The Misadventures of Max Crumbly Series

By Rachel Renée Russell (Simon & Shuster)

Young readers will love the easy-to-read tales of Max Crumbly and his daily ups and downs in middle school. The series follows the adventures of Max Crumbly at his new school – South Ridge Middle School. While there are some great things about his new school – there’s one big problem – Doug – the school bully – who loves pushing Max into his locker.

Max daydreams about being a superhero like his favorite comic heroes but he has zero superhero qualities so it looks like he’ll have to make do with himself. Written in a chatty, intimate style with a humorous tone and plenty of melodrama, the illustrations by Russell’s daughter, Nikki Russell, bring the story to comic-book life.

This is another series from the best selling author of The Dork Diaries, Rachel Renee Russell. Each book contains a cliff hanger – which can be annoying as you have to wait so long for the next sequel but it does keep children addicted to reading. Russel has a skill in knowing what kids think and talk about – and there is a lot of that dramatic and slightly manic hyper activity in this series that many kids love – think of Timmy Failure and the Middle School series by James Patterson. The text reads like a running gag which keeps kids entertained (and adults a little exhausted). Sample text:

‘Grown ups are always lecturing us kids to ENJOY our childhood because its the BEST time of our lives.

Sorry! But if THIS is supposed to be the good part, them my future is going to be just one GIANT bucket of


Perfect for readers age 9 – 12 years old.  If you’re battling to get your child to read try any of these series as a starting point.

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