Monday, March 3, 2014

Immortal Max by Lutricia Clifton

Sam, 12, really wants a pedigree puppy, but he is told that he must wait until Max, an older, overly affectionate, mangy-looking, smelly rescue dog dies before he can get a new dog.  His mother thinks that a puppy might be too much for old Max to deal with.

Trouble is, Max is a miracle dog.  Brought home one day from her job by older sister Beth, Max was on his leg and expected to die within days.  But with Sam's care, Max recovered and ever since has become known as immortal Max.

But Sam finally gets his mom to change her mind about a new puppy, so now he must figure out how to pay for it when he discovers the high cost of a pedigree dog.  With the help of two classmates, Sam gets a job walking three dogs in an exclusive gated community, but unfortunately, Justin, a boy in his class, lives there, too - Justin, who has money to burn AND a pedigree German Shepard.  And there is nothing that Justin enjoys more than bullying Sam, especially when he can do it in his father's golf cart.

But when a tragic accident happens, Sam loses his job even though it wasn't his fault.  Is his dream of a new pedigree puppy gone?

Lutricia Clifton likes to write stories about character's coming of age and coming to terms with the rotten deal life has dealt them - or so they think that is what they have gotten.  Remember Freaky Fast Frankie Joe?  Immortal Max is also an interesting story about learning to appreciate what you have and realizing that things in life are always tentative - here today, gone tomorrow.

I think Clifton created a nice contrast between rich, upper class, mean-spirited Justin and his wild untrained German Shepard Bruno, and Sam, whose family is always trying to make ends meet since his father was killed in an auto accident, and Max, his well trained, fiercely loyal and loving dog.

I did find myself getting annoyed with Sam's selfishness in the beginning.  And even though he at first resents the $75.00 his mother spends on his little sister Rosie's entry into a princess contest, it turns out to be a very rewarding experience for Sam.  And he does care that Beth is driving on bald tires after paying her college tuition and fees.

I am sure we will all recognize Sam's level of desperate desire, in his case, for a pedigree puppy, wanting it so badly he is blind to everything but that.  Yet, haven't' we or our kids all wanted something just that badly at some point in our/their lives?

I did like that Sam's school friends are a somewhat diverse group that included an Indian boy and an Asian girl, giving it a nice realistic touch.

And while I do think that the ending may feel a little predictable, it is Sam's journey to that ending that we are really interested in…because, of course, we could see what he couldn't.

FYI: There is a 5 autographed copy giveaway on Goodreads for Immortal Max running from March 1st to March 30th.

Immortal Max will be available on April 1, 2014.

This book is recommended for readers age 9+
This book was an ARC from the publisher

1 comment:

  1. Hi Alex, Immortal Max sounds like the ideal companion for Sam. I do hope Sam appreciates him before it’s too late. I love books that involve dogs and children, so I’m sure I would enjoy this. I'm rather older than 9+ but I still want to read it! Barbara


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