The debut middle-grade novel from Neil Patrick Harris arrived in our December Owl Crate Jr box. I feel like Neil read a lot of the Unfortunate Events books and then thought to himself, "I can write a Middle-Grade novel too." He did, and it follows the Lemony Snicket playbook in all ways. So, if you love those books, you'll love this series as well.
I didn't hate it or anything- it has redeeming qualities and all that. I loved the message of finding family in your friend group. We also enjoyed the magic trick instructions and the fact that we have an autographed copy. (!)
Declan (my 12yo) loved it. As in, now he's an aspiring magician.
The orphan thing- I'm over that. It didn't lend itself to be read aloud- which is a downside for me, and it had a slow start. I almost stopped reading several times. I get the feeling that this is aimed at reluctant readers who haven't read enough to be able to predict endings.
I would hand this to a 3rd or 4th grader with no hesitation and I am fairly certain that if it sells well, they will make a movie out of it. I would pick up the sequel just to see if it ages up as it continues.
The Magic Misfits By Neil Patrick Harris