January 7th, 2014 by Karen
You know how some books are like a fort you build in your living room, or like your tree house in your backyard, or like your favorite store in your town that you go to all the time? In other words, you always feel safe and welcome there — but also, it’s a place for adventures. And you know without a single solitary doubt that those are gonna be some good adventures?
Well, that’s how I felt as I read Mister Max Book 1: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt. I recently named it as my favorite book of 2013, and here’s why:
I absolutely could not wait to return to Max’s world every time I picked up the book. And that’s probably a little strange because Max’s world isn’t very happy. Well, it’s plenty happy at first — living and working with his loving and very dramatic actor parents.
But then they disappear and it’s up to Max and his grandmother to try to piece together the clues without raising suspicion and endangering Max’s parents, wherever they are. (Keep in mind, this takes place in Victorian times, so there’s no Internet to speed things along!)
While doing that, Max also takes on jobs solving other people’s problems. At first, I was weirded out that Max wasn’t 100% focused on finding his parents, but I was quickly drawn into’s Max’s other cases — and I also realized that this pace totally makes sense with Max’s character and the spirit of the book. Yes, it’s a little quaint and old-fashioned, but that’s exactly what I loved about it, as a fan of books like the Penderwicks series, which has the same feel.
My biggest disappointment is the long wait for Book 2: The Book of Secrets, which doesn’t come out until September! If only Mister Max were here to fix my problem…