Road Trip with Max and His Mom
No reviews yet.Add your rating
No reviews yet.Add your rating
Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Linda Urban's Road Trip with Max and His Mom, the sequel to Weekends with Max and His Dad, deals with life after divorce through the eyes of a third-grader. Max feels some anxiety when his mom announces that she plans to take a road trip to a family reunion and that Max will miss his designated weekend with his dad. Max's confusion is illustrated by sudden urges to run around, worrying about seemingly minor things, and trying to please people. But he's supported and loved in a way that lets him put his worries in perspective, helping him to view life as an adventure.
There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the Story?
Max LeRoy is back in ROAD TRIP WITH MAX AND HIS MOM, Linda Urban's second book about a 9-year-old boy adjusting to life after his parents' divorce. Max's mom announces that she's taking Max on a road trip to a family reunion at an amusement park in Pennsylvania for his great-great aunt's 100th birthday. Though he loves seeing his mom smile and get excited, he's worried that she's making a mistake. "I'd like to go with you, but I can't," he tells her. Weekends are spent with his dad, you see, and Max doesn't know how his dad would cope without his weekend visit. The road trip does proceed as planned, but Max faces questions that children of divorce face: What happens when the schedule gets shifted around? Am I doing what's right? What is this thing called family? Am I allowed to have fun, even if my other parent isn't having fun? Max and his mom do get to have a real road trip -- complete with adventures, hot dogs, wacky cousins, and roller coasters -- and in the end, they find answers to some of these big questions.
Is It Any Good?
Poignant, funny, and sweet, this story about a kid's life post-divorce is realistic without being heavy. Like the first installment in this three-book series (a third is due in 2019), Road Trip with Max and His Mom does a good job illustrating the shifts that occur after a parents' split, while steadily maintaining a kid's point of view. Author Linda Urban deftly handles those awkward moments of post-divorce life, which are packed with emotional meaning. In one instance, Max invites his dad on the road trip, the details of which his parents have clearly arranged behind-the-scenes. Max's mom gently says that Dad is not invited and goes on to explain that she and Max's dad may not be very good at spending time with each other, but "we're both very, very good at loving you."
Urban takes on a subject that many families have trouble discussing, and the warmth, character, and inclusiveness that this book exudes is inspiring. Max is a kid who's scared and brave and mixed up, but he's ultimately able to move forward. And here's why: His parents make sure to pay attention to Max's needs while adjusting to their own circumstances. This is a story about divorce that can be read to young kids who'll get the message that parents are not perfect, but they're doing the best they can.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about complex feelings and anxiety in Road Trip with Max and His Mom. How does Max react when he's confused or embarrassed? How does he overcome his fears? Can you think of role models in books, TV shows, or movies who help kids deal with stressful situations in positive ways?
Max's family looks different from other families, and some of his relatives don't know how to deal with that. Do you notice when families have different last names? Or is it normal to you? Why would Max feel shocked seeing his mom's name written differently?
Family reunions can be cool or ... uncool. How are family get-togethers portrayed in media? Are they realistic?
- Author: Linda Urban
- Illustrator: Katie Kath
- Genre: Family Life
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, History
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
- Publication date: April 17, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 18
- Number of pages: 160
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: April 23, 2018
Our Editors Recommend
Girl connects with brother who has autism in moving tale.
The Dead Bird
Classic about kids burying bird gets vibrant new art.
Gorgeous book about love shows family worry and pain, too.
For kids who love stories of divorce
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate