Neil Patrick Harris knows a thing or two about juggling multiple interests.
The actor/singer-writer is out with his latest young adult novel, “The Magic Misfits: The Minor Third” (Little Brown Young Readers, $16.99) the third book in his young adult fiction series about friends brought together by a love of practical magic on a quest to protect their town from bad guys.
The new installment shows the main characters — Theo, Carter, Leila, Ridley, and twins Olly and Izzy, collectively referred to as the Magic Misfits — growing up and learning to embrace their differences and conflicting interests.
”It’s kind of my ‘Empire Strikes Back,’ “ says Harris, 46. “This book is going to be a little more of a complication. The Misfits are arguing more. They’re not connecting like they have in the past. And so it’s sort of dealing with where your passions lie with the other lives you follow.”
One character has a mom and a dad who are still married. Another was adopted by two dads. Harris was interested in tackling a different kind of bond: the “chosen family.”
”I think the idea of a singular, nuclear family has expanded a lot,” Harris says. “I think everyone is looking for a ‘family.’ They join clubs, they join sports, they read books together.
“Family is . . . finding people that care about you and that share passions and interests.”
A bonus for young readers: Each Misfits book is littered with step-by-step instructions on how to execute classic magic tricks, a la Harris’s favorite kids’ magic books from his own childhood.