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Middle School Misadventures #2

Middle School Misadventures: Operation: Hat Heist!

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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 so he 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 title will be simultaneously available in hardcover.

232 pages, Paperback

Published April 21, 2020

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Jason Platt

13 books17 followers

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5 stars
32 (37%)
4 stars
31 (36%)
3 stars
19 (22%)
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4 (4%)
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Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews
Profile Image for Areli Joy.
207 reviews39 followers
April 29, 2020
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review, as part of a blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club (FFBC).*

The book started by introducing us to the main character, Newell, and his Dad, and to the TV show that they both love so dearly, The Captain. I like how the story started this way because we were immediately given a glimpse of the book's center. I'm saying that the TV show is the center of the book because it's what started everything -- it's where Newell's hat came from and the hat being lost is the main plot of the book. Being introduced to Newell and Newell's connection to his favorite TV show made me feel more connected both to the character and the story. I really loved how the show was able to connect the characters in the story, too. 

At first, I thought that this is gonna have a simple linear plot since it's a middle-grade book, but boy was I wrong. The plot went normally but I really wasn't expecting the plot twist! What made the plot twist surprisingly even better is that it made way for a lot of things to make sense and be realized. There were some events in the story that only made sense when the plot twist happened. It was also good how the author made the characters really go through this plot twist with the readers -- it's like the characters and readers were discovering something together. This was another way that a "connection" in the book was made.

There are a few themes that I found in this book that I found really important, especially for its target audience (middle-grade readers). First and foremost is giving importance to the things that our loved ones give us -- no matter how big or small it might be -- because we don't really know what they had to go through just to give that gift to us. Secondly is remembering that we always have friends who are always willing to help us. Some of them are really willing to go through all hardships with us. We don't have to be too hard on ourselves and think that we don't deserve their help. As what the famous saying goes, "No man is island." As long as we know how to return a favor and how to show our gratitude to those who help us, it's okay to ask for help sometimes. Lastly but certainly not the least is forgiving the people who have done us wrong and forgiving ourselves, too. In this book, Newell was so guilty when he lost his hat. He had a hard time admitting that to his Dad, and I think that the reason why we find it hard to admit our weaknesses sometimes is because we haven't fully accepted the situation yet. Forgiving ourselves for our weaknesses and mistakes is just as important as forgiving other people.

As this is a graphic novel, of course, I would also love to commend Jason Platt's arts. The artworks in this graphic novel truly gave life and color to the story. It made the reading experience a lot more exciting and memorable because we were able to see what's going on during each scene. Seeing the characters' facial expressions and body gestures also made the experience of reading this a total package! The artworks are also really clean and and pleasant to look at.

This book surely changed my view on middle-grade novels because it has a lot of values and lessons in it. It is not just a story of finding a lost belonging --- it is also a story of parent-child relationship, friendship, being creative, thinking outside of the box, collaborating, trust, and forgiveness. This book should be read by everyone because surely anyone who reads this will be able to pick up one or two things from the story of the Newell and his middle school misadventures!
Profile Image for Katherine Moore.
167 reviews45 followers
April 30, 2020
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!

1 review
September 6, 2022
Excellent "coming of age" book for tweens! Actually, for people of any age. I enjoyed it & I'm in my 50's! 😁 If something positive is learned from it, then it's definitely worth the read. My daughter read it twice & purchased one to share with a school friend. I wish that I could find them in a box set. I'd purchase 2! One to keep at home & one to donate to school.👍
Profile Image for Bonnie Grover.
787 reviews8 followers
February 16, 2020
“No hats in school!” What is Newell supposed to do when the principal confiscates his favorite hat? Can he and his friends get past the school secretary and into Principal Todd’s office to get his hat back? I love graphic novels and this one was a fun read!
Profile Image for Jason.
3,789 reviews24 followers
June 23, 2020
I wish middle-grade comics about boys got into some of the identity-questioning stuff the ones about girls do. This was fun- a good ride, though the mystery is not too hard to figure out- but not terribly introspective, relatively speaking, anyway. Raina Telgemeier has spoiled me forever.
Profile Image for Wes Molebash.
Author 9 books24 followers
November 19, 2020
Operation: Hat Heist is a wonderful follow up to the first book in the Middle School Misadventures series. Jason Platt is a brilliant cartoonist and his comics provide a wonderful, wholesome retreat for kids of all ages (even us really old ones!).
Profile Image for Elizabeth P.
288 reviews19 followers
January 13, 2021
I thought this book was fun, but I didn't like that the principal kept the hats forever in his office. I can understand keeping the hat until the end of the day and giving it back to the student, but keeping it forever just seems unnecessary and cruel.
Profile Image for Mike.
406 reviews
February 12, 2021
I was spoiled by the first book. This was fun, and I do really like the artwork, but the story just wasn't as crisp as the first one. But I also know that the middle grade audience of our school will inhale the series, so I bought two copies.
Profile Image for D.T. Henderson.
Author 4 books58 followers
May 20, 2022
This one started a bit slow and long-winded, but, man, did it get fun once it turned Mission Impossible!

Overall, I liked the lighthearted humor, the cute art style, and Newell’s friend group.

Profile Image for Melody.
1,641 reviews2 followers
October 12, 2020
school story, with friendship, complicated themes, and a smashing ending.
Profile Image for Brandi Smith.
8 reviews7 followers
November 29, 2021
I love it when the sequel is even better than the first book! All the feels though, can't say over what because spoilers but hurry up and read it!
54 reviews
October 29, 2022
It’s so funny and why would the teacher steal hats from kids like that’s mean and a friend betrayal like WOW and those wild eyes WOW. Newell is is such a captions fan. My favourite part is when he finds out he’s been using his hat as a remote control basket my least favourite part is when his friend swaps the hats.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Danielle.
880 reviews
March 16, 2021
This second installment of Newell and his misadventures in middle school is bound to be popular with upper elementary and middle grade readers alike, much as I suspect the first book (Middle School Misadventures) will be a hit with this same age group. In this book, we are introduced to Newell's TV obsession: The Captain! Newell watches this show with his dad and even has a special captain hat to wear. Newell takes the hat to school, but there is a strict "No hats allowed!" policy at his school. When Newell's hat goes missing, he sets off on an elaborate ploy to get his hat back.

I definitely enjoyed this story more than the original volume of Newell, although it might not appear that way from my star rating. I thought the plot in this book was much more enjoyable and logical than the first book. I also enjoyed the surprise plot points in this book. While I don't think this series will be as beloved as books by authors Raina Telgemeier, Victoria Jamieson, or Jennifer L. Holm, I do think this is a solid graphic novel series to put in the hands of middle grade readers.
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews

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