Cover Image: A Royal Conundrum (The Misfits)

A Royal Conundrum (The Misfits)

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Member Reviews

A fun and adventurous romp, where the underdogs are the heroes! There's oodles of mystery, adventure, cool gadgets/tech and a whole lot of cavorting capers. Fast pace and plot driven. Plenty of diverse characters. And good overarching messages about not judging people based on their skin color, age, or gender.

Very upbeat, with antics perfect for middle grade readers.

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As a fan of illustrated chapter books, I give this a solid 3.5 stars. The story is there and will keep kids engaged, but the plot jumps around A LOT with a somewhat baffling timeline. The illustrations were only sketches in the ARC I reviewed, but looked very promising. The cast of characters are cute, each with their own believably goofy personality. It's a purposefully over the top tale, perfect for fans of Mac B. Kid Spy or The 13 Story Treehouse.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an advance copy for review. All opinions are my own.

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This was a fun story filled with quirky kids who work as undercover spies to help stop a jewelry heist that threatens to destroy their beloved boarding school that is located in a former prison off the coast of San Francisco. I would recommend it to kids who like books like CITY SPIES or SPY SCHOOL that make heroes at kids who are a bit off-beat. This book is mostly text but benefits from illustrations from award-winning illustrator Dan Santat.

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Thanks so much to @netgalley and @randomhousekids for the early copy of The Misfits #1: A Royal Conundrum by Lisa Yee, Dan Santat (Illustrator). This was such a fun (and funny!) start to a new middle grade illustrated series, perfect for fans of Spy School.

Olive Cobin Zang’s always too busy parents drop her off at the strangest boarding school ever: a former castle turned prison that's now a “reforming arts school.” Or is it? The academy isn’t what it seems and Olive finds herself part of an elite group of misfit kids who fight crime.

This was a great read that I just flew through and highly recommend for middle grade readers. I love stories that feature “misfits” as the ones saving everyone and everything. Get your hands on this asap – it publishes January 2! A great start to a New Year!

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the e-ARC. An engaging read that will be a hit for kids everywhere for it's message about fitting it and friendship. Looking forward to continuing the series.

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What a lovely book about finding a place where you fit in. I love this idea that every kiddo, no matter how unique their interests, can one day find a place where they fit in. More importantly, being able to find people who see what others might see as oddities as being a gift. Because finding the right people is truly the best way to go about life. While yes Olive finds these people because of a unique school, I love how her team is brought together. All their different skills make up the perfect team. Kids will love seeing unique skills being highlighted as positive instead of being an oddity. This is just such a fun book and because it is the first in a series kids will get to go on many adventures with these loveable characters. I do wish the ending had not been quite as rushed. But kids might not mind that as much as adults do.
Thank you to Random House Children and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this title.

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My 10 y/o read this one in a few sittings, and really appreciated the diverse characters. Looking forward to future additions.

ARC from the publisher via NetGalley, but the opinions are my own.

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book.

I liked this book a lot, but the best part is really that it's the first of a series. So many of our kids love diving into a series of this type, and this will be a perfect recommendation.

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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review!

Olive feels invisible at school and at home. Her parents can’t even remember her age let alone her birthday.
But that all changes when she is enrolled in a school with secret spies!
I thought this was a fun and lovable read about a bunch of misfits. I definitely recommend this.
And the artwork is amazing I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s published.

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Like Harry, and other literary kids that get to go to special schools, Olive feels alone, lonely and left out. Her parents are always out of town for work, her beloved grandmother has "left us," and trouble seems to find her. However, that all changes when her mother drops her off at a special school, where she finds her tribe among a team of misfits and gets to help save her school. Experienced "special school" readers won't be as surprised as Olive is by the twist at the end, but most reader will enjoy following Olive on her first adventure with the misfits. The ending promises continuing adventures for this warm and fun pod of misfits.

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I adore this book. Very suitable for middle graders out there to find their places, bravery and acceptance.

This story follows Olive, who feel she didn't belong with everyone else in her school. Her super busy parents, then put her in RASCH. School for everyone where what matters is not your grade, but your creativity, attitude, teamwork. It's like no other school outside.
At RASCH, Olive gradually found her place and her people. And what's better? She was chosen as one of the elite groups to work undercover helping to solve the crime. When RASCH is on the brink of collapse and a notorious thief is out there, Olive and her team (Phil, Theo, James, Iggy,Modest, Monica) put into action and helped RASCH secure its place.

What I love:
- the school atmosphere, and their teachers!!!
- the characters were quite solid and well written.
- the plot was taking it easy to introduce everything. The pace was uite slow but not that bothering.

What I think could be written better:
- Phil and her unbelievable tools. It's way WAAAAYYY too convenient it's lessen the thrill😂
- the heist and how the dots were connected.
- the ending. I love it, but it just felt rushy the things with Olive parents turned out to be.

Overall, I enjoy the books a lot and children 9-14yo might feel the same way!!!

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A fun middle grade read! A group of uniquely talented students are trained to be secret agents. Together they work to solve a crime and save their beloved school. In the process, they learn to trust themselves and each other. Great for readers who loved City Spies!

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Action plus humor provided by a well-known author and a well-known illustrator.
Only child Olive Cobin Zang seems to be, or tries to be, invisible at school. She does so well that even her parents rarely notice her they are so busy traveling with their jobs. After her care giving grandmother dies, her mom takes her to a weird boarding school that was previously a castle and then a prison. There she finds her “people” i.e. other misfit kids like herself. But suddenly she finds this group being recruited to go undercover to track down a burglar who could, if they stole the jewels belonging to the school’s primary benefactor, shut down the school.

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This 288 page middle grade crime book follows Olive Cobin Zang as she finds her place in a unique school among a group of misfits tasked with using their age to go unnoticed and save the day. I sought out this book because of the undeniable hijabi on the cover. And while Philomena, Phil, is a very important side character, what is shared about her is very minimal. Twice it mentions the color of her headscarf, once a negative comment is aimed at her by delinquents on the street, and it mentions in passing that she speaks a little Farsi. Other than that and the critical part that she is a tech wiz, nothing further is shared. The text never mentions Islam, being Muslim or even uses the word hijab. Religion is not mentioned at all in the book, for any of the characters, and only Olive's background and family insights are shared. I appreciate that for the book at hand, a girl in hijab is a non issue, and will probably read future books in the story to see if her background is confined to stereotypes and tropes, or not. Based on the writing quality and story telling of this book, I'm hopeful that the series, like the first book, will be clean, exciting, and a fun recommendation for students to obsess over.

#islamicschoollibrarian #muslimbookreviewer #muslimcharacter #muslimintheillustration #2024

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This was a fun kid school/adventure book that is going to end up with a lot of cool pictures in the final version.
Of course it's easy to relate to Olive, whose parents are busy taking business trips and who feels invisible at school, because she doesn't think she's special. She usually spends her time with her grandmother when her parents are gone, but when her grandmother can no longer take care of her Olive gets sent to a boarding school where she gets picked to be part of a special team.
Olive learns about her strengths and what makes her unique, while forming close friendships with her group. There are adventures! There are cats! There is danger!
A highly satisfying book.
Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this

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Olive is sent to attend boarding school at Foggy Manor, on an island in the San Francisco Bay. She quickly finds an opportunity to be part of a crime-fighting group, and as a usual loner, she finds herself comfortable with the group of misfits. With a jewel thief on the loose and a chance to help her new school, Olive and her friends are determined to solve the mystery and use their new skills. The mystery and the characters are well-written and compelling.

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The first order of business is a shout out to the illustrator and the awesome cover art, which perfectly captures the vibe for this middle grade spy adventure book. The Misfits is just a lot of fun to read. The plot moves quickly and there is an interesting cast of characters. Then, throw in the time-tested boarding school setting, delicious pastries, a burglar, and a secret organization and one has a recipe for a great read. (The delicious pastries are a mild problem though–as the reader will spend a lot of time feeling hungry.) There are positive lessons about self and others. As a bonus, this novel is also a love letter to various San Francisco locations with a wink to Alcatraz. This is a book that can be whole-heartedly recommended to a wide audience.

Review of an Advance Digital Copy Provided by the Publisher

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My thanks for the ARC goes to NetGalley and Random House. I'm voluntarily leaving a review.

I love a group of misfits that can change their world.

The art in this one is amazing and draws the reader into the story even more.
I liked how we saw the personal struggles of our mc, Olive. She legitimately has evidence that shows she's not special, right? But of course she is necessary. Weaving the grandmother in was key to her development.

The kid making all the fantastical tools is unrealistic, BUT I'm okay with it because kids are going to love it!

I think this is perfect for the target audience.

Happy reading!

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Lisa Yee writes an incredible middle grade novel full quirky friends, cats, and delicious pastries. The suspense keeps readers engaged and on the edge of their seats, with the occasional burst of laughter. The artwork compliments and enhances the story being woven together. Full of suspense, middle grade readers will enjoy every minute of this first, of many probable stories about The Misfits.

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I certainly enjoyed this as I can always find some positives with seeing the misfits! And having the children be part of finding their misfit team, having talents that are natural and looked at as talents while they can use their talents to fight crimes and be such strong-willed kids in large tasks. I believe it will be enjoyed even more with more certain designed art. I do feel as though potentially some of the wording is almost too strong and old for the age range you are aiming this towards and there were few typing/spelling issues found within the book, however it truly had a theme and message that kept me along with this book the whole time.

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