Chaos to Canvas
Maxwell Smart’s memoir is now available in a new edition titled The Boy in the Woods, published by HarperCollins. Purchase the book here.
In the town of Buczacz, Poland, eleven-year-old Maxwell plays in the ruins of old castles and enjoys a quiet life with his family until the summer of 1941, when the Nazis invade and destroy his childhood forever. Maxwell narrowly escapes deportation and certain death, and soon finds himself all alone in the frozen woods, hiding from roving groups of Nazis and Ukrainian collaborators. Lonely and in despair, afraid and starving, Maxwell must rely on the kindness of a farmer and on his own resourcefulness and imagination to survive. In the harrowing yet inspiring journey of Chaos to Canvas, Maxwell eloquently describes his transformation from a boy dependent on his family to a teenager fighting to survive and, ultimately, to a man who finds himself through art in a life beyond war.
Introduction by Carol Zemel
- At a Glance
- Postwar Austria, displaced persons camp; Romania
- War Orphans Project
- Arrived in Canada in 1948
- Adjusting to life in Canada
- Art by author
- Educational materials available: Maxwell Smart Activity
- Recommended Ages