When a pandemic forces the country to shut down, eight-year-old Max finds himself having to adjust to a new way of life with his mum working from home and his doctor dad living in a hotel. When the the frustrations of being cooped up indoors boil over, Max threatens to count to a million to get back at his mum. But soon a personal challenge becomes a million times bigger than Max ever expected and soon the whole country is quite literally counting on and with him. Will Max break a world record and raise millions of pounds for charity…
Fun, heart-warming, poignant and uplifting, Max Counts to a Million is a story for our times that documents one boy’s experience of lockdown. What starts out as a selfish and personal revenge mission rapidly becomes a good deed as Max becomes like a younger Captain Tom with his epic counting challenge gaining national attention and becoming a fabulous fundraising endeavour for the NHS.
We have all lived through something extraordinary and Jeremy Williams encapsulates the experiences of so many during the Covid-19 pandemic when countries around the world closed their borders and doors and went into lockdown. Everything Williams has included will hit home and resonate with children, from online learning to working from home, mask wearing and the regular use of hand sanitiser, panic buying at the supermarkets to the daily news bulletins from the floppy-haired prime minister and the weekly clapping for the NHS, the difficulties with social distancing, loneliness and boredom and the worried whispers of grown-ups.
I love Max as a character and Williams has captured a child’s voice perfectly. A child who is at first excited by the prospect of school closures before the anxiety and nervousness set in and questions of when, why and how needed to be asked.
Light-hearted and sensitive, this is the first children’s story that I have read about Covid-19 and it will certainly help children to process and understand what has happened and to reflect on the unprecedented times and experiences that they have been through. Full of humour and heart, this is the Covid-19 feel good story that every child needs to read!
With huge thanks to Allen & Unwin and Nosy Crow for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 7+.