I’ve read a lot of Cynthia Voigt’s books, so I was excited to see she had a new novel out for kids. MISTER MAX is about a young boy living at the turn of the century. His parents have boarded a ship for India, but have disappeared, leaving Max to fend for himself with a little help from his grandmother. While Max is only about twelve, his parents are actors, and he uses their techniques and costumes to pass himself off as an adult and makes a business for himself as a detective. Max has several mysteries to solve, with the underlying one being: where are his parents??
There were some things I loved about this book. I almost always enjoy books set in the past. Max was definitely a spunky and resourceful young man. I kept reading to see how things would come out.
Other things I was not so keen about in this book were that it felt long (looks like 400 pages for paper copy), the mysteries were pretty straight-forward (though they are for kids), and there was no final resolution (apparently, this is the start of a series/trilogy). It’s hard for me to say what age to recommend this story for. Content-wise, I would say about ages 9-11, but reading stamina/level wise, I’d say more like 11-13.
Voigt is a wonderful writer and this shines throughout the story. I laughed out loud at some parts. I will most probably read the next installment because I’d like to see how Max’s story turns out.
I got mine via Net Galley for review, but you can see it on Amazon where I am an Associate: