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

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4.39  ·  Rating details ·  789 Ratings  ·  185 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
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 23rd 2016 by Nancy Paulsen Books
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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
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Lynn Plourde Yes, Maxi dies at the end of the book--the beginning of the book lets the reader know that--so, yes, a book with tears, but also with laughter. Maxi…moreYes, Maxi dies at the end of the book--the beginning of the book lets the reader know that--so, yes, a book with tears, but also with laughter. Maxi is Timminy's deaf dog. Timminy's next door neighbor is Abby, a blind girl. He also has a neighbor named Rory, whose nickname is Beast of the East because he is so large. Timminy is the shortest kid at his school. It is a book about FITTING IN.(less)

Community Reviews

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Jimmy
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.
Stacey
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.

I
...more
Jana
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
...more
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.
Hillary
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
...more
Ryleigh Hotaling
This story was amazing and was a sad one too, but now it is my favorite book ever
Mary
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
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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
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Erin
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.
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.
Joy Lane
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.
Patrick
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...
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
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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...
Brenda
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
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.
S.c.riley
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie
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
...more
Emily
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I knew going into this one that it was going to be a tearjerker, and it was, but in the very best way. Here are the first two sentences:

Let's get this part over with -- it's no secret. My dog, Maxi, dies.

Oh boy. Yep. I almost put the book down as fast as I picked it up. I'm glad I didn't though, because the story of Timminy and Abby and Rory and Maxi turned out to be pretty wonderful.

Timminy is starting 5th grade at a new school where his dad just took a job as the Assistant Principal. He's sma
...more
Christina Hanson
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Let's get this part over with-it's no secret. My dog, Maxi, dies." If that opening line doesn't grab your attention in Maxi's Secrets by Lynn Plourde, I don't know what will! Ten-year-old, Timminy, was bribed with a dog because his family was moving. When he and his parents went to choose his new dog, Timminy (and Maxi) knew they were the perfect match for each other. But Timminy quickly learns that Maxi is far from perfect; she's deaf. While Timminy is trying to help out Maxi in her silent wor ...more
Kim McGee
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sweet sad story about the healing power of a great big lovable dog who just happens to be deaf. Timminy is moving out to the country where he will finally get the dog he has wanted for a while but he has three strikes against him before he steps one foot into the new middle school - he is really short for his age, he is new and his dad is the new Assistant Principal. As you can imagine, bullies line up to get a chance at him and the jokes are almost too much to bear but Timminy has an ally in Ma ...more
Susan
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
Pam  Page
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read many good middle grade lit this year but Maxi's Secrets is certainly one of the most memorable stories I have read in a long time. I am not sure how the author managed to put together a blind girl, a deaf dog, a very small-for-his age boy and make a story full of humor, profound sadness, and just a great story! Thank you Lynn Plourde for writing from your heart! As I read this book I continually thought of the many dogs who have touched my life and the memories just poured in. Howeve ...more
Sarah
Aug 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, juvenile, 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.
Monika
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.
Carolanne
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!
Gigi
Lynn Plourde's first middle grade novel is a winner! Readers will love Maxi, Timminy, Abby and the rest of the characters as they are drawn together by this amazing dog. Can't wait to share it with my 4th graders!
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NZ Intermediate S...: Maxi's Secrets 1 9 Jan 30, 2017 03:08PM  
92 followers
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 wa ...more

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