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Max Booth Future Sleuth #6: Map Trap, Cameron Macintosh (author), Dave Atze (illus.), Big Sky Publishing, June 2021.



When Max and his brainy beagle-bot, Oscar, find a 400-year-old navigation unit, they’re shocked to discover that it still seems to work. They trace its owner’s last journey and find themselves on the road to very big trouble! Far from home, Max and Oscar cross paths with a bunch of bungling burglars, trying to zip away with a precious piece of old-tech art. Max and Oscar will need to map out a rapid plan to catch the thieves and navigate their way out of danger!


Max and Oscar are back for yet another mind-blowing, high-tech mystery in, and out, of Bluggsville in the year 2424. Map Trap is title number 6, and we’ve got to say, author Cameron Macintosh has upped the humour with tonnes of gags that keep on rolling, or navigating, rather, their way through the pages. Teamed with the sharp wit of illustrator Dave Atze, the humorous, supporting black and white cartoons weave around the text at a speed that will have readers thoroughly enjoying the ride. As for the pace of the story, the high-action adventure drives its audience in one direction – excitedly all the way to the final destination!

Upon uncovering a GPS navigation unit from way, way back in the early 2000s, Max Booth and his trusty robo-dog Oscar take a long-winded, danger-filled route in the quest to trace its owner in the faraway town of Binglewood. With one mystery finally unravelled, another presents itself when the duo stumble across inventor Aretha Dorsey’s Holo-sculp – being stolen by some bungling burglars right under their noses. The precious piece of ancient tech art from 2022; a machine that projects holographic sculptures of famous people into the air, is of enormous contention, and you won’t believe who is behind the scandalous theft! With the integration of old and new fascinating characters; introducing Skyburb 7 escapee, friend and crime-fighting assistant, Lily Mareeba, Map Trap takes its readers on a layered journey of relationships from the past, present and future.

With an additional, nifty little section at the back explaining the function and development of the Global Positioning System, you can’t ask for a more complete, well-thought-out narrative.

Combining the relatable, and the thought-provoking, the humour and the questionable, this is undoubtedly a book that junior to middle-grade readers will park themselves down to race through from start to end. Stand alone or read in sequence, the Max Booth Future Sleuth series is packed with fun, misdemeanour and a view into history and the technological future only imaginable. Highly recommended.

Review by Romi Sharp.

Read our reviews of previous Max Booth titles with Selfie Search, Stamp Safari, Film Flip, and Chip Blip.

Cameron Macintosh can be found at his website: Home | Cam Macintosh (cammacintosh.com.au)

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Max Booth Future Sleuth: Map Trap is available for purchase at Big Sky Publishing | Booktopia

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