MG Review of Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things


Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt

Age Range: 8 – 12 years

Grade Level: 3 – 7

Series: Mister Max (Book 1)

Hardcover: 400 pages

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 8.11.2013 edition (September 10, 2013)

Genre: Mystery

Source: From publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Book:

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 . . .

My Thoughts:

This was a fun book to read.  It’s very well written.  It’s about Max, a young boy who gets left behind when his parents go off on a mysterious (and possibly false) adventure.  He learns to fend for himself and solve problems — both his own and other people’s. 

Max was a different character.  He was unique and odd in his own way.  He is very young, yet very mature for his age.  He gained a sort of independence when his parents left, and he desperately wants to hang on to it.  He is a master of disguise and nobody can ever seem to remember anything about him beyond his unusual eyes.

While parts of the book were a little slow, most of the adventures Max had were interesting and it was fun watching him solve all sorts of different problems.  The book ends in a bit of a cliff hanger, and I’m interested to see where the next book goes.  I’ve always loved middle grade mystery stories, and this one didn’t disappoint me.

If your middle grade reader loves mysteries, they won’t want to miss this quirky, brilliant problem solver!

Content: Clean

Source: I received a digital galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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