly Mike, who hustles passersby. After years of being forced to help Sly Mike con people, Carter runs away, hops a train, and winds up in the town of Mineral Wells. There, he discovers a "two-bit sideshow" run by B.B. Bosso and meets Dante Vernon, a kind illusionist, and five talented children: Theo, skilled in levitation; escape artist Leila; twin entertainers Olly and Izzy; and Ridley, the brains of the operation. Quickly becoming friends, the children band together to stop Bosso from stealing from the unsuspecting town. A handful of magic lessons are interspersed throughout, and the narrator's irreverent tone and direct addresses to readers make this a good choice for fans of Lemony Snicket and Pseudonymous Bosch. With an emphasis on friendship and individuality, this fast-paced and clever series opener should have readers eager to check out future installments. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Author's agent: Laura Nolan, Aevitas Creative Management. Illustrator's agency: Astound. (Nov.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 July)

Gr 4–6—Carter was quite young when he lost his parents and was taken in by his uncle of sorts, Sly Mike. Sly Mike doesn't hold down a real job; he cons people out of their money and belongings through sleight of hand and trickery. Carter has never had friends, gone to school, or felt safe. The only upside to his unusual lifestyle is his mastery of magic tricks he's learned from Sly Mike—but he refuses to use them to hurt or rob others. When Sly Mike steals a precious diamond necklace from kind Ms. Zalewski, Carter decides that his uncle has gone too far. The boy steals the necklace back, returns it to the rightful owner, and runs away. Carter jumps on a railcar, ending up in a small New England town where he is captured by a carnival owner, B.B. Bosso, and pressured to join his sticky-fingered carnival sidekicks. Carter quickly understands that the glitter of their magic conceals their greed and trickery. He escapes and at last meets his true friends—Leila, Theo, Ridley, Olly, and Izzy. Each friend possesses skills in different areas of magic. The friends bond over a hatred of the evil carnies and after some missteps manage to outsmart B.B. Bosso. The themes of friendship, ethical choices, and bravery are woven seamlessly throughout. Readers will sympathize with Carter and cheer when he finally finds his place. The plot is fast-paced, and characters are multifaceted. Fun magic tricks are peppered throughout. VERDICT A rollicking ride of a magical tale that's wholesomely suspenseful, values friendship, and applauds courage. A fine addition to medium and large collections.—Julie Shatterly, W. A. Bess Elementary School, Gastonia, NC

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.
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