Photographer, book reviewer, mama, cat-lover in Seattle. Originally from England.
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School library volunteer at my son's K8 school. Member of ALA and YALSA.
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This was SO MUCH FUN! to read!!! I honestly didn’t know I’d get such a kick out of reading a middle-grade graphic novel but I found myself up one night at 1 am completely wrapped up in this...
a bit about the book…
Middle School Misadventures: Operation: Hat Heist!
by Jason Platt
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 21, 2020
Genre: Middle Grade, Children's, Graphic Novel
In Jason Platt's second Middle School Misadventures graphic novel, Newell's favorite hat gets taken away! With the help of his most talented friends, he concocts the perfect plan to get it back. Operation: Hat Heist is a go!
Newell's favorite show of all time is The Captain! Newell is beyond excited when he learns that the Captain himself, Patrick O'Shaughnessy, will be at Monster Comic-Con. He can't wait to meet The Captain wearing his once-worn-by-The-Captain WWII crusher hat that his dad gave him. But when Newell brings the hat to school, it gets stolen from his backpack! Fart.
When Newell finally spots the culprit wearing his hat in the hall, Mr. Todd confiscates it and reminds the students, "There are no hats to be worn in school!" Double fart. What will Newell do?! He wants his hat back so he doesn't let his dad down and can impress his hero, but Mr. Todd refuses to return it! Just when Newell is about to give up, he receives a note from 8th-grader Ethan: "I have an idea. Also, bring your friends. They can help, too." Can Newell, Ethan, and this ragtag group of friends pull off the perfect hat heist?
In this fun and imaginative full-color graphic novel, Jason Platt sends fast-talking, daydreaming, Newell on another desperate quest to save his favorite hat before he meets his all-time hero.
This is a middle-grade buddy adventure graphic novel that goes so much further than the cover and description would at first suggest, and I loved every frame of it. Newell is an eighth-grader with a group of loyal friends, a dad who he watches their favorite show 'The Captain' with, and a very special hat that he keeps on losing.
Author Jason Platt opens the book with an 'episode' of 'The Captain' and this is the hook for the entire story; Newell shares a love for this show with his dad, and it also represents their connection. When Newell gets his hat stolen and then confiscated at school (so many lessons/horror stories!) he has just got to get it back. He can't go to Monster Comic-Con and meet his hero without it and there's no way his dad can find out about the hat being gone…again.
There are so many dilemmas and interesting situations presented for Newell in this fast-paced story, and every single one feels genuine. They all feel natural for the age group that Platt has written for (and placed me right there back at school): the school teacher you feel is out to get you, your group of friends that is your entire world, the class you hate, the things you look forward to, the worry that you will disappoint, those big emotions. But there are also high-jinks and a heist plot which is brilliant, and a major twist to the story that I was completely not expecting which displays expert story-telling.I can't even completely reveal the whole story because of it.
While a middle-grader will probably be reading this for the adventure of Newell getting his hat back for Comic-Con (and this is a very worthy cause; I go to them with my own son), there are many deeper levels to this graphic novel that I hope are absorbed and maybe discussed if read with someone else, it is also filled with beautifully-drawn artwork, and it works for other age ranges for an entertaining read.
I'll be recommending this series for the school library, and I'll be reading more of the series myself!
a little bit about the author Jason…
*A review/e-galley copy was provided by the publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in exchange of an honest review, as part of a blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club (FFBC). THANK YOU!*