Each title in the Max Axiom Graphic Science 4D series introduces a scientific topic through full-color graphics, clear text explanations, and a diverse cast of contemporary characters that relate science to real life.

The main character, Max Axiom, is a super scientist. He begins each volume with a situation that brings a scientific principle to mind, such as sitting at a backyard bonfire which leads to a discussion of chemical reactions, or mentioning that he’s really hungry which begins a journey through the digestive system. Each book then continues with expository text accompanied by illustrations and diagrams which explain the scientific principle covered in that volume. Max often visits other scientists who further explain the topic. He also uses a number of futuristic gadgets which allow him to shrink to the size of a molecule or teleport from place to place.

Each book in the series contains special features which enhance the learning experience for readers. The Capstone 4D app can be downloaded free on many digital devices and allows readers to learn more about the topic of each book through interactive animations and videos. End matter in each book includes a hands-on project related to the book’s concept, discussion questions, writing prompts, a glossary, a bibliography, websites for further research, and an index.

The full-color illustrations used in the series are attention-getting for today’s readers. Max is a fashionably-dressed African-American man sporting slick technology, a lab coat, and a cool logo on his sleeve and belt. His character radiates cool and is clearly designed to appeal to kids and convey the message that science is cool. The panels are large with clear images, appropriate to show detail in the scientific diagrams used to illustrate concepts. The full-sentence text is informative and clear, and plenty of open space is left to avoid clutter or distraction on the page.

The texts in the Max Axiom: Super Scientist series do an excellent job of explaining a wide range of scientific concepts from biology, chemistry, and earth science. The illustrations clarify concepts effectively for young readers and the text explains topics in down-to-earth ways. Max is a fairly relatable character, and while some of the situations that he uses to set-up a particular topic can be a little cheesy, they get the point across. There is excellent representation of people from different racial groups as well as women working in science careers throughout the series. The animations and videos in the 4D app are brief but interesting. The books can stand on their own without them, but the additional content does enhance the learning experience.

This series would be well-received for independent reading by upper-elementary and middle school students who are interested in science, but it is probably best used in classroom settings as a fun way to introduce scientific concepts. The extension activities and discussion questions in the end matter make these books especially useful in the classroom.

Max Axiom, Super Scientist Series 
The Dynamic World of Chemical Reactions with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
By Agnieszka Biskup
Art by Cynthia Martin and Barbara Schulz
ISBN: 9781543558722

A Journey Through the Digestive System with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
By Emily Sohn
Art by Cynthia Martin and Barbara Schulz
ISBN: 9781543558760

Understanding Viruses with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
By Agnieszka Biskup
Art by Nick Derington
ISBN: 9781543558777

The Earth-Shaking Facts About Earthquakes with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
By Katherine Kohn
Art by Tod Smith and Al Milgrom
ISBN: 9781543558715
Capstone, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: 8-14

Series Reading Order

  • Kelly

    | She/Her Library Information Specialist, South Park Elementary School

    Reviewer

    Kelly Jahng has studied English, history, and French, and taught middle school for sixteen years.She earned a masters in education along the way before changing hats and earning her MLIS at San Jose State University.She now works as the Library Information Specialist at South Park Elementary School in Deerfield, IL.She loves to collaborate with teachers in the school learning commons and to help students create in the makerspace.In her spare time, she loves to travel, enjoy theatre, read and review youth and YA literature, and write the occasional post for various blogs.

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