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Decoding Genes with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
Decoding Genes with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
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Reviewed Titles
Graphic Library

The Decoding Genes with Max Axiom, Super Scientist

You never had a science teacher like this! Max Axiom is a super-cool super-scientist. Using powers he acquired in a freak accident. Max demonstrates and explains science in ways never before seen in the classroom. Whether shrinking down to size of an ant or riding on a sound wave, Max can do whatever it takes to make science super cool and accessible.

PublisherCapstone Press
BrandGraphic Library
Age Level8-14 Years
Reading LevelGrades 3-4
GenreGraphic Nonfiction
SubjectGraphic Novels
Trim Size7 x 9
Page Count32



Good Comics for Kids Blog - School Library Journal - Snow and Esther

"A few months ago, Snow and I discovered that we were each planning to review different titles in the Max Esther: I should start by saying I don’t use the science part of my brain very well. I was always okay with math. I excelled at literature, Language Arts, and History, but science - while interesting – was always more of a struggle for me. When my students come to the library to work on a science project and need my help, I’m always quick to point out that I’m there to help them find the information not explain it, because they really really don’t want me to explain science to them! So I was really interested in seeing this series. I wanted to know if it could really help the scientifically challenged like me! And the answer… drum roll please… yes, it really does. Obviously, the ideas presented in this titles are topics that I’ve learned and possibly even mastered while I was in school. But I was in school a very long time ago. I see myself including these titles into my collection, and having students use the books to help them with ideas they’re struggling with in class or I can see them using it to help them understand a topic for a project. The Max Axiom series is part of the Graphic Library collection from Capstone Press. They and other publishers that gear to the school market have created a number of similar type series with very similar product… I’ve always had issue with these series. For one, as a colleague once noted – they don’t excel in art and they don’t excel in story. I have to agree with this assessment and while there has been improvement in that area, I think the key factor that’s missing here is heart. Take a nonfiction GN like the The United States Constitution: a Graphic Adaptation – the creators put their soul into the project (or at least part of their soul). I’ve seen great nonfiction GNs, but they’re usually stand alone titles, like Amelia Earhart , or Satchell Paige (which is probably more of a historical fiction title.) These books feel like someone invested themselves in the project. I never got a sense of that from any of the 4 volumes of Max Axiom. Another issue I had with Max Axiom was that of late, as a reader and reviewer, I’ve been trying to concentrate more on how the art and text work together in a comic. I think it was something that was said at the GC4K panel at ALA that made tune into this more. I’m much more of a textual based person, and the art has always been secondary to me. Yet, in reality, this doesn’t work with comics. In a solid comic, the art moves the text along. I never got that sense when reading Max Axiom. Rather, the series was just capitalizing on a popular format to entice kids to read and they could have used the standard illustrated book format. I still contend, they really do explain the science well in an accessible manner, but it’s not the pictures that do most of the explaining it’s the text. There isn’t a balance between the art and text. Snow: I see what you mean about text and art not working well together. That’s something I try to look for, but there are times when it bothers me more than others. For some reason, Max Axiom is not one of the series that gets to me. I know that they’re just using the graphic novel format, but I’ve seen worse cases of cashing in (for example, the hideous adaptations of the Box Car Children books). For me there were enough moments in Max Axiom where the creators were obviously trying to keep from simply having static panels with text boxes above them. In The Surprising World of Bacteria there is a panel with a picture of a glacier. Rather than just showing an ice sheet, the ice is falling off, adding motion to the scene. A Crash Course in Forces and Motion tries hard to make sure that the physics principles are illustrated, not just mentioned. How do your students like the series? Do they find them useful? Do they think they are interesting to read? Does it feel to them like they are being pandered to by havi" - Good Comics for Kids Blog - School Library Journal

August 5, 2010

Science Books and Films - Lorin Roiphe, Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME

"STAR REVIEW! Decoding Genes with Max Axiom, Super Scientist is a fun way for kids to learn about genetics in a comic-bookstyle story. The book accurately covers Mendel and his peas, heredity, the structure of genes, DNA mutations, genetic variation, and some of the diverse areas in which genetics is being used today. Having a “Super Scientist” with super powers, such as being able to shrink to the size of an atom and travel through space and time with the use of a special lab coat, as your tour guide makes this a creative and enjoyable way to learn the basics of genetics. The color illustrations allow the reader to visualize what genes are and how they work. The book lacks a real story line, so reading “more about Max Axiom” at the end of the book first might enable the reader to get the background story of the narrator. The information presented should help kids get excited about the “cool” things this Super Scientist is going to show them. In the classroom or at home, this book will be an excellent source for kids who are curious about science and genetics." - Science Books and Films

August 30, 2010 - Leslie Kauffman

"There are lots of engaging resources available for teaching science to young kids, but one of the best is strangely little known: a terrific and highly entertaining series of science-themed graphic novels from Capstone Press, featuring a super scientist by the name of Max Axiom. Max Axiom, the story goes, was hiking one day when he was struck by megacharged lightning. The accident gave him the ability to shrink to the size of the atom, while his magic lab coat enables him to travel through space and time. These super powers mean that when he is, for instance, investigating viruses, he can stand on a human knee and watch as a scrape becomes infected. He can travel down inside a plant to show the role of chloroplasts in photosynthesis. Each book in the series features an adventure focused on one science theme, such as Cell Life, Chemical Reactions, or Electricity. Information is presented clearly and engagingly, and each book also features a glossary, suggestions for further reading, and pre-screened internet links. There are more than 15 books in the series altogether. Unfortunately, the Brooklyn Public Library and New York Public Library each only carry one of these well-designed books, but you can purchase four for the price of three on Amazon." -

March 8, 2011


Curriculum Choice blog - Cindy

"I’m in love – or, better yet, my son is in love! We’ve had the opportunity to review graphic science books on all sorts of topics that are fun and easy to read. Comic book style science sounds really fluffy doesn’t it? Believe it or not, the Max Axiom series is full of “real” science that goes deep enough to be appropriate for any upper elementary/early middle school child. My son is a less-than-zealous textbook reader. (Picture eyes glazing over and giant yawns.) After reading – or being read to – from a textbook, he recalls very little of the information. Over the years, I’ve turned science into hands-on unit studies and supplemented with lots of library books, which has worked quite well. During one of these unit study times, I came across Max Axiom and wanted to know more. I found that Capstone Press offers many, many Max Axiom books, and boy were my son and I excited! Twenty-four books total cover the areas of biology/botany, chemistry, physical and earth science. In each book, Max Axiom (a scientist with super powers), goes on an adventure to learn all about the topic at hand. He can shrink to the size of bacteria and whiz through the human body, or go back in time to learn more about a famous scientist of the past. All of this in a 32 page comic book! (When I say comic book, don’t think of flimsy pages, these are “real” books.)" - Curriculum Choice blog

July 18, 2011

Amber J. Keyser

Amber J. Keyser

Amber J. Keyser is a former ballerina and evolutionary biologist who writes both fiction and nonfiction for tweens and teens. Her young adult novels include Pointe, Claw and The Way Back From Broken. Her nonfiction titles include Sneaker Century: A History Of Athletic Shoes, Decoding Genes with Max Axiom Super Scientist, and many other titles. Amber lives in Oregon with her husband, two kids, four chickens, and a dog who looks like a Muppet.

Go to the Author’s Page →