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Author: Harris, Neil Patrick
Six young magicians and illusionists team up to save their small town from a crooked carnival owner and his goons.
Magic Misfits, 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 193102
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 75214
School Library Journal (07/00/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2017 Actor Harris brings his passion for stage magic to his delightful middle-grade debut. Carter has lived a hardscrabble life with his uncle, an unkind man who teaches him to use slight-of-hand tricks to steal. An unwilling accomplice to these thefts, Carter runs away to Mineral Wells, where he meets jovial Mr. Vernon and five kids with a talent for magic. After spending an evening at B. B. Bosso’s Carnival, the five “Magic Misfits” realize that Bosso is planning a major theft, and Carter devises a plan to bring Bosso’s criminal operation down. Magic is a key ingredient to this book’s success, both as an art form and component of belonging. Carter sees his jaded attitude transformed through his friendship with the Magic Misfits, a wonderfully diverse group of talented oddballs. Harris employs a conversational narrator that periodically breaks from the story to address the reader, often instructing them in how to perform a magic trick. The approachable length and lively, funny writing will ensure this book, the first in a series, performs its own vanishing act from shelves. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Kids are sure to be dazzled by the publisher’s six-figure marketing and publicity campaign, not to mention NPH’s recent stint in The Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix series. Take heed. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2017 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 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.