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Hanging on to Max

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,371 Ratings  ·  207 Reviews
Sam's girlfriend is pregnant -- but Sam is keeping the baby. Sam should be planning for college and trying out for the football team with this best friend, Andy. Instead he's up to his ears in diapers and formula, caring for his baby son, Max. Will Sam now have to make a gut-wrenching decision about Max's future -- and his own? A poignant and humorous look at an old proble ...more
Hardcover, 142 pages
Published May 15th 2002 by Roaring Brook Press (first published January 1st 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,878)
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Dec 28, 2008 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hanging on to Max is a book in which Sam has to take care of Max and go to school at the same time. When Britanny(Max's Mom) and Sam were dating, they always had a good time. But then one day they went to far and had sex. That Tuesday, she tells Sam she's pregnant. Sam doesnt know what to do! He used to be this teenage boy who hung out with Andy (his friend) and focused is school. But now all of that will be over.

On the day Max is born, nobody sees him come in. When he goes in, he sees Britanny
Dec 16, 2009 Allison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 14, 2012 Jordin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library-books
Well, this story was really good- pretty good, until about the last three chapters. (view spoiler) ...more
Oct 04, 2010 Jenna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 03, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any teens considering sex
I read this book in 2005 and recalled liking it a lot at the time but I couldn't recall how the story turned out so I just re-read it.

I think that the book should be required reading for teens. It would be MUCH more effective than half the "abstinance plus" programs advocated in some schools today.

Sam Pettigrew is a high-school senior who's trying to finish school and raise a son at the same time. The child's mother reconsiders her decision to keep their baby and wants to put the baby up for a
Alyssa Goode
I thought this book was pretty good. The plot showed what it was like to be a teenage parent and I thought that was pretty interesting. It showed the struggles that Sam went through every day and how he managed to get through and move past them. It also showed that sometimes you need to put feelings aside, and focus on what is best for those around you.
Sam’s personality wasn't that of a typical 17 year old boy. He was more mature and realistic. He had to be that way, seeing he was a parent. Bu
Jubilee Aba
Jan 23, 2012 Jubilee Aba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lyn (Readinghearts)
This was an incredibly short book recommended to me by my son's best friend from high school. I needed a young adult book with a baby as the main character (or as one of them) for a challenge, so I went to her for advice. She knows that I like the idea of a teenage boy keeping his baby, so she recommended this book. I have to say, at just over 200 pages, it was one of the quickest reads I have ever done. In fact, it only took me about 3 hours to read start to finish.

The premise of the book is t
Angie Lisle
My expectations for this book were higher.

In the beginning, the book held up - I liked the formatting and thought I would get more background story. The author skimmed through the details; characters are poorly developed. We don't see much of sex - it's mentioned, but it's always just a statement with few details - but we also don't see much about the birthing process and we only catch glimpses of what it's really like to have a kid. The author dwelled on the negative; when she did bother to ge
Sam Fairbanks
May 12, 2015 Sam Fairbanks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book because it really shows how the father can bond with the child. The book also does an excellent job of proving that sometimes the financial burden paired with the emotional stress can really separate families that are not ready. In the end I was sad when Sam decided to give up Max but I understood his decision. all in all, it was a very good book.
Dec 10, 2008 Bingyao1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book caught my eye in the library because 'Max' (the name of my son) was in the title. And having been a stay-at home dad with Max, I was interested by the premise. This is an understated, but moving story about a bright high school senior named Sam who decides to raise his son after his girlfriend gets pregnant. Relocating to an alternative school, surrounded by mostly teen moms and well-meaning teachers, he is adamant in doing the right thing. And for Sam the right thing to do is take car ...more
Alyssa Lark
May 12, 2015 Alyssa Lark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hanging on to Max has a great overall concept. In the topic of teen pregnancy the father's perspective is new and fresh. I liked seeing the difference of a father raising a child alone in place of the mother.
Kaitlyn Oruska
May 23, 2012 Kaitlyn Oruska rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants an easy read
I'd give Hanging on to Max one and a half stars, if possible. The book was relatively well-written, but in my opinion, not original, as many novels about teenage pregnancy end in adoption, although statistically, only 1% of all teen aged parents actually make that decision. I thought that Sam came across more as a selfish teenager than a young father concerned about the well-being of his son, and the ending didn't really do much for me. I didn't feel that the reactions of both Sam and his former ...more
Feb 20, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book didn't really take me long to read.I enjoyed reading it. It was about a 16/17 year old named Sam. He had a girl friend named Brittany who he had a baby with. When she had the baby, she was going to give him up for adoption. Sam quickly decided to take the baby in. He named the baby Max. Sam needed to star going to an alternative high school because he couldn't go to normal school. At his new school, He meet up with his hold middle school crush named Clair. They caught up and he found o ...more
Josie M.
Sep 26, 2014 Josie M. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Where do I begin with this book? I went into it skeptical, I had seen quite a few rviews of this book that said it was disappointing. These reviews set my expections pretty low.But is still kept my mond open. Before I had read reviews or seen any opinions of the book I checked it out of my library and was pretty excited to read it. I was particularily excited to read from the point of view of a teen father because typically in YA literature we see books from the POV of a teen mom, so I thought t ...more
Why have I never heard of this book?? I happened upon it while shelf reading in my library. Guys, I get emotionally attached to characters and stories- I really, really do. But, it is really rare for me to bawl at a book. I might sniffle or tear up, but I literally sobbed at the end of this book. That is not as unpleasant as it sounds - it was just a book that tugged at my heart.

Max is the product of a teen pregnancy. However, the narrator, Sam, is not a teenage mother. He is the 17 year old fat
Jul 29, 2012 Sumayya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for school when i was a freshmen in high school. I hated to read back then but this book changed my perspective on books completely! This book has been apart of me since. I fell in love with reading because of this book. I never knew that you can get emotionally invested into a characters development. I enjoyed reading this book immensely! Sam was the kind of loving caring father that i hope every man out aims to achieve.
Dec 14, 2012 Ashley.taggart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my all time favorite books of all times. This book is all about how a teen boy takes care of his son. It tells about all his troubles and joys. The ending of this book is not what I excepted. I would recommend this book to any teen that is going to be having a kid or to anyone interested into real life fiction books. This would also will be a good book for new parents or single parents.
Sarahi Zapata
Jan 16, 2014 Sarahi Zapata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hanging on to Max is a book that definitely kept me hanging every time I had to stop reading. The main characters in this book are Sam, Max, & Claire. Sam Pettigrew is a teenage dad who has to take care of his son Max as an only father. He receives financial aid from his dad but will later have to pay it back after high school which means goodbye to a college opportunity. He already has everything planned out but Max takes away his time from focusing on his school work. Although his high sch ...more
This was a really good book about a father in his senior year who was taking care of his son. The scene where Max cuts his hand was so sad, but I really liked the book. It shows that becoming a teenage parent is something that could happen to (almost) anyone.
Nov 05, 2015 Kress rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Admittedly, this isn't the type of book I'll usually pick up. It's about a teenage boy who becomes a father and the majority of the book takes place in the first year of the baby's life.

Bechard handled this controversial topic with such care and nuance. She made me question my own beliefs. She raised more questions than she answered--which is the mark of a good author I believe. And, she really captured this boy's reality in such a clear and poignant way.

Also, I cri
Emily Skridla
Sep 24, 2009 Emily Skridla rated it it was amazing
This book is great for non-readers. I love the way you feel all emotions and come to care for Max as if he is your own. I found myself crying as my heart strings were pulled to the point of breaking.
This book was about a boy who girl friend was pregnant and he got custody of the child. This is a high school boy who needs to be focusing on college, jobs, girlfriends and of course his new son Max. He is a very responsible boy who makes time in between his studies to care for his son and take very good care of him. He later meets this girl who is also a teen mother. I really enjoyed this book because every other book that I have read books that focuses more on the women than men, but this book ...more
May 12, 2015 Leeann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hanging on to Max was a very enjoyable read and I really liked the story line. The characters were very likable and it seemed easy to connect with all the characters. The struggles Max went through were really believable as were what he went through to deal with those difficulties. Because there are not many other books about teen fathers and it is not frequently heard about in real life there is not much to compare it to, but all the things Sam goes through with Max and the decisions he makes w ...more
May 12, 2015 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 02, 2011 Abygail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 24, 2013 Richere rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not great particularly in the dialogue and the writing style. All of that bored me to tears. The story line itself was VERY choppy. Sam,the main character kept on saying, "I need to do this," "I need to do that" It's like he had no real or coherent thought patterns. I didn't get a sense that he was a teen let alone a teen father. It just did not feel real enough. I got so bored that eventually I just decided to skim the rest of the story and I was just vaguely curious enough to fin ...more
Jul 03, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hanging on to Max is a novel about a teen father named Sam who is trying to raise an infant son and juggle high school and financial worries. Sam decided to be the parent of Max when the mother wanted to put Max up for adoption. Sam finds himself missing the normal part of teenage years. He lives alone with his son and his father (who seems very unhelpful). Sam meets other teens who are also raising babies and begins to feel like things are coming together. But, for the most part, Sam sees the ...more
Ali Anderson
Task 6:
November 17 2011
Margaret Bechard
Task:Describe your favorite character from the text in detail using two or more cited quotations
My favorite character in this book is probably Claire Bailey. She is not the main character but she is still one that I really liked to read about. Claire is my favorite character because she is a girl who has taken a tough situation of being a single teenager mom, and doing the best with it. She is very smart and outgoing, you can tell that she's like
November 15 2011
Hanging on to Max by Margaret Bechard
Page: 1-204

Task: What do you like about this text?

Task: I really enjoyed reading “Hanging on to max” by Margaret bechand because it is very different than most books. Usually, when a book is about teens with babies, it involves girls and their babies but this book was relativily different. It was about a teenage boy taking care of his baby. Its really interesting how it shows the love a teenage dad has for his baby and how many sacrifices h
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Margaret Bechard is the author of five novels for younger readers, and one other young adult novel, IF IT DOESN'T KILL YOU, which SLJ praised for its "healthy dose of humor." She lives in Tigard, Oregon, with her family.
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