A Royal Conundrum

Random. (The Misfits: Bk. 1). Jan. 2024. 288p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781984830296.
Gr 4-7–Olive Cobin-Zang’s parents are on another one of their business trips, and Olive is off to…reform school? She knows she hasn’t always made the best decisions, but this seems a bit extreme. Then she sees RASCH (Reforming Arts School) for the first time, a mystical island campus that emerges from the fog, and she is even more confused. What is this place and why is she here? Strangely, when Olive is placed in what initially appears to be a class of leftovers, she starts to feel a part of something. Soon, Olive and her fellow misfits realize that there might be something extraordinary about themselves after all. In the meantime, a series of high-end jewelry heists have swept across San Francisco and threaten some of RASCH’s most important benefactors. If Olive and her friends can’t put a stop to these thefts, not only will RASCH lose its money, but Olive might lose the only place that has felt like home in a very long time. Readers will be quick to follow Olive and her diverse friend group as they chase actors/pirates/thieves, search for priceless pastries, and hunt down jeweled cat collars. With quick pacing and over-the-top action, this humorous caper is full of plot twists and zany antics. At times, the pacing may move too quickly, not giving readers enough time to absorb the action or build more suspense. However, the clever clues and outrageous antics will be enough to pull readers through the pages and into the story.
VERDICT Clever and funny, this rousing mystery-adventure will be a hit with a wide audience.

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