Real magic does exist . . . you just have to know where to look. That’s the lesson that young Carter, a runaway street magician, learns in Neil Patrick Harris’ debut middle grade novel.
American actor and singer Harris has a background in magic, which shines through in this tale of Carter and five other magically gifted kids. The trick-filled tale moves quickly, as the gang tries to outsmart a crooked carnival boss and his cronies, sideshow freaks and the ill-intentioned Pock Pickets. Aided by master illusionist and kindred soul Mr. Vernon, the kids band together in their altruistic goal of saving the citizens of the city from its villains and thieves.
Harris intersperses the book’s chapters with several clever “intermissions,” which directly address the reader to offer instructions for easy tricks to impress their friends. Harris knows his magic and has crafted an impressive group of kids that readers will happily follow on their magical journey of stopping the bad guys, as well as finding their own way. All these characters are misfits for various reasons, but when they band together, they truly belong, as each discovers friendship—possibly for the first time.