Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Maxi's Secrets: (or what you can learn from a dog) Hardcover – August 23, 2016
See the Best Kids' Books of 2017 So Far
Looking for great new reads for kids of all ages? Browse our editors' picks for the best kids' books of the year so far including gorgeous picture books, fun new series starters, and captivating young adult novels.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Extra short fifth grader Timminy doesn't beat around the bush when he notifies readers upfront that the canine heroine of the story will meet a similar fate as beloved dogs like Old Yeller and Sounder. Maxi, a Great Pyrenees puppy, is the bribe Timminy's parents dangled when they moved the family from Portland, ME, to middle of nowhere, Skenago. Timminy is terrified of starting middle school, fearing he will be the target of bullies, and having his dad as the vice principal surely can't help matters any. Timminy's fears are validated, as he soon faces relentless bullying and is frequently trapped in the lockers. He looks forward each day to returning home to Maxi, who the family soon discovers is deaf. Timminy's neighbor, fellow middle schooler Abby, is blind, and the two quickly form a friendship. Timminy is amazed that Abby doesn't let her blindness slow her down, and he eventually develops a shift in his own thinking about his shortcomings. Each chapter ends with one of Maxi's "secrets," such as "A new friend is like a present—you're not sure what's inside, but you can't wait to find out." The secrets are little gems, providing food for thought. Timminy's ability to make fun of himself backfires when he and Abby have a misunderstanding, which leads to a falling-out. When Abby gets lost in the woods during a horrible snowstorm, it's up to the small boy and his dog to find her. The characters are fully developed, and the delicate subjects of bullying and disabilities are dealt with deftly and with humor. The story would make a great read-aloud, as Plourde has created humorous and believable characters that readers will be cheering for. Knowing Maxi's fate from the outset makes for a heartbreaking, yet satisfying, ending. VERDICT A novel that will have wide appeal to dog lovers and those looking for a feel-good tale of overcoming adversity.—Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA
“The secrets are little gems, providing food for thought. . . . The characters are fully developed, and the delicate subjects of bullying and disabilities are dealt with deftly and with humor. The story would make a great read-aloud, as Plourde has created humorous and believable characters that readers will be cheering for. . . . Will have wide appeal to dog lovers and those looking for a feel-good tale of overcoming adversity.”—School Library Journal
“Plourde’s skillful blend of humor, pathos, and wisdom creates a story that begs to be shared with middle-grade students, who will fall in love with a deaf dog, her steadfast owner, and the rest of the characters who populate the novel. . . . A story of love and friendship that deserves to join the ranks of other unforgettable canines and their owners.”—Booklist
“Timminy is a funny, personable narrator. . . . A hopeful, satisfying conclusion. Bullying and disabilities are handled honestly. . . . Perfect for reading aloud, any middle-level or younger student, especially dog lovers, will adore this humorous, heartwarming story of overcoming adversity.”—Voice of Youth Advocates
“Timminy’s coping strategies could help readers dealing with the loss of a pet. . . . This earnest boy-and-his-dog tale makes a strong case for Secret No. 11: ‘There’s nothing so bad in the world that dog kisses won’t make it better.’”—Kirkus Reviews
“Plourde clearly shows Maxi's remarkable influence on the lives of Timminy, his family, and his friends. This story is a tender reminder that perceived shortcomings don't define us and that the power of friendship can't be underestimated.”—Publishers Weekly
“Full of funny, touching moments, and learning how to make your way in a new and unfamiliar situation, this is a wonderful story about the love between a boy and his dog.”—School Library Connection
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
Here's the thing: it's a "nice" story. It is written fairly well, and includes the basic elements (a bully who redeems himself, a main character who gets picked on but finds his own strength, a unique friend, and a bunch of tidy little lessons). It's nice. But the dog dies. And it isn't particularly unique/interesting/different than any other middle grade book. Sort of a sad snooze for me.
This wonderful novel packed with wisdom in the form of “secrets” features a diverse cast of lovable characters trying to make their way through middle school while facing various issues, such as being new and different, having disabilities, and being bullied, not to mention the dreaded LOCKERS! (I still remember worrying about being able to open my locker in middle school! Opening her locker was also my daughter’s #1 worry!)
Maxi’s boy, Timminy explains, “Classes are the safe part of school. I hate the in-between parts—before school, break time, passing between classes, lunch. All potential land mines that can blow up any second.” (“Secret #12: The combination to unlock middle school survival is one big mystery.”)
But soon Maxi, a Great Pyrenees with a disability of her own, teaches them that life is best lived together. (“Secret #45: The bad stuff, like the good stuff, needs to be shared.”)
Despite being deaf, Maxi listens to everyone she loves . . . with her heart! “Secret #8: It’s possible to hear someone even if your ears don’t work.” The corollary? It’s also possible NOT to hear someone even if your ears work fine. Part of loving is listening.
And Maxi loves EVERYONE.
Without expectation. “Secret #29: When you expect nothing . . . everything is a treat.” So true! It’s when we place expectation on others—instead of ourselves—that we’re headed for disappointment.
Thankfully, dogs like Maxi teach us to forgive easily and quickly. And completely.
I agree wholeheartedly with Plourde: The love, wisdom, and joy a dog imparts is greater than the pain of outliving them. There’s a dog whose tail still thump-thump-thumps in my heart, too. And I believe—hope—I honored her by adopting another dog. For me, knowing loss and choosing love anyway is greater love in action. As Plourde writes, “The only thing that matters is LOVE.”
I LOVED THIS BOOK!
P.S. The acknowledgements are as thoughtfully and beautifully written as the book itself. I loved reading about Plourde’s inspiration for Maxi: her dog, Maggie. Like Maggie, my special dog is still here with me at my desk, too.