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The Book of Lost Things (Mister Max #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  1,861 Ratings  ·  419 Reviews
"When Max's parents leave the country without him, he must rely on his wits to get by, and before long he is running his own--rather unusual--business"--
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by Yearling (first published August 24th 2013)
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Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
If you grew up in the eighties and nineties, you probably came across a Cynthia Voigt book or five in your school library. I even remember having Homecoming read to me in sixth grade - a book about the astonishing Tillerman family, four kids (the oldest one was just eleven), who, after being abandoned in a parking lot, have to figure out a way to stay together and fend for themselves with nowhere to go and nothing to eat.

At the time, I was amazed by how Voigt could make such a crazy situation so
Tamara Richman
I'm a terrible person. Really awful. I got this ARC and the first thing I read on the cover was, "Cynthia Voight, Newbery Medalist and... I didn't want to read it. Because while I may recognize the literary merit of most Newbery winners they are all such well, for lack of a better phrase, teacher books. Everyone of them teaches a lesson about kindness, humility, blah, blah, blah. But this is not a review about the Newbery books and their relative merit. This is a review about what an awful, judg ...more
ARC via NetGalley

12-year-old Max has lost his parents to suspicious and unusual circumstances. It's a terrible plight for a boy of 12, but Max remains so consistently unappealing and his parents (in their brief appearance at the start of the novel) remain so self-absorbed and unlikeable that it's hard to care much about where Max's parents have disappeared to or Max's well-being in the interim. Max is primarily concerned with maintaining his independence following his abandonment, a need that Vo
Sep 14, 2013 Liviania rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Maximilian Sterling is the son of two actors, which comes in handy when his parents disappear. He dons a variety of disguises to keep strangers out of his house and earn enough money to survive. After some unsuccessful ventures, he begins to gain a reputation as a detective, although Max doesn't feel like a detective.

I liked the way the various mysteries withing MISTER MAX wove together. Several of the solutions will be obvious to an older reader, but I would've loved seeing everything fall toge
Gina (My Precious Blog)
Initial Thoughts: When I read Middle Grade fiction, I'm constantly searching for stories which can be enjoyed by the young and old alike. I like a complex plot, rich writing and character depth. In many ways Mister Max didn't disappoint. Cynthia Voigt is no stranger to good writing, with her latest release, Mister Max the Book of Lost Things she continues to pen beautifully detailed prose. Max is an endearing character. He's resourceful, admirable and very thoughtful. When faced with adversity, ...more
Nov 29, 2013 Maryellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shelf-awareness
Twelve years old Max Starling is in quite a pickle. His parents, professional theatre actors, have mysteriously disappeared under the guise of being lured to Bombay, India to open a new theatre. The problem is: the boat that they were to set sail on doesn’t exist. No wonder Max missed the boat! Fortunately, Max isn’t left entirely on his own as he has his Grammie who lives right next door to him. But times are tough, and Grammie can’t support herself and Max too. So Max does what any independent ...more
Rosi Hollinbeck
Nov 02, 2013 Rosi Hollinbeck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From my blog:
Some years ago, I picked up a book by Cynthia Voigt. I think it was something one of my students recommended to me. It was called Homecoming and I didn't know when I started reading it that it was the first in a seven-book series. I started reading and couldn't get enough of those characters and their stories. I read right through the series and wished it hadn't ended. When I noticed a book by Ms. Voigt on my options for reviewing for the Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review, I gra
Aug 23, 2013 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I don't read a lot of middle grade fiction, and can probably count on one hand the number of titles that I've read and reviewed on this blog; however, when I saw an e-mail from Netgalley about this title, I just KNEW that I had to read it. I absolutely adored Cynthia Voigt's Homecoming series when I was younger and I remember reading Dicey's adventures several times over.

Max's theatrical parents receive a mysterious invitation to India and then disappear on the date of their departure. Max is le
Ah, Mister Max. What an intriguing young fellow he was. I have to tell you that, although most will list this as Middle Grade, I think it bridges the gap. It's true that our hero is a mere twelve years old. However he's wise well beyond his years and, I won't lie, his personality is infectious. Max Starling is one of those characters who is going to cause a lot of readers to smile, no matter what their age.

I'm sure you're wondering why, if I loved Max so very much, I rated this book as I did. Le
Sep 06, 2015 Krystianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was adorable. Full review to come, but now I'm off to read book 2!

Updated on September 6, 2015

**Thank you to Penguin Random House for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!**

I've recently found that I quite enjoy middle grade, so as soon as I got the opportunity to read and review this awesome looking trilogy, I jumped right on it! The Book of Lost Things is the first book in the Mister Max trilogy, and it definitely starts off with a bang.

The story follows young Max St
Kathy Martin
Aug 30, 2013 Kathy Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Max is the child of two actors. He has grown up around drama of all kinds and has watched many of his parents' performances. When his parents receive an offer to travel and develop a theatrical troupe for a mysterious maharajah, Max wonders if he will be left behind to stay with his Grammie. At 12, his father thinks of him as being old enough to be independent. His parents plan to take Max along, but when he arrives at the docks, his parents are gone. Upon investigation he learns that the ship t ...more
Nov 23, 2013 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Max and his parents are part of the Starling Theatrical Company. Max's father receives a letter. It is from the Maharajah in India. He wants the Starling Theatrical Company to help put together a theatrical group for him. He has sent ship tickets. Max makes a plan to meet his parents before the ship sets sail. When Max arrives, he learns that there is no Maharajah and his parents have disappeared, It is up to Max to find them.

I picked up this book with the intent of giving it to my nephews to r
Medeia Sharif
Aug 04, 2013 Medeia Sharif rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Max’s parents are actors. When the Maharajah of Kashmir invites them to India to create a theater company, they feel honored. The Maharajah hasn’t invited Max, but his parents intend to take him to India with them. On the day of their planned departure, Max is ready to meet his parents at the waterfront, but they’re nowhere to be found. Also, there was no boat by the name of Flower of Kashmir docked there. His parents have disappeared.

With his parents gone, Max has his grandmother, but she insis
Jonathan Laurie
May 05, 2015 Jonathan Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I finally finished this book. It took me forever because honesty, to me anyway, the pacing in the beginning is slooooooww...

Here's the deal, Max's parents, who are flamboyant actors, vanish mysteriously while on an international voyage to supposedly meet a rich maharajah, yeah kinda random I know. So then Max is left stranded and alone back home home with just his Grandma living next door.

I guess I was just kinda expecting a sudden mystery filled search for them or something. So my ex
Shannon L. Gonzalez
Mister Max The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt

A glance behind the theatre curtain into the entertainer' s lives.

This middle grade book is a charming story following 12 year old Max as he embarks on adulthood responsibilities. Raised by theatre production parents, he is quite inventive at problem solving. It is a delightful beginning of a series. Creativity abounds through out the story and has at its core that 12 year olds can think for themselves when trouble ensues.

Entertaining for both
Tabitha (Pabkins)
The premise given for The Book of Lost Things sounded so promising I couldn’t resist swooping up this middle grade title. As expected with a number of MG books I had to suspend belief / disbelief and just roll with things no matter how silly I felt things were getting. In this respect, I definitely believe this one a title for children, and not one that would work well as a cross over. At least not for me personally. When I read middle grade fiction I approach it trying to put myself into a pret ...more
Kristen Jett
MISTER MAX is a darling read that will inspire lots of imagination. Max is used to the unusual - he is the child of a drama family, after all. Theatre to be exact. What he doesn't expect is to get left behind when his parents get invited to perform for royalty. He also doesn't expect that something about that trip may be a hoax!

Left to his own defenses, Max is determined to keep his family's house, be independent, and bring his family back.

Various mysteries are woven together leading to one gr
Thanks to and Random House Children's for allowing me access to this title.

I have always loved Cynthia Voight ever since I read the Tillman Cycle when I was young. Her wonderful writing and storytelling continues here.

I loved the world building and the characters were fantastic. Overall, I thought this was a great book. My only issue was that I didn't see a 12 year-old being able to pull of the character changes that Max does. There are few boys his age that would be able to look o
A Canadian Girl
Jan 09, 2016 A Canadian Girl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, knopf, 1-star
The Book of Lost Things was a book that I requested two years ago because its author was Cynthia Voigt. Although I had never read any of Voigt’s novels, The Book of Lost Things was her latest release at the time, and so I thought it would be appropriate to start with it. For some reason though, I never got around to reading The Book of Lost Things … and honestly, I wish that still remained the case. I know I’m not the target audience for The Book of Lost Things, but I was just so bored reading t ...more
Jul 23, 2016 Josie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We've all had families like this...well maybe not exactly like this! Max is part of a family of "Actors" who suddenly disappear causing Max to embark on a journey of epic proportions meeting characters of all shapes and sizes and finding out that independence is not as important as that of the love of family.

I really enjoyed this book and have always adored Voigt's voice. This story took many twists and turns and provides mystery and intrigue and at the base, a really touching story. Can't wait
Jenn Estepp
3 1/2 maybe; I liked Max and his adventures. I liked some of the supporting characters. There were plot points that annoyed Adult Me, which I suspect wouldn't have bothered Kid Me. I kind of wanted to strangle his parents. I don't like it when it feels like books are pandering to librarians. But, there's a really endearing quality to this, so.
I so enjoyed reading this! Clever, fun, interesting characters, mysteries and problems to solve - not to mention delightful, well crafted writing. I tore through this and book #2, and can't wait for book # 3.
Dena (Batch of Books)
Pretty good. Review to come.
Mar 03, 2015 FredTheHippo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to FredTheHippo by: Miss Emily at the library
cool, not OMG THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I enjoyed it. It's not a book you can pick up, read a few pages to a chapter, put down, wait read a little bit,. This is a book to read in as few chunks as possible. Mister Max is clever, I even gave my friend's cat the name Mister Max. (his name is Macmillan.)
P.S. scroll down!

XD You looked!
Richie Partington
Richie's Picks: MISTER MAX: THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS by Cynthia Voigt and Iacopo Bruno, ill., Knopf, September 2013, 384p., ISBN: 978-0-307-97681-9

“Abraham Lincoln and Henry David Thoreau were both morally opposed to slavery. However, they responded very differently to the Fugitive Slave Act, which required the governments of non-slaveholding states to return runaway slaves to their owners.

“Thoreau responded by continuing to help runaway slaves obtain their freedom and refusing to pay taxes to th
Oct 24, 2016 Rebekah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Knowing Voigt is a great author, I wanted to try out this energetic-looking children's book. I had to persevere through the first fifty pages or so, getting to know the Starlings and some of Max's perspective on his parents. But then the mystery starts and as with so many stories it has him losing his parents. Thankfully he has Grammie but he also wants to find his own way.

So Max wants independence. But Max also needs to locate his parents. Put those together and he realizes the necessity of ea
Sep 19, 2013 Tami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Max Starling’s theatrical parents receive a sudden invitation to visit India at the behest of the esteemed Maharajah of Kashmir, no less, Max is excited at the thought of an adventure overseas. But when his parents just as suddenly disappear, leaving behind a mysterious and nonsensical note, he is perplexed and more than a little scared – for both himself and his parents.

As Max attempts to cope with the absence of his parents, he quickly realizes there is one advantage to being left alone –
Melissa Layton (She Dreams in Fiction)
*This review originally appeared on She Dreams in Fiction*

I think I've become a fan of Cynthia Voigt. I'll be honest, I haven't read anything by this Newbery winner yet. I know! It's criminal, right? But honestly, her books were never assigned to me in school nor were they even on my radar. When I had the chance to read Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things, however, my curiosity was piqued. This story sounded like something my over-active imagination would simply devour, so naturally I agreed to
Nov 29, 2016 Rusty rated it really liked it
What an interesting character the author has created! I totally enjoyed this one and I hope the youngster for whom it is intended enjoys it, too. Since the book is situated in another time it might seem a bit unreal sometimes for those of this generation. Nevertheless, Max or Mister Max as he sometimes likes to be known is a complex character who misses his theatrical parents incredibly. To cope with his emotions he begins to tackle people's problems solving them sometimes in unexpected ways. He ...more
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Cynthia Voigt is an American author of books for young adults dealing with various topics such as adventure, mystery, racism and child abuse.

Angus and Sadie: the Sequoyah Book Award (given by readers in Oklahoma), 2008
The Katahdin Award, for lifetime achievement, 2003
The Anne V. Zarrow Award, for lifetime achievement, 2003
The Margaret Edwards Award, for a body of work, 1995
Jackaroo: Ratte
More about Cynthia Voigt...

Other Books in the Series

Mister Max (3 books)
  • The Book of Secrets (Mister Max, #2)
  • The Book of Kings (Mister Max, #3)

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