cover image The Magic Misfits

The Magic Misfits

Neil Patrick Harris, illus. by Lissy Marlin. Little, Brown, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-316-39182-5

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. [em]Author’s agent: Laura Nolan, Aevitas Creative Management. Illustrator’s agent: Emily Coggins, Astound. (Nov.) [/em]