by James Patterson and Christ Grabenstein, published 2018
“Max didn’t have a mother or father to tell her when it was time to wake up, go to bed, do her homework, eat her vegetables, turn off the TV, or hurry because she’d miss the subway. Max was completely on her own.”
A very creative children’s book by two seasons authors, there is plenty of action, and a large dose of consciousness raising about the serious state of the planet. It could feel preachy except that it is wrapped in a clever ploy where Max continues to evade being kidnapped by the bad guys, in order to help the good guys. Of course, I’m simplifying it, but indeed, the plot is not particularly complex. Yet it is endearing. Max is a terrific role model who understands the value of friendship, simply because she never had time to have friends before.
This children’s book is a very unusual mixture of a very large does of realism – endangered planet, homeless people, orphans- with completely out-of-the-box events, such as flying in a pilot-less plane from the USA to Israel for a competition. It’s almost as if the authors don’t want to get too serious, but they also don’t want to be too frivolous. Does it work? I’d say yes, mostly because the characters work.