Our nighttime ritual – books at bedtime – is something our kids look forward to, and it’s always great when we find something that really appeals to the whole family. Since everyone in the house has a penchant for a little mystery, some adventure, and a dash of humor, this made the first two volumes of the BOOM! Studios series Misfit City a perfect fit. Just a heads up, you may need to leave a few small parts out when reading to young children.
Set in fictional Cannon Cove, Misfit City follows four friends – Macy, Wilder, Karma, and Dot – as they pursue the long-lost treasure of the infamous pirate, Black Mary. Cannon Cove, famous for being the filming location of a cult classic movie titled The Gloomies, is replete with just enough tourists, snobby teens, and bad weather to make you root for the girls when they yearn for something that will liven things up. Naturally, when they stumble onto Black Mary’s treasure map, the girls find a bit more than they bargained for.
Before they know it, the group – along with their trusty dog, Pippin – are hot on the trail of pirate gold, just barely staying a step ahead of a series of ne’er-do-wells with the exact same goal. In between solving riddles, escaping villains, and dodging traps, the girls learn how to work together, trust their own strengths, and avoid the most wicked obstacle in all of childhood: the interference of parents.
Given that my wife and I are children of the 80’s, we loved that The Gloomies was a take on The Goonies, while Cannon Cove served as a stand-in for the film location of Astoria, Oregon. Alas, neither of our childhoods ever consisted of a real-life Goonies adventure, so it was great to relive that same kind of action through this series. It was just as much fun watching our girls soak up the world of Misfit City, much as we did with our own era’s books and movies.
In all fairness, we did hit a couple of minor trouble spots while reading that we had to gloss over as they were a little too mature for the ages of our children (6 & 8) so look out for that as you read, but events never became too scary, the main characters are all strong and capable, and the combo of treasure hunts, pirates, kids, and cliffhangers had our girls hooked from the very start. It’s a great series – and well worth checking out. Our girls’ only disappointment is that they have to wait for Volume 3!