Max Einstein: Rebels with a Cause

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
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Kid geniuses use science to solve big issues in fun sequel.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Lots of science and math here, along with real lessons about taking initiative to solve problems for the greater good and how to navigate the range of emotions many young readers feel.

Positive Messages

Max and her friends are positive, helpful, and caring and see the value in doing good work while looking out for each other.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The group of young geniuses are great role models for each other and are overseen by protective adults who always look out for the kids' best interests.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein's Max Einstein: Rebels with a Cause (the sequel to Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment) is a fast-paced, smart, engaging adventure that reminds readers to use their unique talents to do good. Each young genius has a particular talent that they're called on to use at some point; everyone is valued for both the skills they have and their willingness to work to make the world a better place. Max is obsessed with Albert Einstein, and there's plenty of science, math, and humor sprinkled through the race around the world to solve some very big -- and topical -- problems.

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What's the story?

In MAX EINSTEIN: REBELS WITH A CAUSE, the evil Corporation that's trying to kidnap young Maxine (Max) fails to nab her when they discover her role as a visiting professor at Columbia University. But they're relentless, finding a way to track Max and the other members of the Change Makers to Ireland, where the young geniuses are trying to find the source of a mysterious illness that seems to be caused by local water. Of course, Max and her friends can't stop at solving just one water problem, and they promptly head to India to take on pollution, scarce water, and a money-hungry company that will do anything to keep the kids from making local water safe and available again.

Is it any good?

Witty, action-packed, and full of real scientific concepts, the second Max Einstein book keeps the series' momentum going. There’s no time to waste and no end to the adventure in Max Einstein: Rebels with a Cause, and the plot's focus on making water safe and accessible adds a real-world urgency to the problems Max and her friends face. Authors James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein have taken an issue that most young readers are familiar with -- water -- and use science, technology, and imagination to find solutions that fit a variety of problems. Like the first Max Einstein book, these pages drive home the ideas that everyone has a talent and that there are many ways to solve a problem. Readers will likely identify with the sense of urgency Max and her friends feel and their need to solve local problems that have global impact.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the kids in Max Einstein: Rebels with a Cause take charge of situations that seem to baffle adults. What do you do when you see an answer to a problem that the adults around you can't solve?

  • Water crises are worldwide. What do you think of the solution the geniuses came up with for Mumbai? Do you think that could work? Why or why not?

  • What other books have you read about kids tackling big problems?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventures and great female characters

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