Parents' Guide to

The Misfits #1: A Royal Conundrum

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Mild violence in fast, fun, and playful mystery caper.

Book Lisa Yee Mystery 2024
The Misfits #1: A Royal Conundrum book cover: Against a blue backdrop, a lineup of preteens shows five boys and girls, Asian American, Black, and White all dressed in different styles

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Is It Any Good?

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This middle grade mystery adventure novel reads quickly and is a blast to get through. The main characters in The Misfits #1: A Royal Conundrum are fun to get to know, and main character Olive Zang is a strong Asian American girl lead. While some might feel that the supporting cast could have received more individual attention, backstory, and moments to shine, the group is still entertaining, funny, and realistic as a bunch of misfit kids doing their best to save the day. They each have particular skills, talents, areas of expertise, and unique characteristics, and they bounce off Olive in fun ways along their adventures. Hopefully author Lisa Yee explores the other characters more deeply in future installments. The mystery takes a minute to get going, but once it does, it's difficult to stop reading until the final reveals. The conclusion satisfyingly wraps up all the logical questions of the mystery and as everything comes barreling toward the chaotic finale, it is rewarding to see Olive and her friends win the day. Dan Santat's black and white pencil illustrations are alive with motion and expressiveness and help bring the text alive for readers. Additional twists even beyond the ending will entice readers to come back for the next book in the series.

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