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The Misadventures of Max Crumbly 1: Locker Hero

Review

The Misadventures of Max Crumbly 1: Locker Hero

Rachel Renée has done it again! THE MISADVENTURES OF MAX CRUMBLY: Locker Hero is an incredibly relatable, fun and endearing start to what is bound to be an awesome new graphic series from the creator of The Dork Diaries

Created in the same wide universe as The Dork Diaries, MAX CRUMBLY follows Max, a young comic book fan, who is embarking on his first weeks of middle school. New to public school entirely --- he was homeschooled due to health reasons --- Max has a lot to adjust to, especially when he encounters bullies, pretty girls and the complicated business of making new friends. 

When Max finds himself trapped in his locker with no one around to free him during a three day weekend, he's forced to find his own way to escape and in the process stumbles upon a burglary. Soon after, he chooses to become the hero he always wanted to be, the one he reads about in all his favorite comic books.

I don’t want to give to much away except to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book and I think readers of all ages will be, as well!

"THE MISADVENTURES OF MAX CRUMBLY: Locker Hero is an incredibly relatable, fun and endearing start to what is bound to be an awesome new graphic series"

I have a few criticisms --- but nothing major. I just wish that the last section of the novel wasn’t so rushed. A lot of the beginning was spent establishing Max and his anxiety, eccentricities and middle school life. While all of that is necessary for the rest of the book, I just think that the story picked up at the end. I wouldn’t want anyone putting down the book because the beginning was a bit too slow --- especially with what a delight the last part turned out to be!

Another criticism is that this book didn’t seem timeless. A lot of the modern classic kids books have that glowing quality --- the idea that a kid can pick this up now or in 10 years and it will still be fresh. A lot of the dialogue and references didn’t feel that way, and I know that Max is out of touch with a lot since he was homeschooled but I think that a lot of what he was narrating fell flat.

I also think that Max’s characterization needed a little work. He didn’t feel like an eighth grader to me as his actions weren’t mature enough to be close to high school age. However, I don’t think older readers will find him too young. He’s definitely going to be relatable to a lot of younger and older readers!

That being said, I loved how Rachel Renée Russell is handling Max’s anxiety. I think that not only kids but readers of all ages really need to read about all different types of representation, including mental health. Max’s anxiety feels organic and not forced at all as a plot point.

The cliffhanger was also unexpected and fun, marking just another thing that will keep readers entertained. I know I won’t be the only one to look forward to Russel’s second in the series --- and here’s hoping for cameos from Brandon and Nikki!l

Reviewed by Brianna Robinson on June 17, 2016

The Misadventures of Max Crumbly 1: Locker Hero
by Rachel Renée Russell