RUSSELL, Rachel Renée. The Misadventures of Max Crumbly: Locker Hero. illus. by Rachel Renée Russell. 320p. Aladdin. Jun. 2016. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781481460019.
Gr 4-6-From the creator of the “Dork Diaries” comes a new series starring a lovable new hero. Max’s transition from home schooling to public school is rocky, especially since he has asthma and an irritable bladder triggered by social anxiety. His plight deepens when a stereotypical bully, Thug, harasses Max and locks him in his locker—twice. The first time, Max is freed by his crush, Erin, and the two make a connection. The second time, Max is stuck after school for hours. When he finally manages to escape, he discovers hidden sections of the ill-maintained school building. He also discovers inept criminals stealing the school computers. With Erin’s help, he manages to save the day. The character development is light and the style is conversational. Fans of Janet Tashjian’s My Life as a Book will be drawn to the book’s journal-style format and crisp, manga-inspired line drawings. Fans of the melodramatic middle school mayhem in Chris Rylander’s The Fourth Stall or Varian Johnson’s The Great Greene Heist will appreciate Max’s chuckle-worthy adventures. VERDICT A solid purchase for middle school libraries where “The Dork Diaries” are popular. Max’s goofy, embarrassing adventures will make this a popular and high-circulating item in most collections.—Karen Yingling, Blendon Middle School
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