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THE MISFITS A ROYAL CONUNDRUM

Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 1 month, 3 weeks ago

23 February 2024: THE MISFITS: A ROYAL CONUNDRUM by Lisa Yee and Dan Santat, ill., Random House, 288p., ISBN: 978-1-9848-3029-6

 

“I remember and I'll always treasure

Schooldays were the happiest days of your life

But we never appreciate the good times we have

Until it's too late

I miss all the acquaintances we made

And I'd go back if I could only find a way”

– The Kinks “Schooldays”  (1975)

 

“‘So, I’m being shipped off to a boarding school?’ Olive could hear the distress in her own voice. Not that she was sad to leave her school, where she had never fit in, anyway. But at least there she knew what to expect–the boring classes, the bullies, the subpar cafeteria lunches. All Olive knew about boarding schools involved wizards, flying brooms, and house elves, but those were only in books. ‘Why–?’ she started to ask.”

 

Only in books? Hmm. We’ll see about that.

 

Young readers (and older ones) who know and love HP will get a kick out of the frequently laugh-out-loud exploits (and subtle allusions to Harry Potter), involving Olive Cobin Zang and her fellow Misfits–James, Theo, Iggy, and Phil. The quintet of two boys and three girls, each with rather-unique talents, are brought together after they are each sent off to boarding school, and are subsequently sorted–through a far-out Q&A process–into a “pod” at RASCH, “the acclaimed Reforming Arts School.” It’s an institution located in a former prison, on Foggy Island, in San Francisco Bay. 

 

It all begins one morning…

 

“Weird things had a tendency of happening to Olivia Cobin Zang, but this morning was weirder than most.

First, her InstaFriends social media account had vanished entirely–never mind that she had fewer than five followers. Then, when she opened her locker to grab her books before class, all traces that Olive had ever been there had been removed, including her Meggie comics and flower power stickers. And at the school library, when Olive tried to apologize for her overdue library books, she learned that all the fines had been wiped clean.

By the time Olive reached second period, she was so deep in thought that at first she didn’t notice the black cat perched on the classroom’s window ledge. Unlike her classmates, who never paid any attention to her, the cat was staring right at Olive. When she finally noticed it, it seemed to wink at her before running away.

Olive watched the cat disappear, wishing she could run away, too. She hated school. A lot.

Turning to the front of the room, Olive heard the school’s PA system crackle. Then a tinny voice ssid, ‘Olive Cobin Zang’--Olive tried not to panic–’please report to Principal Gate’s office immediately.’”

 

It turns out that Olive’s parents are about to head off on another of their endless, mysterious “business trips,” and that Mom and Dad have some old connection to the woman who heads this island-based boarding school that is supposedly for the “artistically adventurous.” There, Olive and her fellow Misfits tackle a broad, total crack-up of a syllabus that prepares them physically, mentally, and emotionally for working together to prevent chaos, catch lawbreakers, and protect the citizenry.

 

Once they are well-trained, and tested in the field, the real fun begins. Action! Mayhem! Gadget galore! The Misfits first adventure involves the thefts of priceless, precious jewels, and the threat that the heists pose to the school itself.

 

Who are the culprits?

 

Tape up your glasses and join in the fun. Track down a copy of THE MISFITS: A ROYAL CONUNDRUM, the very fun first book in what promises to be a hoot of a series.

 

Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com

https://www.facebook.com/richiespicks/    

richiepartington@gmail.com  

 

 

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