Middle School Misadventures: Operation: Hat Heist!

Little, Brown. Apr. 2020. 232p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780316416900.
Gr 3-7–Platt’s sequel to Middle School Misadventures finds Newell in yet another hilariously relatable scrape. After school each day, Newell races home to watch The Captain, a thrilling TV series about a World War II pilot who gets lost in the Bermuda Triangle and finds his way into another dimension. Newell and his dad are die-hard fans—his father even traveled far and wide to get the star, Patrick O’Shaughnessy, to give Newell the hat worn in the show. But Newell’s prized gift is stolen from his backpack and ends up in the school’s room of confiscated hats (hats are banned at Garfield Middle School). Newell embarks on an epic adventure to retrieve the missing hat with his friends and eighth grader Ethan Craig before his dad finds out it’s gone. The humor is incredibly kid-friendly (fart jokes are rife). Appealing, sketchy cartoons that channel Calvin & Hobbes bring to life Newell’s diverse, supportive, and quirky group of friends. Refreshingly, Platt depicts a loving, well-adjusted single-parent household.
VERDICT Platt’s tale is a keeper.

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