Saturday, May 16, 2009

Review: Max Quigley

Summary: Bully or not, Max Quigley is in for a life change, as he and his sometimes victim Triffin Nordstrom are forced together by their parents. It's not Triffin's idea of a good time, and it's certainly not Max's. But it is definitely going to happen, and neither of them knows when the torment will end. -- Houghton Mifflin

Since I have a daughter who is a huge reader, I love to find middle grade books that we both can read and enjoy. MAX QUIGLEY: TECHNICALLY NOT A BULLY by James Roy was a great find! We both read this book within a few days of each other and agreed that it was a very fun book to read.

I highly recommend MAX QUIGLEY for all middle-grade readers because not only is it a very entertaining book, but it also deals with a very serious issue -- bullying. I love that this book is written for middle-grade aged children because sometimes it is difficult for kids at this age to talk about bullies. I hope this book can be the opportunity for parents to open up communication with their children about bullying -- whether they are being bullied or even are the bully!

My daughter and I both liked this book, but I think this story will resonate better with young boys. The characters of Max and Triffin are somewhat typical of boys in every school -- the bully vs. the smart boy. I think Max and his insights into life are extremely funny, but the humor is definitely geared towards boys. That's not to say that girls won't like this book too -- I'm just saying that MAX QUIGLEY is a story that boys will love!

As a mother, I realize that it's "normal" for some kids to be bullies; however, I don't think we just have to accept this behavior. I'm fortunate that (so far) my kids have not been on the receiving end of serious bullying behavior, but that doesn't mean that I don't see it. It just breaks my heart to see how much damage one child can do to another, with not only with physical abuse but also with harsh words. Our elementary school as a fantastic bully prevention program that seems to be helping, but I think books like MAX QUIGLEY might be another way to bring attention to this topic.

There were definitely some valuable messages in this book that all children need to hear. First and foremost, the issue of bullying was covered from both sides. I have read quite a few books about children who were being taunted by bullies, but I can't remember reading about a bullying situation from the bully's point of view. I love that this book got into the mind of the school bully, and I think some kids will definitely be able to relate to Max. However, what I really liked about this story was how Max eventually realized how he was being perceived by others; and I was so proud of him for realizing how to be a good friend.

Here are Booking Daughter's thoughts:

I liked MAX QUIGLEY although I thought it was kind of boyish. I think the book was not just for kids that get bullied, but also for kids that bully. I liked how Max changed throughout the story by becoming nicer. I also liked the drawings on some of the pages. I enjoyed reading about the other characters in the story, not just about Max.

A big thanks to The Picnic Basket for bringing this opportunity to my attention.


Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Sounds like a great book! I'll have to tell my nine year old about it!!

bermudaonion said...

This sounds like a winner. Middle grade seems to be when bullying starts in earnest, so that's a great time to address the issue.

Bonnie said...

This sounds like a perfect book for middle grade and my son, who is 10, would like this one. I'll be on the lookout for a copy. I am interested in reading it as well to see how they show both sides of the bullying issue. I'm glad to hear that you feel it did a good job. My son has dealt with some bullying issues and this would be a good book for him to read.

Thanks for telling us about The picnic Basket! It looks like a great blog and I'm adding it to my google reader to follow.

Beth F said...

This is a very important subject to address with children. I'll recommend it my brothers.

Gaby317 said...

Thanks for reviewing this book! It sounds like a fun read for me and my nephews.