Max's Castle
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Max's Castle

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  188 ratings  ·  44 reviews
When Max finds a pile of forgotten toys under the bed, his brothers Benjamin and Karl wonder what’s so special about some old blocks.So Max shows them.With some clever twists of both blocks and imagination, he constructs not only a castle but an entire adventure,complete with pirates and knights, a dark dungeon and a dragon.

This ingenious sequel to Maxs Words and Maxs Dr...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Community Reviews

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Kris
I am in love with the way Banks and Kulikov show that switching a few letters changes words. Max and his brothers use alphabet blocks to build a castle. Kulikov does a fantastic job with letter arrangement: Max is in the MOAT hanging onto a block that is angled with an M and a B when Benjamin says they need a BOAT. The story is cute, using the blocks to solve problems, like when the ADDER that is literally "in" the DARK DUNGEON (Banks capitalizes the words the boys have built with blocks) is cau...more
Maria Burel
I’m drawn by the imagination and word-play that embodies this book. Max uses playroom blocks to tell a story, and then to change the story by, for example, turning MOAT into BOAT. It was a little advanced for my child, requiring a basic understanding of spelling that she doesn’t quite have yet. I would recommend for primary grades. Even so, I felt the story was a little long for the target age group, I found myself losing focus after a time. There are also two other books in this series, Max’s W...more
Megan Renner
Banks, K. (2001). Max's castle. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

The story begins with the main character who's name is Max. He is very excited about an item that he has found under his bed. It is a block. Through out the story the last word of the first sentence on a page rhymes with the last word of the first sentence on the next page. Then there begins to be all kinds of different writing techniques that begin to form on the rest of the pages. Back to the story, the main character Max is...more
Jane G Meyer
My son would give this book five stars. (But this is my account :)) He has read it again and again, because there's so much to discover as you stare, and unravel the puzzles and the words. A very clever story, with a fabulous use of language... I think the story would be appealing to most boys, and many adventure-going girls.
Elisabeth
Sometimes you play with words, and sometimes they play with you!
Max Lamb
Love the way that Banks show how words can be played with and the fun that can be had in playing. It was nice to read a children's book that has some depth and smarts. I will defiantly be reading this book to my daughter as she gets older!
Sarah Souther
Castles, dragons, and knights are generally appealling. This book (and other books about Max) can be useful to kids who are having trouble with print recognition or understanding how the whole word thing works or why they should care.
Fahima 'leah'
Fun story for a preschooler. They may not understand all the word plays but simple ones like "moat" and "boat" they may absorb. I think my 5 year old is beginning to understand some phonetics from this book he loves.
Scarlett Sims
Well, I personally loved this book but I think the age range is a little bit higher than the kids I'm teaching (who are like 5 and 6). The reason being that a huge part of what makes this book so enjoyable is the way Max rearranges the letters in his blocks to make words; for example, an adder becomes a ladder. Even the kids I teach who are advanced readers didn't fully appreciate that, despite the fact that I attempted to point it out each time. While they didn't get the full meaning of the boo...more
Michele Cirrincione
2012-13 MD Black-Eyed Susan Nominee

I just wasn't a fan. It showed imagination but I felt a child might lose interest 1/2 way through.
Laura
What a fun story! I'll echo others that enjoyed the word play with Max's blocks. Max and his brothers use the toys they've outgrown to create and imagine a wonderful castle. Along the way, they create and defeat a variety of exciting events. "Max took MORE BONE and made BEN'S ROOM." Older readers will definitely enjoy the word play. If using this as s read aloud for students, you will definitely want to give them time to absorb the illustrations and their own letters to play with words.

Recommen...more
Kim
Hmmmm. This one didn't really do it for me. The illustrations were fun though.
Sabrina
Max, one of three brothers featured in the book, finds a box of alphabet blocks under his bed and from there the boys' imaginations take off on an adventure through a castle "built" of blocks. The illustrations are bold and bright. The kids will have fun listening to the words and scanning the illustrations for the letter blocks that make up the words in the text, looking at how the word ADDER becomes LADDER. Letter scrambles are very popular with my daughter, a ten year old about to start 5th g...more
Christie
I was into this one until the part where "knights get damsels."
Maira
Max's Castle was a winner for the Maryland Blackeyed Susan Book Award. It's audience would definitely be primary more appealing to grades 2-4 because of the scramble and unscrambling of the letters to find the words. For example, when Max shows how he's in a catastrophe, he let's the reader see that in every catastrophe there is hope. It's a fun book to read. I think the fun in unscrambling words in this book is what would be appealing to the kiddos. I also think the illustrations are amazing!
Krittle Belle
Loved the imagination
T Crockett
I read this with a 2 & 4 year old. They enjoyed it and had all sorts of questions about how Max and his brothers shrunk down to fit inside the castle etc. But the best thing about the book, the way Max switches a around the spelling on the blocks to make things happen, went over their heads. I'll be curious to read it with them again when they're beginning readers. Then I think they'll really get excited.
Debra
This is a very clever story in which Max builds a castle using alphabet blocks. It's a little above my 5 year old's head. To fully appreciate the book, one would need to be able to read the words spelled out on the blocks. I'm careful to point out the words each time I read the book,even though he can't read yet. Regardless, he still loves the book and brings it back to me to read again and again.
OCLS Staff Picks
Max finds a box of old blocks under the bed. What his brothers can't see is that with these blocks and a little imagination they will all go on an adventure.

Dream Big (Summer Reading Program 2012) recommended book

Available from OCLS in print.
Catherine D
Beautiful illustrations but the story didn't really do it for me. I did like that it's about boys using their imaginations though.
Peacegal
Wow! This book is a wonderful celebration of imagination and the magic of words and literacy. This would be a really nice library read-aloud choice.

Veg*n parents note: At one point, the brothers in their word game create a giant ham; however it is obvious it is a fantasy object.
Shelli
Who wouldn't love a story of a young boy who uses his love of words to have such imaginative fun? Max has away of making words fun for those who would never otherwise find enjoyment with them. Creative ideas and play can be found anywhere if you take the time to look for them.
Brindi
This book is fantastic! Such a great way to show kids the power of words and the various ways to find words in and create words from others. I had so much fun learning and finding each word. I thought this book, the idea and the illustrations, was brilliant! LOVE.
Margo
Great story and fun illustrations. At first I thought it was going to be the typical siblings not getting along but I was very pleasantly mistaken. I love how the characters played together using their imaginations. All three of my kids enjoyed it, ages 11, 9 and 6.
Amanda
The kids really enjoyed this story, especially the use of blocks to change their wording so that their situation would change! It may have helped that Jack read the characters as though they were from Brooklyn, but it was a super fun book to show kids imaginative play.
Lesley
Very imaginative book about kings, knights, castles, and the like! Loved how the boys' imaginations florished with the plays on words using alphabet blocks to help tell the story. Cute!
Karen
I have not read the first Max book. I loved this one. The playing with words aspect kept me looking over the words again,and again. My 6th graders enjoyed it too.
Susan
The wonderful Max is back with a story about the power of imagination and words (stitched together make the strongest magic) and of never being too old for play.
Ardis
very clever word-play, great for a kid who's just got the hang of reading alone. I love Kate Banks' books. The illustrations are gorgeous.
Melissa
I'm a big fan of all the Max books! This one is especially fun for the older kids who will be able to appreciate the word-and-letter play.
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Kate Banks has written many books for children, among them Max’s Words, And If the Moon Could Talk, winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and The Night Worker, winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award. She grew up in Maine, where she and her two sisters and brother spent a lot of time outdoors, and where Banks developed an early love of reading. “I especially liked picture books,” she says, “an...more
More about Kate Banks...
Max's Words The Bear in the Book City Cat Max's Dragon The Cat Who Walked Across France

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