Review Blog

Oct 25 2017

Max Booth Future Sleuth: Tape escape by Cameron Macintosh

cover image

Ill. by Dave Atze. Big Sky Publishing, 2017. ISBN 9781925520606
(Ages: 7-9) Themes: Future, Detectives, Dogs, Robots. We dive right in to the future with orphan Max Booth and his robot dog Oscar; it is 2423 and they are about to become detectives. They have escaped from the Skyburb 7 Home for Unclaimed Urchins and now live in the storeroom of the Bluggsville City Museum for old technology. Jessie the museum supervisor is their friend and she presents them with challenge to find out information about a mystery object.
Oscar's handy projector allows Max to search the Splinternet for the name of the object and they discover it was made pre 2037. We find out that a book is needed for further research and paper has not been used since 2021, so it is up to the duo to find an expert to help. They first visit the library where Oscar makes a 3D impression of the guard's tongue to gain access. Here, they must avoid laser beams and eight-legged guards, climb to the top shelf, find a specific book and look through pictures of ancient musical machines. Their object is a cassette tape and needs a cassette player to listen to the music. After a quick escape down the library roof, they meet up with Jessie back at the museum. With the help of Oscar's fast moving tail and an ancient barcode reader, they hear the long lost songs from a popular mega-star David Snowie.
To authenticate their find, they travel to District 6 where an unscrupulous forensic muzicologist steals the cassette tape. Max and Oscar's sleuthing skills, quick thinking and creative disguises help them rediscover the missing tape and return it to the museum.
Cameron Macintosh includes many puns and funny references to old technology as he brings a realistic future world to life. David Atze's cartoons add fun to the easy to read text for younger readers as they begin engaging with chapter books. Max Booth Future Sleuth is suited to high-interest lower reading age students as well.
Rhyllis Bignell

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