The Book of Lost Things - Cynthia Voigt
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 left behind with his grandma and must not only fend for himself, but also has to contend with solving the mystery of what happened to his parents and dodging some mysterious people with long ears that seem to know that his parents have left. Desperate to earn some money so that he can afford to stay on his own, Max becomes Mister Max, a finder of lost things (hence the title). This is the first book in a trilogy that is sure to be a delight to a whole new generation of Voigt fans.
Despite the fact that I don't read much middle grade, I did enjoy Max's adventures. The style of the book has an older feel to it, almost like it was written a hundred years ago, which likely helps to make it accessible to older readers. Max is a likeable character, as are the rest of the colourful people that come in and out of the storyline. My only criticism of the story is that Max often puts on one of his parents' theatrical costumes as part of his investigations and then people believe that he is the person or the age that he's pretending to be. And he's TWELVE. It seems a bit unlikely that a twelve year old can be continually seen as a gentleman, just because of a costume. Or maybe that's just me. Regardless of this minor point of contention, the story is well-told and flows well. I'm eager to see what the next installment of Max's adventures will bring!
Note: I received an e-galley of this book from Netgalley. The fact that I received this book for review did not influence my review of this book in any way.