Super Jake and the King of Chaos

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 May 2019

Member Reviews

This is a touching book about family and what we'll do to help them when they're in needs. Kids will enjoy Ethan's escape into a world of magic.
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"When life revolves around stressed-out parents and ER visits for his special needs little brother Jake, eleven-year-old Ethan escapes to a world of top hats, trick decks, and magic wands."

-My nine year old son loved this book. He read it every night before bed. Cant wait for more!
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Milliner's middle grade book hit me directly in the gut. As a mother who has THREE SONS, the youngest who spiked fevers consistently like little Jake in the book, I was crying at the 75% mark. But everyone--not just moms who can relate--needs to read Milliner's middle grade novel. Ethan is a wonderful big brother to his little brothers, Freddy and Jake. He's filled with empathy and compassion, but is realistic in his flaws, too. Kids who read this are going to learn from his kindness toward a bully in school and will be inspired to chase their dreams no matter the personal angst happening in their lives. This book has so much heart, so much tension, and dare I say it, so much magic I honestly couldn't put it down. Bravo to Milliner for this stellar read and THANK YOU for the magic tricks in the back of the book! My 9-year-old son got a kick out of reading those! =)
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This is an interesting exploration of the ways a family's priorities change when confronted with a severely handicapped child. When reaching for an object becomes a thing to celebrate. And then there's the weirdness of peers and community members when they are presented with this child. The conflict between wanting to pretend everything is "normal" and wishing people would just knowledge or at least ask instead of avoiding your family. And this is especially challenging for middle grade kids who just want to fit in. Some plot elements felt like a logical stretch, but over all this is a compassionate and compelling read.
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I wasn't sure what to expect, but I enjoyed reading this. An interesting story with fun characters. Well written.
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Ethan has spent countless hours perfecting his magic act. Of course, that’s when he’s not focused on his little brother with special needs, Jake, and his constant hospital visits. His practice pays off when he gets the chance to enter a magic competition in Atlantic City, with the grand prize of meeting his idol, Magnus the Magnificent. But when Jake becomes seriously ill, Ethan searches for any trick that might help him.

There’s no better character to tell this story than Ethan. Funny, determined, and always interesting, Ethan’s love of magic makes him a born entertainer. Author Naomi Milliner has managed to find such a natural voice in Ethan, and his enthusiasm and, in turn, growth is palpable on the page. Whether Ethan’s recounting working on a trick or stretching Jake’s arms and legs, Milliner writes from such a believable and honest perspective.

And there’s plenty Milliner throws at him. Family responsibilities, including two little brothers. A magic competition. A school bully. Math class. Yet Ethan handles all of this with the optimism that only someone who believes in true magic can. This certainly makes the second half of the book, particularly its most dramatic moments, all the more impactful.

Though Ethan is an expert showman, the real star of this book is Jake. Jake, though a baby, ties the entire family and their community together. It’s because of him that each character is given a moment to shine. Through therapy appointments, ER visits, and even a birthday, he binds them together as they star in his life.

Ultimately, Milliner has crafted a truly magical book.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I wanted to love this book based on the description. Unfortunately, I struggled getting through the building of the story. I'd say the last third of the book redeemed it somewhat. 

Ethan is a wonderful character, and I appreciate how much we had to see him work through in the story, but as an adult, I was incredibly bored. I absolutely think this book is a wonderful gift idea for children around 8-10 years old, who are independent readers, but not something I think parents/teachers/care givers will enjoy reading along. Topics such as family values, bullying, and special needs were all touched on in this book, which made it a wonderfully relevant story and fostered understanding.
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"I am stone, like Merlin. 
I am trapped, like Jake.
There are so many things he'll probably never do, but he smiles anyway--even all those times I let him down and don't stretch him. Even when I said I did...but I didn't."

Just. Wow. This beautifully written debut novel by Naomi Milliner is hilarious yet heartwarming. Milliner expertly writes the feelings of an 11 year old boy in an engaging and authentic way. Ethan's love for magic is only rivaled by his love for his brothers. And his story is well worth reading. The complex relationships and engaging plot create a powerful and moving read that will stay with me for days to come. 

This is the kind of story that will resonate with everyone! It will evoke tears and laughter and discussion on special needs, illness, family, loyalty, friendship, bullies, goals, dreams, kindness and empathy. Don't wait. This is a must read for all.
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Ethan loves magic, but he finds out what real magic is when his baby brother, Jake, who experienced a brain injury at birth, gets sick. Milliner handles Jake's illness with sensitivity and real love, as well as the Jewish faith of the family. Though some secondary characters and plot resolutions are a little too tidy and simple, the heart of the book will resonate with readers.
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Super Jake & The King Of Chaos,
By Naomi Milliner

Eleven–year-old Ethan loves magic and dreams of going to a magic competition to meet his idol. Fiercely protective of his severely brain damaged little brother, Jake, Ethan does everything he can to make him smile, and hopes for the day he might actually hear a laugh.
But when a bully goes after Ethan’s little brother, Ethan has to choose between keeping the peace to attend the magic show, or standing up for his brother which might lose him the chance of a lifetime.
This book touches on working hard to master a skill, saving money for a goal, bullying, correct ways to interact with people with special needs, friendship, loyalty, and the importance of family.
Naomi Milliner’s debut is perfect for the classroom or a family-friendly read. I highly recommend Super Jake & the King of Chaos.
I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I love debut novels! This book was wonderful! Encouraging and uplifting! Perfect for the targeted audience and hits on a "Special" subject! Enjoyed everything about this book! Highly recommended read! Thank you netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review!
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Ethan, an 11 year old magic aficionado, has a lot of stress in his life. His brother has special needs that can lead to swift changes in his condition, he has a new bully at school, and to top it off, his dad is an authority figure at his school. However when he hears his favorite magician, Magnus the Magnificent, will be performing with the winner of a junior magician completion, Ethan sees his chance to let his light shine.
I really enjoyed this book in that it shows how being the sibling of a special needs kid has its challenges but it in no way diminishes the love. Ethan is always looking out for Jake, even if he feels overlooked sometimes in the process. The world needs more books with diverse characters, especially characters of various needs. It was awesome to read about Jake, how he progressed though his visits with his therapist, and the different things that had to be taken into considerations because of his limitations. The more people consider these things, the better access to accommodations can become.
I would have given this book five stars, except there were two issues that I found irksome. One is that the book falls into the way played out trope that the bully is a red-haired boy. I am not hear for this. Additionally, there was a bit of “pray for a miracle” recovery and it takes away from the otherwise believability of the scenario. Despite this, it is still worth picking up for you and your kid(s) to read.
Super Jake and the King of Chaos will be available May 7th from Running Press Kids.
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This book is the perfect balance between heartwarming, uplifting, and heavy, which is a perfect mix for its middle grade audience. Ethan and his family will stick with me for a while.
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Ethan, 11 year old Magician Extraordinaire, finds escape in magic. Then he finds the truth about real magic is that love and family are the most magical of all. Take this journey with him, please. Accompany him as he discovers a hero in an unexpected place.
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What a beautifully emotional and authentic story SUPER JAKE AND THE KING OF CHAOS is. It's both hilarious and touching. Expect to both laugh and cry. There are weighty but easily-digestible themes for young readers and parents alike. This would be a perfect bedtime story.
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Even with the description given, I wasn't expecting this book to be quite so heavy. I was expecting something much more similar to Neil Patrick Harris new books Magic Misfits and not something quite do dark and deep. There were a few things about the book that made me slightly confused at times as well. Ethan is 11 but varies between feeling like he is 9 and 15 to me, for instance I don't find Midsummer Nights Dream to be a 6th grade curriculum book? I did enjoy the fact that the family was "casually Jewish" without it being drilled in just for the sake of diversity.
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SUPER JAKE AND THE KING OF CHAOS is a beautiful story about a magician who learns where to find true magic. With touching family relationships, heart-wrenching challenges, & a good-hearted MC, this is a book you can't miss! @naomimilliner's debut is sure to become a classic.
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A wonderful story that is very relatable for children. Realistic situations and characters you will cheer, laugh, and feel heartache for. Definalty a book I want my children to read. A plus for any library.
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Milliner’s tale of Ethan, an 11-year-old magician, and his brothers, Jake and Freddy, is a page-turner from the very beginning. Ethan took up magic after his youngest brother, Jake, suffered complications when he was born. Ethan wants nothing more than to meet his favorite magician in Atlantic City, but that means having to bring his grades up, help around the house, and earn two-thirds of the money himself. Selling his services at birthday services helps earn money, he likes helping Jake and really worries more than his parents realize, but bringing up his grades is made difficult when Ned moves to town.

The journey to Atlantic City is complicated, but with a little growing up, and a lot of understanding, it seems that he may finally get to meet his hero. But life has a little more to teach him first.

Milliner’s heart-warming tale of family, friends, support, and putting things into perspective will leave you laughing, crying, and cheering.

ARC provided by NetGalley.
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This is a truly magical story about an eleven-year-old boy named Ethan who is quite the budding magician. Ethan performs for birthday parties and practices his act every chance he gets, even when he probably should be working on homework or helping with his brother.

Ethan learns of a magic festival where he could enter a junior magician contest with the winner getting to meet Magnus the Magnificent his idol! He is beyond excited, he just has to convince his family.

Ethan’s youngest brother Jake has severe brain damage which requires lots of extra attention and he is constantly in and out of the emergency rooms. With the contest approaching Ethan has a hard time staying focused on magic as he worries for the health of his baby brother.

Does he make it to the contest or does he give up on magic? You’ll just have to read it and find out! This is an adorable, middle grade book about compassion, acceptance, foegiveness and family bonds. It reminded me about the magic in our everyday lives. ❤️

I received this advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. This book will be published May 7th, 2019.
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