Max & The Millions by Ross Montgomery

BD61AE72-A670-4ECB-A5CF-652C20EE8A18Cover illustration by David Litchfield

Max hates life at St. Goliath’s Boarding School. The Headmaster, Mr. Pitt, is nothing like the caring teacher he portrays himself as. Every assembly Max is made to sit in the SPECIAL SEAT because he wears hearing aids. He’d far rather hide away with the caretaker, Mr Darrow, making miniature models. But, hours before the summer holidays are due to begin, Mr Darrow disappears, which means Max has to put their emergency plan into action.

When Mr Darrow still hasn’t returned as the start of the new term looms, Max discovers a miraculous transformation in the caretaker’s room, and finds himself in a race against time and Mr Pitt to save the new world and its inhabitants.

The inhabitants of The Floor have even more to worry about as the three tribes are locked in a battle for resources and all-out war seems ever more likely. Can newly crowned King Luke bring the Tribes together and keep the peace while Max battles Mr Pitt to save them all?

Brilliantly written, Ross Montgomery combines great characters, a pacey plot and huge handfuls of humour to create a rip-roaring adventure that had me howling with laughter from beginning to end in one sitting.

Max’s loneliness and lack of self-esteem is clearly evident through his avoidance of his peers, but comes across as self awareness of who he is in a place that will never accept him. Sasha’s popularity means Max keeps his roommate at arms length – it’s not as if he could possibly have anything in common with the coolest boy in school. The growing friendship between the boys and their own realisation of their preconceptions about each other is heartwarming to read, and brilliant for opening up discussion on judging people without getting to know them.

As for The Floor, it’s a miraculous world, nestled within our own, complete with it’s own beliefs, history and problems. The three tribes each have their own unique identities and ideologies. King Luke of the Blues grows into his role as his quest for peace goes on, while Bin King of the Greens sinks ever lower into his role of despicable despot. Thank goodness for level headed Ivy from the Reds. I loved the fact the inhabitants of The Floor have their own creation story – The Book Of The Floor is pure genius!

Great for fans of Beetle Boy, Wed Wabbit and Mold And The Poison Plot.

Huge thanks to tardigrades everywhere for winning me a copy in Ross’s Twitter giveaway.

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