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Cover image for The magic misfits
The magic misfits





First edition.
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2017.
Physical Description:
xiii, 253 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
"Six young magicians and illusionists team up to save their small town from a crooked carnival owner and his goons"-- Provided by publisher.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader/Renaissance Learning MG 4.8 6.0 193102.


Call Number
J Harris, N.
J Harris, N.

On Order



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!)

Author Notes

Neil Patrick Harris is an award winning actor and author of the New York Times bestseller Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Biography.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

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. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

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 PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

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. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Magic and mystery abound in this latest celebrity novel.After his parents vanish mysteriously, Carter's life takes a turn for the worse. Forced to live with a distant relative known as Sly Mike who is a magician and a con artist, the white lad is taught wonderful magic tricks but is forced to employ them to aid and abet his "uncle's" criminal activities. When his uncle goes too far, Carter flees to the town of Mineral Wells, where he meets Mr. Vernon and the Other Mr. Vernontwo men with an adopted daughterand a crew of teenage magicians who are misfits like himself and who teach him to believe in the redemptive powers of magic and family. This is acclaimed actor Harris' (Choose Your Own Autobiography, 2015, etc.) first foray into children's literature (and fiction in general), and it bears all of the acne scars, wide-eyed optimism, and awkwardness one might expect from a freshman effort. Carter is a winsome enough protagonist, but he fails to achieve three-dimensionality because the narrative pace does not pause long enough to fully ground him in readers' imaginations. Locations feel hastily sketched, which also makes Carter feel unrooted. In the diverse supporting cast, readers can sense the earnestness behind the author's crafting of the narrative, but some of the minutiae need refining. An earnest message about discovering the magic in the world and finding the family that suits you. (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

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.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2017 Booklist