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Hanging on to Max

Novel for English class
by

Brendan Mannion

on 26 November 2012

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Transcript of Hanging on to Max

Hanging on to Max By: Margaret Bechard General plot Characters The characters for this book are: Claire Sam Sam's dad Sam's mother Andy She died when
Sam was six
years old. She was a caring parent. Sam's best friend from
primary school. Sam lost contact
with Andy after a while back and did not really talk after. Andy is a funny guy and is friendly and is part of a football team with Daniel. Andy got 1240 in his SAT tests. Sam's crush and later girlfriend as well as another teenage parent. She seems to be an emotional person. From the text we can gleam that she fancies Sam Pettigrew, the main character of the book. Reviews by readers This book caught my eye in the library because 'Max' (the name of my son) was in the title. And having been a stay-at home dad with Max, I was interested by the premise. This is an understated, but moving story about a bright high school senior named Sam who decides to raise his son after his girlfriend gets pregnant. Relocating to an alternative school, surrounded by mostly teen moms and well-meaning teachers, he is adamant in doing the right thing. And for Sam the right thing to do is take care of his son and repay his Dad by going into a career in construction upon graduation. However, this book is not about easy answers. It gives an intriguing perspective on the teen parent experience from a male point of view, the sacrifices, opportunities and choices that can happen. And it ends in a way that really challenged me.(less) Jenny Ms Garcia Andy's girlfriend.
She likes having people over and making dinners and she gets this trait from her mother, we can tell this from Chapter twenty. Jenny was in the kitchen when Max cut his hand on the wineglass she dropped. She also cut her foot in the commotion One of Sam's teachers, also works at the day center for the babies
She wears glasses and is a caring person. We can tell that she is short from page 88 on the line "Ms. Garcia stopped by the iMac on Monday. She crouched down next to me, which made her so short she nearly disappeared under the table My favorite character is... Sam because although he faces the challenges of being a teenager, and the problems with his dad and all, he still is able to to be a good dad for Max and I also like this character because it is a fresh difference between the normal main characters. He is also very inspirational and shows that men can do a good job at taking care of babies too. Brandon Renee She goes out with Brandon Sam Pettigrew is a senior in high school. And he has a baby. Yes-a baby. His girlfriend got pregnant the previous year, decided that she couldn't handle raising the baby, and Sam felt a need to raise his son. Now, Sam's going to an alternative high school and juggling classes, college hopes...and baby Max. The mix only gets tougher when he meets Claire, a fellow teenage parent who Sam definitely has feelings for. Yet no matter what happens, Sam is determined to prove to the world that he's not a stupid teenage guy and that he CAN hang on to Max.
Like I said, this is definitely a book that needed to be written and needs to be read. Many of us at some point or another have read the typical "pregnant teenage girl" novels and they certainly offer valuable perspectives. Yet it seems that we rarely come into contact with novels that explore a MALE's feelings about the issue. "Hanging Onto Max" definitely corrects this problem.

But "Hanging Onto Max" is more than just a mediocre novel with a rarely-done perspective- its main character is just as memorable as the content. I literally checked this book out from the library, read the first page, and raced through the novel until I finished it.

Sam is just that kind of a character. He is realistically "male" without being a stereotype, and his thoughts and words reverberate with a piercing, understated truth. Flashbacks of Sam's experiences with his girlfriend and of life "before" are also unusually well done. Through them, Bechard managed to perfectly capture Sam's previous experiences and thus allow the reader to understand his current situation better. As I read, I felt like Sam was really a person-he is one of those characters you literally feel a "warmth" and empathy toward. The writing is blunt, quick, and free of pretentious prose. This only makes Sam better.

Without a doubt, "Hanging Onto Max" succeeds at exploring one of the toughest issues. Not only is it from an intriguing male perspective, it deals with the issue of teen pregnancy with realism, empathy, and a fearlessness when it comes to exploring the gut-wrenching choices that those involved must make. Conclusion I enjoyed this book because of its fresh idea and it is interesting to see Sams perspective on the matter.
Out of ten?
6/10
My favourite bits?
the flashbacks are interesting.
The bad points?
The story can get a bit bland at times because of its normality but over all interesting! Setting The setting in this story is modern time, in America There is a website that Margeret Bechard made and
you can find it at this address:http://www.margaretbechard.com/ T o find the part for this book,look up this link:http://www.margaretbechard.com/my-books/hanging-on-to-max/ This story is about a teenage dad called Sam Pettigrew, who is a teenage dad of 17, and in high school in America,
Sam tries to keep the balance between him and his baby.
He goes to the school with other teen parents like himself, Sam is determined to make it work, to show everyone - his Dad,his new girlfriend(Claire),himself - that he has what it takes to be a good dad. This character is friends with Andy and Sam and he goes out with Renee. He likes his beer and his Bruce Willis die hard movies who he watched before with Andy and Sam and we know all this from chapter 20, he goes out with Renee. He is about the same height as Sam albeit a little heavier. Brandon got 980 in his SAT scores. Brandon hopes to get into Oregon State for college. Brittany Sam's earlier girlfriend and the woman Sam had Max with.
Brittany and Sam broke up because Brittany had to move to L.A. but they had to do something with Max so Sam decides to stay and take care of Max.
Brittany seems like a nice person. Max Sam and Brittany's Baby, who is Playful and energetic and thinks ducks say 'bap'! He also likes playing with Emily. He used to be called Julian before Brittany left. Emily Emily is Claire's baby, much like Max,Who she enjoys playing with Max. Sam's dad used to work at Pettigrew electric. He seems to be grave a lot of the time and does not talk much since Sam's mother died. His relationship with him and Sam is a bad one in the sense that they don't talk much and are awkward between each other but later on in the story we see that they find it easier. He was not always like his though, as we see in chapter eighteen.
In that chapter he seems a lot happier and this was a time when Sam's mum was just on the verge of becoming bed-bound. Shout out if you see the Easter egg!!! Sam is the main character int this story. He is a 17 year old teenage dad in high school who is smart and likes computers, we can tell he is smart because of page 154 when him and Ms. Garcia was talking and Ms. Garcia told him that he got 740 on the math papers and 1320 total in the SATs, a great score! in fact, he wanted to do a degree of it in college but a because of a deal with his Dad for working in construction for Mr Lawson while his dad pays the bills for Max and him, he finds it hard to follow his dreams. He is a person who likes to play basketball with his friend Andy and fishing with his dad. Sam spends a lot of time taking care of Max and later on in the novel we see that he gets a bit tired of it all. Sam [Teleport initiating...] Daniel Daniel is much like Brandon in personality and looks, we only meet this person in one chapter and a bit in the next. He is part of Andy's football team. He got 1280 on his last SAT scores, 640 verbal, 640 math. Dan is going to be out of state for his college. Melissa Melissa is Daniel's girlfriend. she likes to play basketball as well as the others. Sam does not like her that much as we can see from the quotes later Some Quotes from the chapters to remember Chapter one
"I really gotta go, Ms. Garcia." I pointed to the clock. "And I'm sorry about falling alseep. It's just... we had a bad night last night. I didn't..." Chapter two
Then she looked up at me. "Is this your little brother? I nodded "And your helping your mom out"? I nodded again. Chapter three
Andy says, "hey man. Want to go to a party?"
I click to wrestling. Back to MTV. "Where?"
Melissa Talbot's." I groan, which Andy is expecting, because he say's right away, "Come on, Sam. I know you're not doing anything." I'm very busy." I click to VH1.
"You're sitting on the tube. I know how you like to spend Friday nights." I click to Comedy Central. Andy and I are sophomores now. I never spend Friday nights at his place anymore. Not since he started going out with Jenny, last spring. Especially not since I'd met Brittany Ames. "Jenny's friends suck," I say Chapter six
And Claire- I couldn't believe this. I couldn't believe that maybe my luck was shifting-Claire showed up in my English Class. Chapter seven
That night, at home again, I sat there in my room, looking at Aunt Jean's check, and I started to wonder if maybe I was going crazy. Not just taking the SATs-
which was pretty nuts-but the way I'd started thinking about Claire. The way I was thinking about Claire all the time Chapter seven
I'd open the government book, and I'd start wondering what Claire was studying. Giving Max a bottle, I'd think about Claire feeding Emily. Driving to school, doing laundry, changing diapers. Gemma One of Claire's friends, Chapter eight(With Brittany)
"Oh. Oh, yeah. It was great." Then, maybe she realizes... maybe she knows it's been like a few seconds too long. Because she comes over and kneels in the edge of the bed, and I sit up, and she hugs me. "Really", she says. I don't know if she's saying it because she thinks she's supposed to say it. Or because she thinks I want her to say it. Or is she saying she likes it because she's supposed to like it? Or does she really like it? Chapter nine, page 67
It was the kind of house where you walk straight into the living room. And the living room was crammed with baby stuff-a swing, a jumper chair, a cradle, a blanket covered in rattles and stuffed animals. Chapter fourteen
A shadow in the doorway broke away from the surrounding darkness. Dad stepped into the light.
"Holy . . . " I jumped and banged my head, hard, against the headboard. "Ow, ow, ow!" Max jerked awake and started to cry. I leaned over, one hand on m head, and reached down with the other hand to pat Max's back. "Shh, shh." "who were you talking to?" I rubbed my head and patted Max a little harder. "claire. You know. The girl . . . the girl who came over." I wondered how long he had been standing there. Max was quieting, going back to sleep. "Are you having sex with her, Sam?" "What?"
I couldn't believe he'd said that. "No," I said, my voice loud. Max jerked again, but didn't open his eyes. I turned and looked at Dad. "We were just talking. I can't even talk to a girl on the phone?" "You have to be careful, Sam," he said. Not looking at me. Looking at Max. "I know that," I said. "Don't you think I know that? We're not . . . " He crossed his arms across his chest. "You just have to think, Sam." I know that too. "Look," I Said. "You don't have too worry. I'm sorry I woke you up."
"I wasn't asleep," He said. And he turned and went back into the dark hallway. Chapter fourteen(page 113)
I turned off my light and lay back down no my bed. You have to think, Sam. It seemed as all I did was think. Because everything in my life, ever single thing, was so hard to figure out. School, Claire. Dad. Max. And it wasn't like I'd thougth it was going to be easy. But at least I thought it was going to feel right Chapter fifteen
I flipped open Max's stroller in the parking lot and buckled him in. No fumbling. Piece of cake. Max grinned and blew spit bubbles at Claire. She didn't seem to notice. She was holding a piece of blue fabric with lots of buckles and stapps. "Its a front pack to carry Emily." she said. " My mom got it. She read this thing about how babies who are carried around do better." "Do better than what?" Would Emily be better than Max? Claire shook her head. " My mom read the article, not me." She turned the thing around. "I don't know how this thing is supposed to work." "Did it come with instructions?" "Yes." Did ou read them?" She looked at me. "I figured . . ." she frowned at the pack. " How hard can this be?" We could just use your stroller." I didn't bring the friggin' stoller, okay am? Claires voice echoed off the cement walls of the parking structure. "I just bought this! Because my stupid mother said it's better! Okay?" Chapter eighteen page 147
Dad looks at her from the brim of his lucky fishing hat. He's frowning. "Are you all right? You're not feeling sick again, are you?" "I'm fine. I'm just . . . I don't feel like wading out too far in that cold water." She gives a big exaggerated shiver, and I laugh because I know she wants me to. Because I know she doesn't want to talk about the medicine that makes her feel bad. Chapter nineteen
Dad and I ate Aunt Jean's chilli later that night. We didn't talk. Even Max was quiet, not banging his tray or making blubby noises with his mashed peas. Chapter twenty page 166
I took a breath. I was, just a little panicked. Because I realized that this was the first time in a long time, in a long time, I'd been around just a group of guys. Key Moments in The Story Sam's mother dies when he is six years old. Sam has a child, Julian, who is later christened Max after Brittany left Sam Brittany leaves to L.A. while Sam Stays back to care for Max Sam meets Claire, a crush from earlier in his life, in high school. Sam goes out with Claire Max gets a nasty cut off a wineglass Jenny dropped one day when Sam goes to Andy's. Sam discusses with Claire on how he is thinking of putting up Max for adoption Sam and Claire break up Sam gives Max up for adoption Sam sees his new 17 year old Max later on in his life. The End.... This Prezitation was made for you by: Brendan Mannion!!!! :D
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