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The Book of Kings
Cover of The Book of Kings
The Book of Kings
Mister Max Series, Book 3
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In Act III of Newbery Medalist Cynthia Voigt's Mister Max trilogy, the solutioneer sets off to rescue his missing parents!

Ever since Max's parents were spirited away on a mysterious ship, he has longed to find them.

He's solved case after case for other people in his business as "solutioneer." And he's puzzled out the coded messages sent by his father. He doesn't know exactly what's happened, but he knows his parents are in danger—and it's up to Max to save them.

Max and his friends (and a few old foes) don disguises and set sail on a rescue mission. It will take all of Max's cleverness and daring to outmaneuver the villains that lie in wait: power-hungry aristocrats, snake-handling assassins, and bombardier pastry chefs.
And behind the scenes, a master solutioneer is pulling all the strings.... Has Max finally met his match?

"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
From the Hardcover edition.
In Act III of Newbery Medalist Cynthia Voigt's Mister Max trilogy, the solutioneer sets off to rescue his missing parents!

Ever since Max's parents were spirited away on a mysterious ship, he has longed to find them.

He's solved case after case for other people in his business as "solutioneer." And he's puzzled out the coded messages sent by his father. He doesn't know exactly what's happened, but he knows his parents are in danger—and it's up to Max to save them.

Max and his friends (and a few old foes) don disguises and set sail on a rescue mission. It will take all of Max's cleverness and daring to outmaneuver the villains that lie in wait: power-hungry aristocrats, snake-handling assassins, and bombardier pastry chefs.
And behind the scenes, a master solutioneer is pulling all the strings.... Has Max finally met his match?

"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
From the Hardcover edition.
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
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Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    6.5
  • Lexile:
    1000
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    5

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the book 1

    In which Max is irritated, frustrated, and thwarted

    Max didn't have to open the envelope to know what it contained. His fingers recognized the button shape, and a wave of bad feelings—mostly sadness and shame—washed over him.

    Max pocketed the button. He didn't need any reminder. Since the April morning when his parents had disappeared—on a ship that didn't exist—Max, along with his grandmother, had worried. At first they worried about what had happened to them, and then, when his parents reappeared in the unlikely roles of King and Queen of Andesia, a tiny South American country, they spent hours worrying about what they should do, and what they could do. Max didn't know why his father kept sending these buttons, with the familiar three-peaked symbol stamped on them.

    They were as confusing as the few letters that had arrived from Andesia. Max had eventually decoded notes that cried Help and Trapped, but nothing telling him how to proceed. Even when he'd finally figured out the clues leading to a hidden fortune in gold coins, that had only raised more questions. Where had they come from? How had his father, who earned a good living but was by no means wealthy, gotten them? Why were they hidden away, like some guilty secret?

    No surprise, then, that Max could only guess at what the buttons were supposed to mean. Probably Where are you? Or maybe Where the devil are you? Whatever the precise message, what they hinted at was Max's failure, and he was already sorry enough, every day, that he hadn't yet been able to rescue his parents.

    It wasn't as if he'd been sitting under a tree sipping lemonade and munching on cookies while he read adventure books. He'd been busy, figuring out how to earn a living and earning it. He'd become Mister Max, Solutioneer, solving problems for the mayor, even. For William Starling's information, that was what his son had been doing. Being independent. As ordered.

    On his way back through the kitchen, Max ripped up the envelope and dropped it into the trash. He didn't plan to tell his grandmother about this one, just as he hadn't told her about the previous two. He poured himself a glass of water and had a surprising and disturbing thought: the envelope had been delivered by hand. This raised more questions. If his father had an ally in the city, why wouldn't that person come directly to Max? Were these buttons a trap being set by General Balcor to lure Max to Andesia, and if so, what did the General plan to do once he had Max and his parents together? Who, besides Max and Grammie and their small circle of co-conspirators, knew about William and Mary Starling's perilous position?

    Everything his former-schoolteacher, former-librarian grandmother had been able to find out about Andesia made them even more uneasy: The narrow country that lay along the high foothills of the Andes had been, since the discovery of veins of silver and copper in its mountains, conquered and re-conquered by strong men, robber chieftains who styled themselves Kings of Andesia and were soon assassinated by the next conquering invader. Recently, not seven months back, when the downtrodden natives had rebelled against their masters, foreign armies had come to the aid of the King. The royal family had been spirited away to safety in a mountain fortress and order had been re-established, the rebellion put down, its leaders hanged in the public square, and a general left in charge. But despite General Balcor's efforts (or perhaps because of them?), the royal family was discovered and murdered.

    Grammie could find out nothing about this General Balcor, other than the simplest facts—Andesian...
About the Author-
  • CYNTHIA VOIGT is the acclaimed author of many books, including Dicey's Song, winner of the Newbery Medal; A Solitary Blue, winner of a Newbery Honor; and Homecoming. For the body of her work, Cynthia Voigt was honored with the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Outstanding Literature for Young Adults. She lives with her husband in Maine.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2015
    In the final act of the Mister Max trilogy, the 12-year-old solutioneer is confronted with his biggest problem yet: masterminding the rescue of his parents, held captives as king and queen of a small South American country. After an arduous journey over land and sea, Max, the son of theatrical parents for whom all of life seems a stage play, cleverly adopts one pose after another in his attempt to maneuver the complicated politics of Andesia, a country rife with kidnapped children, corruption, and poverty. This third book is markedly different in tone from the first two; it is far more somber, intricately plotted, and packed with dense descriptions. Although lacking much of the humor of the earlier books, it is carefully crafted and suspenseful, with a satisfyingly dangerous yet successful rescue. Max's incipient teenage years are evident as he begins to see his egotistical father more clearly and to want to live independently of his parents. Highly detailed black-and-white illustrations effectively reflect the novel's setting at the beginning of the last century. Not a stand-alone book, this conclusion will appeal to those who enjoy a challenging read and who have followed Max's previous adventures. (Adventure. 10-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2015

    Gr 5-8-Readers of the first two books about Mister Max will undoubtedly gravitate to this conclusion of the trilogy. Max is finally off, with several of the friends he's made in the previous books, to rescue his parents who either are the monarchs of a fictional South American country or are being held prisoner there. Disguises are in order and false identities must be assumed for Max's party of rescuers to be admitted to the kingdom in the mountains. Once there, they must determine which of the dignitaries and military personnel are trustworthy and insist on an audience with the strangely reclusive king and queen. This series resists categorization. Its little mysteries aren't terribly mysterious, its suspense is not particularly heart-stopping, and its humor is gentle rather than uproarious. VERDICT Fans of the first two books will be eager to see how the "solutioneer" saves the day.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • The Horn Book "Voigt brings off the final act in this trilogy with consummate ease--a solution all the more satisfying for being so unexpected."
  • Bulletin "This is a strong ending to an involving series, and readers who have eagerly awaited the final title will not be disappointed."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Carefully crafted and suspenseful, with a satisfyingly dangerous yet successful rescue."
  • Booklist "A satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, [and] a rewarding adventure story."
Title Information+
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    Random House Children's Books
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Mister Max Series, Book 3
Cynthia Voigt
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