Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Maxi's Secrets: (or what you can learn from a dog)” as Want to Read:
Maxi's Secrets: (or what you can learn from a dog)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Maxi's Secrets: (or what you can learn from a dog)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,339 ratings  ·  262 reviews
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.
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 d
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 23rd 2016 by Nancy Paulsen Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Maxi's Secrets, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ani Hornung Yes, Maxi is a Great Pyrenees, or rather, a Pyr. She is also a deaf but most lovable dog. I hope I helped,

Goodreads Staff Thallia…more
Yes, Maxi is a Great Pyrenees, or rather, a Pyr. She is also a deaf but most lovable dog. I hope I helped,

Goodreads Staff Thallia(less)
Alivia A Me!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,339 ratings  ·  262 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Maxi's Secrets: (or what you can learn from a dog)
Timminy’s family are moving him to a new town, and he isn’t excited. He’ll have to start a new school which he’s nervous about. The one positive thing about the move is that he’s allowed to get a dog for a pet. When Maxi, a Great Pyrenees comes into his life, everything changes. Maxi is just what Timminy needs. After all, there’s a lot you can learn from a dog.

My kids and I resonated with this book being the dog lovers that we are, but more so because we also have a deaf dog. What a blessing she
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is exceptional. It goes so beyond the mere presence of Maxi. It really provides "secrets" which can be applied to all human beings. It explores many themes such relationships, overcoming challenges, and accepting others differences. It hit close to home in so many parts. I laughed and cried. And the quotes to end each chapter.
Jodi Ellis
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A tear-jerker, but worth it! When my husband died, people always asked me why I married a man with a terminal illness...why I would put myself through that, knowing what the end result would be. I always said, "Why give up on all those happy times, just because of the one bad thing that would happen in the end?" This rings true in this book as well. Some things are worth the heartache...
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is not your average boy and his dog book. Maxi's Secrets will have you reveling in Plourde's ability to develop characters in a true and surprising way.

This is a heart print book for me. One that will stick with me long after tonight. If you love stories about friendship (even in the most unlikely places), bravery and canine companionship, then this is the book for you.
Scott Fillner
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I am usually able to judge a book based on the buzz it gets. This book generated A LOT of buzz with readers I trust. Due to this I ordered it for our Mock Newbery before I even read it. But, the buzz couldn't have prepared me for what I actually experienced. This book is SO much more that a "Dog" story.

This book has it all. The layers between characters, the growth of characters, the connections in this story, and the importance of having and developing a voice are so strong in this book.

The reader is told right up front: "Let's get this part over with - it's no secret. My dog, Maxi, dies."

But even with that blunt warning, I plunged ahead into the book. And even though I sat on the sofa and bawled my eyes out, I have to say that this book is just awesome!

Book lovers, even those with past experience reading Sounder, Old Yeller, and many others, dive into these books because the relationship we have with our pets is so universal. We know that we're about to share a special experie
Michele Knott
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is going to be around for a long long time because it's going to stick in the hearts of many many readers.
Thank you, Lynn Plourde, for giving us Maxi and Timminy.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book that has made me cry in front of my class. We loved it! Every time I stopped reading the gang would clamor for more.

Plourde nailed the voice and essence of a fifth grade boy! Specifically the insecurity and anger that goes along with a perceived fault. And just when that anger was on the verge of being too much the character morphed and grew in a realistic and relatable way. Towards the end of the book when Maxi dies -- I started to feel a bit uncomfortable with the freque
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it
It was good, but some parts where a little sad. But it was a nice story about a dog.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Let's just get this out of the way: the dog dies. This isn't a spoiler. You know it from the very first line. So the question, then, is: why would someone (like me) who loves dogs and has made an unofficial stance to never read a book where the dog dies, read (and love) this book?

It's because Lynn Plourde wove the heart of having a dog through every page, and, essentially, that's what this book is about. It's about why we have dogs, and what they give us, and why it's always, always worth it, ev
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
I picked this book to donate to my library as a memorial for my dog Liza. Liza was more than 14 years old last December, nearly blind, mostly deaf, and suffering from too many aches and pains, it was time to let her go. It took me until September of this year to find the right book to dedicate to Liza. I think this was the right book, hope it reaches its audience here, and everywhere.

Lynn Plourde is a Maine author who previously wrote picture books. This is her first middle grade novel. Maxi's S
Nancy Kotkin
Even though the opening of this middle grade novel discloses that the dog dies, the last 30 pgs are incredibly sad. Yet, that's also where the writing picks up and excels. Other than that bold in-your-face opening (Let's get this part over with - it's no secret. My dog, Maxi, dies.), absolutely no symptoms of Maxi's illness show until pg 189 of the book's 262 pgs. Yet when the family takes her to the vet, the cancer has already spread too far to be treatable.

The story is slow-paced until the las
Maxi's story is one I know readers are going to love so much. I loved the friendship between Timminy and Abby, as well as the unlikely friendship found with Rory. All three of those characters are so multidimensional, giving readers a lot to think about as they navigate their own friendships during the difficult middle grade years. I appreciated a story that includes supportive parents in a strong family unit. That's not something that's easy to do in a middle grade novel but this story found a ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favorite of the SSYRA books so far. I liked the characters, how they changed and were different based on the perceptions people had of them. The fog was pretty cool too. It's like the different popular dog books (A Dog's Purpose, The Art of Racing in the Rain, etc) but for kids.
Aug 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile, arc, realistic
I was 90% sure I wouldn't cry because the first line tells you that the dog will die.

I was wrong.

An emotionally affecting story, but I found it a bit simplistic for the majority of the time. It reminded me a bit of The Year of Billy Miller with the straightforward way the story was told. I would have appreciated a bit more complexity in the writing.

Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Netgalley.
Tj Shay
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am giving this book seven out of five stars. This is a true work of heart. Lynn's storytelling is perfectly paced and filled with the perfect amount of laughter, love, and struggle.

Something I've learned from my reading life.....if it's a Nancy Paulsen book, you are going to cherish it.

Review based on uncorrected proof.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
A wonderful dog story that has it all. A lovable dog, interesting characters, deep connections within themes, a great friendship, and, yes, lessons you can learn from a dog. I loved the short chapters and the way the author braided even harder lessons and the characters' development within the story. Give this to dog-loving middle grade kids or - as a read aloud - to their teachers.
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Much more than another sad dog story. You know from page one that the dog dies, no surprises then, but still hard to read. Yes, the dog will let you know when it's time - I learned that too from personal experience :-(. Lots of good things to talk/discuss about friendships & stereotypes! ...more
Stacy  Natal
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
It didn't touch me as much as most dog books I've read, but I liked the life secrets posted after each chapter. Also, middle school kids could identify with feeling "different" as Timminy, Rory, Abby, and Devon all had ways in which they were different from other middle schoolers.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh. Another incredible MG novel. Read it in one day and yes it made me cry again!!! A must/read...
Joy Lane
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love the opening chapter. Encourage the reluctant reader to at least read to Chapter 8 before they stop reading. They need to be patient as the stage is being set. They will not be disappointed.
Julie Baker
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: state-awards

Chosen Text Set: Students will choose from the three books I have provided below. I will have 6 sets of each book.

Brown, Peter (2016). The wild robot. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

Clements, Andrew (2017). The loser’s club. New York, NY: Random House.

Plourde, Lynn (2016). Maxi’s secrets. New York, NY: Puffin Books.

Short Summary and Commonalities: Character Development & Theme

The Wild Robot: Roz’s character development is heavily impacted by the interactions of other co-hab
Shreya M
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, but I didn't think it deserved a full five stars. It was really boring at the beginning, but it gets much better after the first several chapters.
The story plot is what made me give this book 4 stars. I liked the main character (Timminy) and his deaf dog (Maxi). They had very neat portions in the book that made me really enjoy it and want to keep reading.
I really hated Timminy's blind friend, Abby. I wish the author had chosen to put another character in her place. The
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
~teeny tiny spoiler that comes really early on~

despite how this book makes me want to cry almost every time i read this, i can’t stop myself from rereading it every once in a while.

maxi’s secrets is about a short boy who moves from a big city to a small town. he encounters bullies & makes new friends, his new (deaf) dog helping him through it all.

i’m not great at reviews but overall what i was trying to say was that- this is a great story that yes, is targeted at a younger audience, but is sti
Libby Manship
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Perfect book for family book club with our elementary aged kids. Love unconditionally, respect differences, stand up for what is right, and the struggle of dealing with loss ... this book covers it all. Heartbreaking and smile provoking, the story of Timiny, Maxi, Rory and Abby will have long-lasting impression.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Aww, this book was so sweet! I think I might be a little older than the target audience because the language seemed a little simple, but it makes sense because the main character is in 5th grade. I would really recommend this book and I liked the diversity of the characters. However, I wish I had read it a few years ago.
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thanks Julie for sharing your book with me. You were right - I am glad that I read it. I liked the characters and they story. I like we get to see the characters grow and change as the chapters progress. Maxi has many secrets to teach us.
What secrets can I learn from the friends I spend my days with? I think I'll try to pay attention and notice.
Melinda Bender
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Timminy is having a hard time this year when his family decides to move out of state, he has to start a new middle school and to top it off his dad is the new assistant principal. Then the best thing that could happen is that his parents get him a dog and he names her Maxi. Something seems different about Maxi, she doesn’t respond to sounds. Timminy soon discovers that Maxi is deaf. Together they become friends with Abby the next door neighbor girl who is blind. This is a story of overcoming one ...more
Kylee  Dunn
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claire Hutton
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was great. It makes you self reflect and is a really amazing book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
NZ Intermediate S...: Maxi's Secrets 1 9 Jan 30, 2017 03:08PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Soar
  • When Friendship Followed Me Home
  • Framed! (Framed #1)
  • Save Me a Seat
  • Counting Thyme
  • Moo
  • The Seventh Wish
  • Unbound: A Novel in Verse
  • Saving Marty
  • Wish
  • Book Uncle and Me
  • Garvey's Choice
  • Payback on Poplar Lane
  • The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend
  • Jubilee
  • The Losers Club
  • The Doughnut Fix (The Doughnut Fix #1)
  • The Great Treehouse War
See similar books…
I write kids' books--talk about a FUN job! I worked for 21 years as a speech-language therapist in Maine schools. When I got married, I got 3 & 4-year-old stepsons as part of my ready-made family. I read the boys picture books at bedtime. They fell asleep after 2 or 3 books, but I kept reading stacks and stacks of picture books and started to dream . . . maybe I could write picture books. I was al ...more

News & Interviews

Are you having a difficult time reading these days? If so, you're not alone. Since the pandemic began, I've found it harder to concentrate on...
76 likes · 35 comments
“Bad news is still bad news - even if you're expecting it.” 3 likes
When life gives you a pile of poop, you’re gonna get dirty—so you may as well roll with it.”
More quotes…