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Hanging on to Max by Margaret Bechard

Hanging on to Max

by Margaret Bechard

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Okay, I think I'm going to start bawling my eyes out. It's a little similar to Angela Johnson's The First Part Last, about teenage fatherhood. ( )
  kcarrigan | Aug 26, 2013 |
An interesting look at teen pregnancy from the male point of view. The ending is sure to stir debate. ( )
  asomers | Sep 29, 2011 |
This was probably the only book I have ever read like this. At the start it is very funny especially of how Sam, of all teenage boys gets stuck in this situation. It is hilarious of how he handles it and how all the other teenagers have babies but all of them are girls. But at the end I think it gets quite sad and I still personally think he should have kept Max. ( )
  laurenhagerty | Sep 3, 2010 |
Honest and revealing look at what it might be like for a teenage boy to try and raise his infant son. Bechard does a great job of showing the conflicting parts of Sam’s character—he loves Max and wants to take good care of him, but he’s also a teenager and wants to have his own life (complete with friends and girls and free time and the possibility of college and a career). I was surprised at first when Sam decides to give Max up for adoption, but in the end Sam feels that it’s the right choice, and so do we. He doesn’t have the same resources and help that Claire does (her mother and sister), and the contrast with the decisions the other characters make emphasizes the point that there is no one right answer for everybody. I like that we get a glimpse of Sam’s future at the end, and get to know that Sam and Max eventually meet again. ( )
  michelleknudsen | Dec 6, 2009 |
Hanging on to max is a good book and i love to reread it all the time. Those of you who haven't read it you should. ( )
  Pepsi506 | Jun 9, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689862687, Paperback)

Between the midnight feedings and the diaper issue, it's never easy being a new parent. But when you're also a high-school student trying to graduate, the job becomes even more overwhelming. Sam Pettigrew never dreamed he'd spend his senior year pushing a stroller. But when his former girlfriend, Brittany, decided that she couldn't handle being a parent, Sam knew he had to try. Now attending an alternative high school that provides daycare, Sam desperately juggles homework and parenting duties. "The list above my desk said, 'Get Max to sleep by 9:00.' Right under 'Drink out of a cup' and 'nap schedule.' I couldn't even remember what 'nap schedule' meant. " Sam's biggest problem is his lack of support: Brittany has left town to start over, and Sam's widowed father, angry over Sam's decision, refuses to help Sam other than financially. Claire Bailey, another teen parent, only serves to show Sam how alone he is--her family loves to babysit and buy toys for her baby, Emily. Finally, after a disastrous night spent in the emergency room when Max cuts his hand, Sam becomes defeated. How much longer can he keep up this crazy schedule of school and fatherhood? Yet, how can he bear not to keep it up, when giving it up means giving up Max?

With this kind of subject matter, it would be easy for seasoned author Margaret Bechard to slip into didactic "after-school special" mode. Instead she has penned a truly tender, reversed-gender tearjerker with an ending as realistic as it is heartbreaking. A four-hankie recommended read. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:45 -0400)

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When his girlfriend decides to give their baby away, seventeen-year-old Sam is determined to keep him and raise him alone.

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