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.
Lynn Plourde 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 loves spending time outdoors snowshoing, walking, kayaking, and gardening, and currently lives in Winthrop.
"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