Written by Margaret Bechard
In the year 2000, there were 812, 810 teen pregnancies. Do the math and that is eighty-four pregnancies for every one-thousand teenagers. What a way to ring in the millennium. In “Hanging on to Max”, Margaret Bechard is trying to get a point across to teens. Like the other five novels Bechard has written, she is trying to show teens that engaging in premarital sex has its consequences. “Hanging on to Max” takes a look into the everyday life of a teen father, and lets teens who read this see that it is more of a responsibility than it may seem.
Sam Pettigrew, the main character and teen father, is a high school senior. He is just like other boys his age; He likes to play basketball, go to parties, and hang out with his friends after school. The only person keeping him from doing all these activities is a baby boy named Max. Max is Sam’s eleven month old son. Sam got his girlfriend (now ex-girlfriend) Brittany pregnant a year and a half ago, but Brittany had planned on giving the baby up for adoption. When Sam comes to see his baby boy and visit Brittany in the hospital, he can’t believe his eyes. The moment he lays eyes on his son he falls in love with him right away. He decided he was going to take care of the baby himself and NOT put him up for adoption. Now Sam has full custody of his son, which he decides to name Max, and has to take care of him all by himself. From then on, this compelling story is about a 17 year old boy struggling through his teen years with a baby and the many chores that come with it.
Sam is up every night feeding Max and squeezing in homework between changing diapers and playtime. It is obvious Sam loves Max with all his heart, but it is also apparent he is overwhelmed with all of his responsibilities..