Max's parents are missing. They are actors, and thus unpredictable, but sailing away, leaving Max with only a cryptic note, is unusual even for them. Did they "intend" to leave him behind? Read more...
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Newbery medalist Cynthia Voigt presents a rollicking mystery in three acts
Max's parents are missing. They are actors, and thus unpredictable, but sailing away, leaving Max with only a cryptic note, is unusual even for them. Did they "intend" to leave him behind? Have they been kidnapped?
Until he can figure it out, Max feels it's safer to keep a low profile. Hiding out is no problem for a child of the theater. Max has played many roles, he can be whoever he needs to be to blend in. But finding a job is tricky, no matter what costume he dons.
Ironically, it turns out Max has a talent for finding things. He finds a runaway child, a stray dog, a missing heirloom, a lost love. . . . So is he a finder? A detective? No, it's more. Max finds a way to solve people's problems--he engineers better outcomes for them. He becomes Mister Max, "Solutioneer. "
Now if only he could find a solution to his own problems . . .
- ISBN-13: 9780307976819
- ISBN-10: 0307976815
- Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: September 2013
- Page Count: 367
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
Series: Mister Max #1
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-07-08
- Reviewer: Staff
A mysterious invitation to establish a theatrical troupe in India starts off the action in the first book in a trilogy from Newbery Medalist Voigt, set in the early 1900s. Max Starling’s actor parents set sail (or do they?) for the new opportunity, accidentally (or not?) leaving him behind. Frightened and slightly hurt by their abandonment, yet determined to solve the mystery of their disappearance and maintain his independence, 12-year-old Max searches for income-earning opportunities and stumbles into detectivelike work—finding a lost dog, a missing antique silver spoon, and (secretly) reuniting two lost lovers. Max creates different characters for each of his missions, with appropriate costumes from his parents’ trunks, and encounters the requisite eclectic characters, all well-drawn by Voigt. Max has a good heart and a sharp mind, with enough self-doubt to be credible, and his adventures, while not deeply suspenseful, build in complexity and develop Max’s maturity; Voigt’s accomplished writing draws readers into every aspect of his world. A double-edged ending solves one big mystery while setting the stage for a new one. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)