Max and Charlie by Zack Leiberman and Illustrated by Louis Neubert

While at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando back in June, my mom and I met author Zack Leiberman during lunch. There weren’t many tables available and we sat a table with a woman from one of the publishing company’s that was in attendance. After I left to try to find the panel that Ms. Val from Skipping through the Stacks was hosting, Zach sat down. My mom promptly gave me a call and summoned me back, which was just as well because I had discovered that Ms. Val’s panel was in a different concourse entirely from the rest of ALA and couldn’t find it (I eventually arrived, late).

After returning, Zach showed me his upcoming book, a graphic novel for young readers about a boy who goes on a magical, dream like adventure through New York City in search of his dog a la Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I only got a chance to flip through it there, and I immediately loved the colors, lots of purple, and I love purple. Zach agreed to send a copy to me at my library, and a few weeks later a rather sparkly package showed up on my desk.

With Summer Reading gong on, it was another week before I got to read it, and I’m regrettably just getting to this review now that Summer and the subsequent rush of school starting and everything that comes with that is dying down.

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Max and Charlie is about a young boy, Charlie, whose dog, Max, gets loose in the park. Charlie goes on an adventure to find Max through New York City, meeting all kinds of interesting characters, pun intended, in the process.

Charlie’s adventure through New York, is dream like, much like Alice’s adventure through Wonderland. This is aided by the vivid, bright colors of Neubert’s artwork. Lots of purples and teals and pinks, making beautiful pictures to help tell the story.

It also attempts to covertly teach them about chaos theory, and how we shouldn’t get so caught up dwelling on the past and worrying about the future that we forget to live. After all, life is crazy at best and chaotic at worst. Something us adults are all too familiar with.

This book is perfect for middle grade boys who either don’t like to read, or are struggling readers. I even think younger readers will love the artwork and adventure aspect of the story. While this book is more geared towards boys, girls will love it too. I give the book Four Lightsabers. I would like to give a big thank you to Zach, for sending me the book, you are awesome!

Max and Charlie will be released Wednesday and can be purchased here.

 

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