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Super Jake & the King of Chaos

4.74  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  31 reviews
A debut contemporary novel about 11-year-old aspiring magician Ethan, who discovers that heroes come in all sizes, and real magic can be found in the most unexpected places.

When life revolves around stressed-out parents and ER visits for his special needs little brother Jake, eleven-year-old Ethan escapes to a world of top hats, trick decks, and magic wands. When he hears
Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2019 by Running Press Kids
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Naomi Milliner My son, Jake. The trickiest part about writing it was keeping enough of the truth, but adding enough fun and humor so - hopefully! - mg readers will…moreMy son, Jake. The trickiest part about writing it was keeping enough of the truth, but adding enough fun and humor so - hopefully! - mg readers will enjoy it.(less)

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4.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  46 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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If every Middle Grade book was as heart-warming, realistic and interesting as this one, I can tell you I would be reading them more often than once/twice a month. It’s pathetic really because I love the genre, I’m so happy it exists, but many simply don’t appeal to an older audience.

This one certainly does. What I love most about it is that one of its central characters is a baby. Who doesn’t even talk. He is important to everyone in the story, especially the narrator who would do anything for h
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, 2019
I LOVE THIS BOOK! I defy you to read it without laughing, crying, or cry-laughing. This is an absolute must-read. Warm, funny, relatable, and heartfelt with unforgettable characters that you will want to take home with you. On top of that, it's beautifully written and will have you turning pages quickly to find out what happens.
Jess Redman
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
SUPER JAKE & THE KING OF CHAOS is a wonderful story that will have you laughing and crying and laughing and crying. Ethan, an 11-year-old magician, is the humorous and tender-hearted narrator of the story. He has a first-grade brother, Freddy, full of energy and fun, and a sweet 2-year-old brother Jake. Due to brain damage, Jake is unable to speak or sit or reach out, and he requires a lot of the boys' parents' attention. Ethan loves his brothers, but he wishes sometimes that his magic was r ...more
Rajani LaRocca
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This hilarious and heartwarming novel is about Ethan, an 11-year-old magician who wants to win a contest and meet his idol, Magnus the Magnificent. But life isn't always straightforward for Ethan. He has to deal with his little brother Freddy wanting to be part of his act, a bully at school, and the needs of his baby brother Jake, who was born with brain damage and needs special care from family members and health care workers. During the story, Ethan discovers what he really wants the most and ...more
Justin Olson
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a touching and heartwarming MG novel. I love Ethan, the main character, and his humor and heart. The family dynamics are so loving, and Jake's journey is a tearjerker! If you're looking for a good, wholesome – and, yes, again, heartwarming – story, then get yourself a copy of Super Jake & The King of Chaos!
Veronica Bartles
Make sure to read it with a box of tissues!

It's not often that a book can make me both laugh and cry at the same time, but this one did it! Ethan was funny and sincere, but not sappy or unrealistic. My heart ached for him as he tried to be the strong big brother, holding it all together with a brave face while he worried that everything might fall apart. "... every once in a while, if you're fortunate, you get to be a part of real magic." Super Jake is absolutely magical!
Nicole Melleby
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the perfect balance between heartwarming, uplifting, and heavy, which is a perfect mix for its middle grade audience. Ethan and his family will stick with me for a while.
Jennifer Camiccia
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this heartwarming story so much!!! Ethan’s devotion and love for his brothers just melted my heart. The whole family was incredible and were so easy to root for.I felt so many varied emotions from sentence to sentence and I was so sad to finish. I wanted to read more about this wonderful family and their connection to each other. Highly recommend!!!!
Gail Shepherd
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Naomi Milliner's debut novel is based on her own family, and the authenticity of her experience shines from every page. Eleven-year-old Ethan yearns to perform magic tricks and meet his hero Magnus the Magnificent, but family life is complicated: He has an adoring first grade brother Freddy and a baby brother, Jake, who is brain damaged and can't speak or move much. Jake requires nearly round the clock care, along with a small army of therapists and helpers, and a big chunk of the parental atten ...more
Remy Lai
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book will give you the feels. I love the dynamics between the brothers, and young readers will definitely enjoy all the magic tricks, too!
Lorie Barber
Devoured this one, laughing, crying, and cheering throughout. Every kid needs to read this story to help them see what really defines a hero. Excellent in every way. Thank you to the author and to Hatchette Book Group for sharing this wonderful work with my #bookexpedition reading group.
Kim Long
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was awesome. Like, really really awesome. The main character is Ethan, a kid magician, who performs his act at kid parties and the like. He wants to enter a junior magicial contest where the winner meets a famous magician who happens to be his hero, but life gets in the way. Between earning money to pay for the trip, keeping up his grades, and, most importantly, helping care for his little brother (Jake) who has suffered from some developmental issues since birth, Ethan has got his hands fu ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This is a truly magical story about an eleven-year-old boy named Ethan who is quite the budding magician. Ethan performs for birthday parties and practices his act every chance he gets, even when he probably should be working on homework or helping with his brother.

Ethan learns of a magic festival where he could enter a junior magician contest with the winner getting to meet Magnus the Magnificent his idol! He is beyond excited, he just has to convince his family.

Ethan’s youngest brother Jake ha
Teresa Grabs
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Milliner’s tale of Ethan, an 11-year-old magician, and his brothers, Jake and Freddy, is a page-turner from the very beginning. Ethan took up magic after his youngest brother, Jake, suffered complications when he was born. Ethan wants nothing more than to meet his favorite magician in Atlantic City, but that means having to bring his grades up, help around the house, and earn two-thirds of the money himself. Selling his services at birthday services helps earn money, he likes helping Jake and re ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Super Jake & The King Of Chaos,
By Naomi Milliner

Eleven–year-old Ethan loves magic and dreams of going to a magic competition to meet his idol. Fiercely protective of his severely brain damaged little brother, Jake, Ethan does everything he can to make him smile, and hopes for the day he might actually hear a laugh.
But when a bully goes after Ethan’s little brother, Ethan has to choose between keeping the peace to attend the magic show, or standing up for his brother which might lose him the
Kirsti Call
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

"I am stone, like Merlin.
I am trapped, like Jake.
There are so many things he'll probably never do, but he smiles anyway--even all those times I let him down and don't stretch him. Even when I said I did...but I didn't."

Just. Wow. This beautifully written debut novel by Naomi Milliner is hilarious yet heartwarming. Milliner expertly writes the feelings of an 11 year old boy in an engaging and authentic way. Ethan's lo
Katie Reilley
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you so much to the author and Running Press Books for sharing a copy of this amazing book with our #bookexpedition group!

Ethan loves magic. He performs at local birthday parties and works hard at perfecting his craft. But no about of magic can help his youngest brother Jake, who was born with a neurological disorder that doesn’t allow Jake to talk or move on his own. When Jake gets very sick, Ethan searches for the magic that will help his brother pull through.

Not only is this a terrific
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to get my hands on an advance reader's copy of this novel and I'm so thrilled I did! Super Jake and the King of Chaos is a heartwarming story about family, courage, and pursuing your dreams, even in the face of hardship. One of the most brilliant aspects of this novel is that the author gives readers an honest look into life with a young sibling who has brain damage. There's no sugar coating or glossing over--but in the end this creates a sense of love that is powerful and real. Etha ...more
Brian Weisfeld
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the GREAT pleasure of reading the ARC of Super Jake and The King Of Chaos. I am so thankful to Naomi Milliner for sharing this gripping, funny, touching story. My family probably doesn’t appreciate the book as much as I do because I was a fairly neglectful parent while reading the book. My kids got so tired of hearing “let me just finish this chapter” that my 11 year old picked up the book after I did to see what the fuss was all about. She said about the book “It was so suspenseful and me ...more
Shauna Holyoak
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a beautiful story about a budding magician who learns where to find true magic. With touching family relationships, heart-wrenching challenges, and a good-hearted MC, this is a book you shouldn't miss! Based on her own family experiences, Naomi Milliner's debut is sure to become a classic. Kids and adults alike are certain to love this touching story.
Smart Bookaholics Inc Bookstore
I love debut novels! This book was wonderful! Encouraging and uplifting! Perfect for the targeted audience and hits on a "Special" subject! Enjoyed everything about this book! Highly recommended read! Thank you netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review!
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ethan, 11 year old Magician Extraordinaire, finds escape in magic. Then he finds the truth about real magic is that love and family are the most magical of all. Take this journey with him, please. Accompany him as he discovers a hero in an unexpected place. #NetGalley
Malayna Evans
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book will give you the feels! If you want a book that really tugs the heartstrings, this is one of those books. The main character and his family leap off the page so the reader experiences every setback and triumph along with them. Great read!
Chris Baron
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Super Jake and The King of Chaos is a wonderful book about a boy who truly loves his family. This is what really stuck out for me--there is so much "real" family connection in this book, and it felt so genuine and intimate. Ethan's voice is so unique, and I found myself laughing and crying in the same paragraph as he navigates his love for his complex family, his desire to compete in a magic competition, and the sacrifices he has to make even at such a young age to make it all happen. Super Jake
Jeanne Ferruolo
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved SUPER JAKE AND THE KING OF CHAOS for so many reasons. Most of all how it made me feel. The voice is spot-on and will appeal to kids of all ages. I especially loved the main character, 11-year-old Nathan. He is an aspiring magician, but the true magic he works is the love he brings to his family, especially his brother Jake. Naomi Milliner has a created a story that will break your heart and make it swell over and over and over again. Teachers take note: this is an important read for clas ...more
Mark Buxton
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
My name is Ethan, and I have a chance to meet my hero Magnus the Magnificent! All I need to do is travel to Atlantic City and win my age category at the Magic Fest. I think my act is good, but is it good enough? I like practicing at home with my little brother Jake. He's confined to a wheelchair and can't speak, and his health can get seriously bad due to changes in his body temperature. Anyhow, things were going great until Ned arrived at school. We don't get along even though our mothers went ...more
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
L.D. Crichton
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Super Jake and The King of Chaos is a book you need! I just finished this delightful, heartfelt and beautiful story which follows Ethan Miller, an aspiring magician along with his two younger brothers Freddy and Jake. Narrated by 11-year-old Ethan we soon learn about his love for magic and how one family comes together to face the challenges of having a very sick child/sibling. This book is heartwarming on so many levels--but even more so--I feel as though it’s important and impactful and will o ...more
Kelly Coon
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Milliner's middle grade book hit me directly in the gut. As a mother who has THREE SONS, the youngest who spiked fevers consistently like little Jake in the book, I was crying at the 75% mark. But everyone--not just moms who can relate--needs to read Milliner's middle grade novel. Ethan is a wonderful big brother to his little brothers, Freddy and Jake. He's filled with empathy and compassion, but is realistic in his flaws, too. Kids who read this are going to learn from his kindness toward a bu ...more
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to love this book based on the description. Unfortunately, I struggled getting through the building of the story. I'd say the last third of the book redeemed it somewhat.

Ethan is a wonderful character, and I appreciate how much we had to see him work through in the story, but as an adult, I was incredibly bored. I absolutely think this book is a wonderful gift idea for children around 8-10
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Naomi’s love of literature led her to an English degree at the University of Maryland; her love of cinema led her to the University of Southern California, where she earned an MFA in Screenwriting. After ten years in Hollywood, her fear of earthquakes (especially hiding under a kitchen table with her baby) led her back to Maryland, where she happily resides with her husband and sons Jeremy and Jes ...more