Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Max, short for Maximus, also referred to as 009 Lives (amongst his Guardian of Time secret agents) because a cat does, after all, have 9 lives, is a rather large Tonkinese cat. He’s a hero, but that’s not all: he’s also a time traveler who saves lives throughout history. And he can talk. Like humans, to humans; but he’s very selective to whom he talks. Max never knows where he’s going or when he’ll be sent back in time, not until he gets there. Then he has to sort it all out by listening and observing. Like the sunny afternoon when he was catnapping (as cats often do) underneath the oak tree behind his family’s home and, all of a sudden, he’s in a dense forest and it’s pouring with rain and there’s a man named Charles on the run. It turns out that there’s a price on Charles’s head because he’s the son of the tyrant King Charles I who was executed in 1649. History unravels as Max helps Charles in his escape, but it’s a sad time when the two have to part company and Max returns to his catnap under the oak tree in the present day.
Wendy Leighton-Porter loves history and she loves to share her passion for the past with young readers. Her recent Middle-Grade novel, Max’s Royal Adventure: Shadows from the Past, Book 16, takes young readers on another time-traveling jaunt with the feline hero, Max. The adventure is enough in itself, as the plot thickens with page-turning intensity and the characters are so realistic you feel as if you are part of their lives and the setting is so aptly described that you can feel the cold rain and the acorns falling down on your head. But there is so much more to this story and the other books in the series. Young readers are being introduced to history through the eyes of a very adventurous, time-traveling cat. I loved this story from start to finish: education and adventure go hand in hand with these books.