Hanging on to Max Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Hanging on to Max

Margaret Bechard tells the tale of a confused high school boy, Sam. Sam is a typical teenager, concerned about football, his friends, and his girlfriend. Until he has sex. After this, Sam's life changes drastically. His girlfriend becomes pregnant, has the baby, and decides that she doesn't want him. Thus begins Sam's journey of hanging on to his son, Max.
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Sam is determined to keep his son, switches to an alternative school for teens with babies, where he is the only male. He gives up sports and his friends, and strains his relationship with his father. The only thing he has is Max. However, Sam soon finds another young love, who also has a baby. They quickly become infatuated, thus beginning another journey for Sam.
Bechard paints a wonderful tale for what it feels like to be a teenage parent. Sam is a nice mix of loving parent, caring boyfriend, and teenage angst. We see him struggle to convince himself that having a baby is worth losing so much, and we see him struggle to keep up with grades, school, and his love life. While he's just a kid himself, Sam struggles through this novel to hang on to Max.
The review of this Book prepared by Melissa Unger

   Sam is a 17 year old who has a girlfriend, Brittany, and is sliding through highschool just fine until he and his girlfriend get into a huge fight. He seems fine until he meets her at a party and they reconnect and have sex. They continue having sex until Brittany comes to tell him that she is pregnant. His whole world shatters. Brittany decides to keep the baby. When Brittany realizes that having a baby is a lot of work, she decides to put him up for adoption. Sam steps in and takes Max, the baby, forever. Brittany and her family move away from this tradgedy to a new beginning.

   Sam begins school in an alternate school for teens with children. He has countless sleepless nights and dozes off in class every now and then. His math teacher suggests that he take the SATS to get into college and puts him in an afterschool study group. One day, Claire, a cute, popular girl from his old school, shows up in school one day with a kid! Sam and Claire begin to date and have a great connection. When Sam realizes that he isn't fit to be a parent, Claire deserts him.
The review of this Book prepared by Larkin

Sam, a senior in high school, decides to take custody of his son after the mother decides she can't handle being a mother so young and wants to go for adoption. Sam struggles with becoming a father in a home without his own mother for guidance. He also adjusts to a new alternative school, losing friends and trying to have a relationship.
The review of this Book prepared by Jennifer Tanis

Chapter Analysis of Hanging on to Max

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Pregnancy/Child rearing    -   Yes Major part of story:    -   dealing with unexpected pregnancy Loving/sexing?    -   bun/oven

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () United States    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   impregnation/reproduction Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Margaret Bechard Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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