Books by Cynthia Voigt are usually worth a read and I wasn't disappointed with these. Mister Max:The book of lost things, and the sequel, The book of secrets are squarely aimed at kids who are looking for a well-plotted book with good characters and a bit of adventure!
Twelve-year-old Max lives at home with his parents who own a theatrical company, but his life changes completely when they are invited to perform in India. He is to go with them, but upon arriving at the docks to meet them he is surprised to find they have disappeared, and the ship they are supposed to have sailed on does not exist. Thus the mystery begins.
Max is faced with a problem: he does not want to be put into care and would rather stay in his own house and work out what has happened. Luckily his Grammie lives next door, although she can't afford to have him indefinitely. He has to find a way to earn money, and when he helps find a lost pet he decides he will become a 'solutioneer' and solve peoples' problems, (while working on his own mystery).
He calls himself 'Mister Max' and uses characters from his parents' plays as inspiration for his disguises. He is more than a detective, as sometimes working out a good solution to the problems takes a bit of scheming and plotting. However he has help from a keen young girl called Pia and a University student called Ari, as well as his Grammie, who works at the library.
Although sometimes a little far fetched, these books have charm and intrigue aplenty, and will appeal to the child who likes a book to get into, (probably in the 9 to 12 age group). Well written as you would expect from Cynthia Voigt
Title: The book of lost things and The book of secrets
Author: Cynthia Voigt
Recommended by Anita S, Blockhouse Bay Library
Anita S reads widely and eclectically, but most often random non-fiction fact books, good general and teen fiction, (often dystopian future types), fantasy and sci-fi if they cover a new angle on something, kids' books and... actually she'll take a look at most stuff. Books are great! She also loves art and illustration.