Cover image for Mister Max : the book of secrets
Mister Max : the book of secrets
Voigt, Cynthia.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2014]
Physical Description:
355 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
Self-reliant Max Starling, a twelve-year-old detective and problem solver, struggles to keep his identity a secret as he investigates a case of arson, while cryptic messages from his still missing parents indicate that they need rescuing.
Reading Level:
930 Lexile.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



From Newbery Medalist Cynthia Voigt, Book II in the exciting adventures of Mister Max--12-year-old detective in disguise.

In Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things , Max Starling proved that he is more than a detective, he's a Solutioneer. His reputation for problem-solving has been spreading--and now even the mayor wants his help.

Someone is breaking windows and setting fires in the old city, but the shopkeepers won't say a word about the culprits. Why are they keeping these thugs' secrets?
When the mayor begs for help, Max agrees to take the case, putting himself in grave danger. It's a race to catch up with the vandals before they catch him.

Meanwhile, Max is protecting secrets of his own. His parents are still missing, and the cryptic messages he gets from them make it clear--it's going to be up to Max to rescue them.

"Immensely appealing." -- The New York Times Book Review

"A perfect read-aloud, the story will appeal to fans of fantasy, adventure, mystery, and humor." --The Christian Science Monitor

Author Notes

Cynthia Voigt was born on February 25, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts. She received a bachelor's degree from Smith College, did graduate work at St. Michael's College, and later received a teacher's certification from Christian Brothers College. After college, she worked for an advertising agency. Before becoming a full-time author, she was a secretary and a high school English teacher. Her first book, Homecoming, was published in 1981.

Her children's books address such issues at child abuse and racism, topics that are not often talked about in books designed for children. She is the author of numerous books including the Bad Girls series, the Tillerman Cycle series, and the Kingdom series. She won the Notable Children's Trade Book in the field of social studies for Homecoming, the Newbery Medal, ALA in 1983 for Dicey's Song, and the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1984 for The Callender Papers. In 1995, she received the MAE Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Since his parents' mysterious disappearance in The Book of Lost Things (2013), book one of the Mister Max series, 12-year-old Max has supported himself as a solutioneer, solving problems for people who need his help, from an orphan boy to the mayor. Brought up in the theater and comfortable taking on different roles, Max now becomes a detective, risking his life to solve a mystery and end a local crime wave. Meanwhile, clues in cryptic messages suggest that his parents, apparently posing as royalty, are in danger in the tiny South American kingdom of Andesia. Set in the early 1900s, the novel's period flavor is enhanced by attractive black-and-white illustrations. Voigt creates an impressive cast of idiosyncratic characters and places Max at the center of a lively narrative featuring plenty of action as well as reflection. Readers willing to suspend disbelief occasionally will find themselves swept along by the strong current of storytelling. On to book three!--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-The plot thickens and the problems proliferate in Voigt's trilogy about a 12-year-old who is determined to be the master of his own fate, despite the mysterious disappearance of his parents. As in the first book, Max doesn't confine himself to discovering what has befallen his mother and father, but at the behest of the mayor, he looks into acts of vandalism and arson which have been plaguing certain neighborhoods of his city. Several of the characters met in the previous volume insist on inserting themselves into Max's "solutioneering" business, and despite his initial reluctance to accept their help, they prove themselves to be valuable allies. Max makes good use of the costumes in his parents' theater and his own acting skills get a good workout as he investigates incognito. There are moments of peril and anxiety leavened with broad humor. The hero can solve the problems close to hand, but we sense that every friend he's made will be needed to bring his parents (whose situation seems increasingly dire) safely home. Voigt's faux-melodramatic plot points ensure that none of these adventures will be taken too seriously, but readers will eagerly await the revelations of the third installment and hope they won't have long to wait for its publication.- Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.