Map of Flames (The Forgotten Five, Book 1) Series: Forgotten Five #1
Published by Penguin on February 22, 2022
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Action & Adventure / General, Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship, Juvenile Fiction / Superheroes
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X-Men meets Spy Kids in this instant New York Times bestseller! Here’s the first book in a new middle-grade fantasy/adventure series from the author of The Unwanteds.
Fifteen years ago, eight supernatural criminals fled Estero City to make a new life in an isolated tropical hideout. Over time, seven of them disappeared without a trace, presumed captured or killed. And now, the remaining one has died.
Left behind to fend for themselves are the criminals’ five children, each with superpowers of their own: Birdie can communicate with animals. Brix has athletic abilities and can heal quickly. Tenner can swim like a fish and can see in the dark and hear from a distance. Seven’s skin camouflages to match whatever is around him. Cabot hasn’t shown signs of any unusual power—yet.
Then one day Birdie finds a map among her father’s things that leads to a secret stash. There is also a note:
Go to Estero, find your mother, and give her the map.
The five have lived their entire lives in isolation. What would it mean to follow the map to a strange world full of things they’ve only heard about, like cell phones, cars, and electricity? A world where, thanks to their parents, being supernatural is a crime?
Lisa McMann has created a new cast of characters that will connect with young readers. Five children with superpowers embark on a journey to discover the truth about their criminal parents. Students who are fans of superheroes, adventure, or magic are sure to devour this book. However, when one of the kids finds a note and map, they quickly realize they must adventure out of the hideout. I found it quite interesting to see how these kids interacted with a world they had never been a part of and had no clue how things worked. There are plenty of moments that will have middle-grade readers laughing and sympathizing with the characters in this tale. Lisa McMann is an outstanding middle-grade author, and I think I need to check out some of her other works.