A light-hearted, engaging read for ages from 12 years old to the sky is the limit.Mister Max : The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt
Published by Knopf Books on 10
Genres: Historical Fiction, MG
Max has lost his parents or his parents have lost him. We are not sure which. His theatrical parents have been invited to India to create a theatre company there. Max is to join them on the ship at 12 noon but when he gets there, there is no ship and no parents. So Max has to learn to be independent (with a little help from his Grammie) and try to solve what happened his parents and various other mysteries.
I’m a huge fan of the Cynthia Voigt ‘Dicey’ series, I have read those books over and over. So I had very high expectations of this new series. And while it was good, it didn’t meet those expectations. I think I prefer when Cynthia writes contemporary series as she does that so well. This book was set 100 years ago but it doesn’t feel as historical as it should.
Max is a great character though, he is larger than life and I loved his way of thinking. Every time he has to do something new, he dresses and acts the part the way he thinks an actor would. He is insecure and lacks confidence in someways and in others he is brave and quick thinking. He finds a job finding things, he is not a private investigator though or a finder, he is a solutioneer (how cute is that word!). Finding solutions to problems.
Some of the other characters didn’t work so well for me. We have a criminal gang – the long noses- and that storyline fell a bit flat for me. The other little mysteries were fun and convincing. The writing is descriptive and full of images so you can picture clearly what the author is trying to describe. And to help you even further, it is illustrated! And illustrations are fab, one of the big highlights of the book for me.
The story ends up a bit suddenly and it is a cliffhanger so consider yourself warned! Do I care enough to get the next book to see what happens next? Most definitely!
Final impression and who should read this book:
Overall, a good book for middle graders with interesting and likeable characters. It just doesn’t reach the heights of the Dicey series. However if you like quirky characters and quirky storylines then I’d recommend this one to you too.
Thanks to Random House Children’s for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.