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The Magic Misfits Hardcover – November 21, 2017
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"I read this book with excitement, delight, and the increasing suspicion that it was going to make me disappear."―Lemony Snicket, author of the bestselling series A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions
"An earnest message about discovering the magic in the world and finding the family that suits you."―Kirkus Reviews
"The approachable length and lively, funny writing will ensure this book, the first in a series, performs its own vanishing act from shelves."―Booklist
"A rollicking ride of a magical tale that's wholesomely suspenseful, values friendship, and applauds courage."―School Library Journal
"[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."―Publishers Weekly
"Fun...A worthy first volume."―BCCB
"Adventure, suspense, and excitement await these young magic misfits as they learn to trust one another and become friends."―School Library Connection
About the Author
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.
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Top customer reviews
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This book begins with a boy who seems to be an orphan and is being "raised" (mistreated) by his crooked uncle. Both are magicians, but his uncle uses his tricks to swindle people. Finally, the boy has enough and breaks out on his own. Without giving too much away, he meets up with some other kids like himself and they form a gang out to stop the baddies!
This story is whimsical. It's hard to tell the setting... some of it makes it seem early 1900's, but other stuff makes it seem more current. The characters are strong and vivid, odd and interesting. One thing I really liked is the diversity. You have same sex parents, one of the kid's has a disability, different economic levels. NOT ONCE did my kid point any of this out, and I loved that. It's not unusual to a kid who is absorbing everything for the first time.
This book is SMART. Lots of advanced vocabulary, but it's either easy to discern the meaning from deliberately clear context or it's explained in such a respectful, humorous way. SO many of these books can be really condescending to kids. And this book is FUNNY. I was dying to read more as much as my son!
As far as reading level, I read this to my seven-year-old. He wouldn't have understand a lot of the humor without the tone of hearing it aloud and it gave us opportunity to explain some sayings and words. He's a pretty advanced reader, probably on the third grade level. I would say not younger than six to be read to... it might be too confusing.
I'm already planning to purchase this for Christmas for a few kids in our lives. And I will DEFINITELY be buying more of these if it becomes a full series. A delightful book!
"At first I thought it would be a little like A Series of Unfortunate Events but it was not like it at all. It was really really cool and I liked all the all the characters in it, except for the villains of course. I liked the characters because they were all unique and they had their own flaws and strengths and they were all really cool. I thought it was cool because I liked the magic tricks involved and they actually explained how to do some of them. I thought it was pretty funny in some parts and I liked where it took place because you wouldn't really expect something that interesting to happen there you just expect the carnival to come and not do anything really. I thought it was a neat story and it was really fun to read and I hope they come out with another one which I definitely will be getting, mom, or else."
One day, Carter and his uncle stop at B.B. Bosso’s circus. There he meets a girl his age who introduces him to her group of friends. Carter is excited – he’s never had friends before. And these friends use magic for good, unlike his uncle.
My eleven year-old son and I both read this book. He’s really into magic and loved that in-between chapters there were instructions on how to do magic tricks. The tricks were simple enough that a kid can perform them and still amaze adults. I thought they were pretty cool too.
I thought The Magic Misfits was a cute story with a good message. I liked that it had a diverse cast of characters, including a girl in a wheelchair and a same-sex couple. One thing I didn’t care for was how NPH interrupted the story to give the definitions of words or phrases he thought kids wouldn’t know. I felt like kids would either already know the definitions or could figure it out from the context in which they were used.
I’m a huge fan of NPH and most everything he does but although I enjoyed this book, I didn’t like it enough to continue with the series. However, my son wants to continue with it and that’s more important since he’s the intended audience. When I asked him if he wanted to read the next book when it comes out, he shouted, “Yes, yes, yes!” That’s a pretty hearty recommendation indeed.
This book is great for the middle school crew. The story is easy to follow, has a mystery, includes things that kids in that age group love, has magic (even teaches magic tricks - the magic is sleight of hand) and does an excellent job of walking new readers through getting to the next step in their reading. There are "Bigger" words strewn through the book and they are always explained within the next sentence or so.
So here is the thing - this book was too much for my little niece to read on her own at the age of 6. But we was 100% capable of understanding it and absolutely LOVED having it read to her (especially if you do voices).
I really hope this becomes a series that we can add to the book shelf for her. Neil Patrick Harris tapped into the child's brain and gave them exactly what they wanted in a book - and snuck some education and learning in there when they weren't looking.
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