Summary: A Perfect Mistake
In A Perfect Mistake, Max and his community are reeling from a night out gone wrong. Max and his friends Joey and Will went out with two older boys, but Will ended up unconscious and in a coma, and Joey won’t speak to Max anymore. Max also has ADHD and is over six feet tall at 11, which means he stands out in his class. Frustrated that he can’t figure out what happened to Will, Max teams up with an inquisitive classmate, but the truths he unravels aren’t pretty. Can Max get to the bottom of this mystery?
This was a solid mystery! The story is fully in the now but includes flashbacks to the night of Will’s accident and moments in the boys’ friendship. The author does a great job of slowly letting readers figure out the mystery one step at a time. The sleuthing Max and Samantha get up to also gave me strong Nancy Drew vibes which I loved. Max’s ADHD and tall boy status are also major themes in this story. We get a peek into his sessions with a therapist and see the coping strategies his parents use to help him stay on track.
Max and his friends have an interesting relationship. While they obviously care about each other, Joey seems to have issues of his own. That makes more sense as readers learn about his family and home environment. It’s always refreshing to see a healthy, loving friendship between boys and I liked that Max and Will had that. Finally, Max has a fun uncle (or Funcle, if you ask Sam) and I loved watching them bond. Although Max is only 11, this story tackles several sensitive themes with care–as Conklin does in all her books
Overall: A Perfect Mistake
A Perfect Mistake is a pitch-perfect middle grade mystery about honesty, peer pressure, and standing up for what’s right. Featuring a tall male protagonist with ADHD, this story also centers neurodiversity and body image issues. It tackles timely issues like toxic masculinity and alcoholism with plenty of heart. Readers who enjoy mysteries or stories about male friendships will enjoy this one.
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