Max has always been a whiz with electronics (just take a look at her turbo-charged wheelchair). But when a hacker starts a slanderous Facebook page for her grandpa, Max isn’t sure she has the skills to take him down.
As the messages get increasingly sinister, Max fears that this is more than just a bad joke.
Here’s the thing: Max has grown up in the shadow of Thornwood Manor, an abandoned mansion that is rumored to be haunted by its original owner, Hargrove Thornwood. It is said that his ghost may be biding his time until he can exact revenge on the town of Blue Creek.
Well, it’s complicated. To call him a jerk would be an understatement.
When the hacking escalates, suddenly it looks to Max like this could really be Thornwood’s Revenge. If it is, these messages are just the beginning—and the town could be in danger.
Vaught (Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry) creates a close, strong relationship between granddaughter and grandfather; Toppy seeks to protect Max, but he also acknowledges her need to push boundaries and the fact that her wheelchair is an extension of her body and hers to control. Impulsive, quick to anger, loyal, and self-aware, Max is a memorable character who refuses to give in to circumstances or assumptions. (Publisher’s Weekly)
Stubborn and clever without being superhuman, Max is a refreshing heroine. . . (Kirkus)
Max loves superheroes, electronics, and messing with the control panels on her wheelchair to gain more speed and power, but her quick temper has her grounded more often than not. . . . Readers will identify with feisty Max and her can’t-hold-me-down spirit. . . . Satisfying. (School Library Connection)
The mystery is well paced with a good balance of action and character development. Though the genre of middle grade mysteries is crowded, this stands out for its authentic and empowering depiction of a young wheelchair user. Vaught captures the voice of someone who has spent a good deal of time in a wheelchair and gets the details right. Max is relatable and likeable, and the combination of a spooky old house and a modern cyber mystery will keep readers turning the pages. VERDICT An excellent addition to middle grade shelves, with a differently-abled main character that readers will root for. (School Library Journal August 2017)
Vaught makes Max the brash, bold star of the book, exchanging stereotypes and sympathy cards for a well-drawn character whose disability is part of who she is but not her complete identity; hopefully Max will roll ahead as the advance guard of a literary cadre. (BCCB)
Read about Super Max and the Mystery of Thornwood’s Revenge!