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Hanging on to Max

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  1,444 Ratings  ·  216 Reviews
Between the midnight feedings and the diaper issue, it's never easy being a new parent. But when you're also a high-school student trying to graduate, the job becomes even more overwhelming. Sam Pettigrew never dreamed he'd spend his senior year pushing a stroller. But when his former girlfriend, Brittany, decided that she couldn't handle being a parent, Sam knew he had to ...more
Published (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 09, 2008 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 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.
May 23, 2011 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 02, 2010 Jenna rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Mar 16, 2008 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
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
Jubilee Aba
Jan 23, 2012 Jubilee Aba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dexter A
This book for me was a good way to show how being a teen father is. The main character, Sam Pettigrew, is trying to balance high school and parenthood. He has a 11-month old son named Max. I got to see how he went from dropping a child off at daycare to going to school. Then from school to picking Max up again. They live with Sam’s parents and his dad seems to be the main helper and advisor. I liked the part of the book where the pond and all the ducks were and what Max did with them. He was so ...more
Kaitlyn Oruska
May 13, 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
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.
Oct 02, 2012 Ilaria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't a bad book, but throughout the whole story I didn't really FEEL the book. Like, Sam's emotions or thoughts. It's just a little plain.

The end literally killed me. The fact that he actually gave up Max for adoption destroyed me. How could he do that after a whole year of having him? I cried a river.
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.
Emily Skridla
Sep 24, 2009 Emily Skridla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
A really great book that made me feel good but at the same time it made me sad in the end because of the ending. I give it 3.5/5 stars
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
Madison Williams

Opening of review

What is a 2-3 sentence summary of what this book is about?

What are your overall impressions of the book?

Hanging on to Max is a book about a boy's life and struggles after he finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant. The author takes you through the world of him being a teen parent and what its like to handle being a dad and still being a teenager and going to school.
I liked the idea of what the book was about,and seeing through the eyes of the boy rather than the girl in this
Mar 01, 2017 Claire rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Un thème original traité avec sensibilité et pour une fois, du point de vue masculin ! J'ai beaucoup aimé ce père précoce qui doit jongler entre sa vie lycéenne et son jeune fils dans un établissement spécialisé. Sans être un coup de coeur, c'est une lecture agréable qui pose des questions intéressantes sur la responsabilité, la maturité et l'éducation. Pas mal, donc !
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
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.
Kenya Liggons
Oct 22, 2012 Kenya Liggons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seventeen year old high school student Sam is struggling with parenting his son Max. He is trying to balance out fatherhood and high school. Max was put up for adopition by his own mother. Before Sam was left with his baby boy Max, He and his girlfriend Brittany engaged in some sexual activity and a couple of days later, she announced she is pregnant.As the book goes on, You will later see that Sam gave up Max up for adoption. At the end of the book, you see a sudden twist in the book. The book ...more
Josie M.
Sep 24, 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
Ali Anderson
November 15 2011
Margaret Bechard
Task: What do you like about this text? Explain your response.

Task: I like this text because it's different than most books, for one most books are teenage pregnancy it talks about the girl and her life with the baby but in this book it talks about Sam who is the dad of the baby. Its cute how it shows how much a dad really cares about his baby and how he can sacrifice his whole life to be with his child! Also this story goes back Into the past of Sam a lot
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
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
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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.
More about Margaret Bechard...

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