When a BIG, lovable, does-it-her-way dog wiggles her way into the heart of a loudmouth pipsqueak of a boy, wonderful things happen that help him become a bigger, better person. With its diverse cast, authentic narrator, and perfect blend of spot-on middle-grade humor, drama, and wisdom, this powerful debut is relatable, funny, bittersweet, and full of heart.
Timminy knows that moving to a new town just in time to start middle school when you are perfect bully bait is less than ideal. But he gets a great consolation prize in Maxi—a gentle giant of a dog who the family quickly discovers is deaf. Timminy is determined to do all he can to help Maxi—after all, his parents didn't return him because he was a runt. But when the going gets rough for Timminy, who spends a little too much time getting shoved into lockers at school, Maxi ends up being the one to help him—along with their neighbor, Abby, who doesn’t let her blindness define her and bristles at Timminy’s “poor-me” attitude. It turns out there’s more to everyone than what’s on the surface, whether it comes to Abby, Maxi, or even Timminy himself.
About the Author
Lynn Plourde (www.lynnplourde.com) is the author of 29 picture books, and Maxi’s Secrets is her debut middle-grade novel. A former speech-language therapist, she worked in public schools for twenty-one years. She was born and raised in Maine, where she still lives, and she loves spending time outdoors snowshoeing, walking, kayaking, and gardening.
“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