Hanging On to Max by Margaret Bechard

Hanging On to MaxSam Pettigrew is practically the only guy at his high school. That’s because it’s a special school for teen parents, and most of his classmates are girls. But Sam’s ex-girlfriend, Brittany decided that she couldn’t deal with a baby, so Sam, who couldn’t bear to see Max go live with strangers, decides to become both mom and dad. He strikes a hard bargain with his own single-parent father–Sam’s dad will help pay for Max’s needs so Sam can stay in school, but then super smart Sam has to sacrifice any hopes of college and engineering to work full-time with his dad to pay him back after he graduates. It’s incredibly hard being a full-time parent and student. Between classes and teaching Sam to drink out of a cup and get to sleep at a decent hour, there’s no time for friends, movies, or just plain relaxing. Sam is on 24 hours a day and it’s starting to catch up with him. When he lets his guard down for a minute, Max ends up in the emergency room, and Sam finally starts to question his choice. Was it really better to hang on to Max? Or should he have let him go to people who were more ready than he was to be a parent? This one you may read right up to the very last page without crying, but that last page is a killer. I started sobbing right on the subway.(1 weepie)

15 thoughts on “Hanging On to Max by Margaret Bechard

  1. I was prepared to cry, but not until the end. God, this was hard to read, it felt like a heavy black thing had taken residence in my chest as i was reading this. Heart breaking, but completley worth it.

  2. This is a great male teenage parent book–much sadder than the comparable newcomer, SLAM by Nick Hornby, which has its sad parts, but is in many ways much lighter.

  3. I don’t usually read a lot but this book was amazing…. Took me just a day to finish it off!!!! cause I couldn’t close the book…. But the end is really sad… I never cried that much for a book!!!!!!!

  4. Oh i loved this book! I thought it was cute, and humorus at times, and beautiful. I almost cried at the end but I held it in. ( i was in the middle of my history class)

  5. I read this book years ago in high school and loved it, it was such an interesting perspective on single- and teen-parenthood. Now I’m 25, and single mom of a 2 year old, and I’m afraid to re-read it. I made it through the first time without crying, but I know if I go back to it I’ll weep from the first page because I know how hard having a baby is, and its such a heartbreaking decision for Sam…

  6. OMG when i first saw this book i though it would be boring then i started reading it and it got intresting im still not done but i cant wait to see what hapens

  7. I loved this book but I felt bad for max he was so attached to Sam and then he gives him up I was about to cry because all the almotoinal moments Sam and max went through

  8. I got this book when I was in the 5th grade. I have read it a million times, and no matter how many times I read it. I bawl. Because I always say if I become a teen parent. I would keep the baby. But after reading about Sam’s I realize it isn’t easy..

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