review by John Chon, age 14

Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali

    Max is a brutally graphic tale from the point of view of a child, who spent his entire life under the Nazi regime. As a historical fiction novel, it does borrow concepts from reality, such as the breeding program executed under the Nazi regime. The main plot line follows a young child born through a breeding program to make “Aryan” babies. He obsesses over being perfect and living up to the Fuhrer’s expectations. As Max grows up, he is exposed to many different people, one of which is a Jew with Aryan features. Max is then left questioning the world view that he grew up.
    This book was full of mature content. It discussed topics like sex, killing, and racism almost offhandedly. The book was written in a child’s point of view, from right before his birth to the ending of the war. However, the narration was very unlike a child. He was very straightforward and almost disdainful of others who weren’t. The other children see him as odd, but accept him anyways. What it really does is it allows people to see people who grow up under a system that indoctrinates them from birth onward. It is really a truly fascinating read. 4.5/5.

Find this book in our catalog: Max

Catalog Number: YA FIC COHEN-SCALI,S

421 pages

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