Max – By Sarah Cohen-Scali

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Goodreads Synopsis: In the Lebensborn program, carefully selected German women are recruited by the Nazis to give birth to new members of the Aryan race. Inside one of these women is Max, Literally counting the minutes until he is born and he can fulfill his destiny as the perfect Aryan specimen.

Max is taken away from his birth mother soon after he enters the world. Raised under the ideology and direction of the Nazi Party, he grows up without any family, without affection or tenderness, and he soon becomes the mascot of the program. That ‘s what it’ s all about. Lukas, a young Jewish boy who knows how to despise. Instead, the friendship that blossoms changes Max’s world forever. That ‘s what it’ s all about. Lukas, a young Jewish boy who knows how to despise. Instead, the friendship that blossoms changes Max’s world forever.

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This book is possibly the strangest thing I’ve read all year.

Max follows the life a young boy, born and breed for the Nazi Party.  To me he was never a character I could sympathize with, though I did pity him a lot.  This book was at times hard to read, because I was so disgusted with how the adults treated Max, and the mothers birthing the babies.  I was also upset by the scenes where the soldiers would steal Polish children from their families in the night. This book does not shy away from any of the horrors that happened at the hands of the Nazis.

I found the book strange because of the way Max narrates the story. He’s a very aggressive narrator for the small boy that he is.  He also fully believes everything he’s been brainwashed to think. Though at times he finds himself confused, even by the end of the book he hasn’t decided that the Nazi’s are completely wrong.  Max is never a character that you like.  If you’re like me and are sensitive to how children are treated in literature, this might not be the book for you.

Unlike the synopsis suggests, the friendship between Max and the Jewish boy is not really a friendship…it’s a mutual need to survive that puts them together, and it does not end well for either one of them.  This is what made me give this book a lower rating.

In the end I gave this book 3 stars.

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