The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris
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.
The quick way to describe this book is: six kid magicians solving a mystery narrated by a goofy Lemony Snicket
We follow the story of a runaway away magician Carter, a young boy who wants to belong to a proper family. When Carter ran away from his uncle’s clutches he found himself in a little town called Mineral Wells and tangled in a mystery. There he meets Leila, Theo, Ridley, Olly and Izzy. Together they create a small team called the Magic Misfists and try to reveal B.B Bosso for the crook that he is!
Between the narrator and the diverse character cast, Harris created a modern Lemony Snicket. No one character is the same and the narrator himself is a character of his own.
Carter is benevolent young boy who mysteriously lost his parents and was forced to live with his crook uncle Sly Mike. Just a young boy desperate to fit in and have a real family again.
Leila is a fiery ethnic (of unknown origin so far) girl who lives with her two dads, a magician and a chef (I see what you did there NPH). She dreams of being an escape artist magician and learning more magic with her friends.
Theo is a black gentleman who always wears a suit and lives with a musician dad and an artist mom. As a magician who specializes in levitation, he uses his violin that he keeps in his suit at all times to make things move.
Ridley is intelligent girl who is bound to a wheelchair, but it doesn’t stop her from making things appear in the blink of an eye. She makes sure the misfits don’t get into too much trouble.
Olly and Izzy are a performing twin duo who know how to magically appear in random places to entertain the audience.
With such diverse characters there is sure to be someone that any kid picking up the book can identify with…without being magicians of course.
Throughout the Magic Misfits, the reader is given quick magic tips that makes one feel like a magician too, and that maybe it is not that hard. The narrator makes sure to explain some tricks in such a simple manner that even a dog could do it.
I was really impressed with Harris’ way of story telling, while it can be argued that it is very similar to Lemony Snicket’s style of story telling, Harris created a quirky-go-lucky narrator that wants the audience to laugh and cheer for the characters rather than feel pity for the character’s life. Even though Magic Misfists is a Middle Grade novel I believe it is still a novel YA readers will find themselves enjoying, especially if you are a Lemony Snicket fan.
Make sure to solve the puzzles for an extra fun treat!