Dear MaxTitle: Dear Max
Author: D.J. Lucas, a.k.a. Sally Grindley
ISBN: 9781416934431
Pages: 141 pages
Publisher/Date: Aladdin Paperbacks, c2004.

“Dear D.J. Lucas,
My uncle bought me one of your books for Christmas. It’s called Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Boy? I really like it. I like it most because the little girl turns out to be a big hero. Is it your best book? Have you written any other books? I want to be a writer when I grow up.
Love from Max
Age 9″ (5)

So starts a year long correspondance between nine year old (almost ten) Max and author D.J. Lucas. These two share the hardships of bullys, birthdays, and writing. Although the same age of Leigh in Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, the situations Max encounters don’t seem as serious, and Max is more light-hearted then Leigh. Max’s mysterious operation and eating restrictions might add a thin plot line for some readers, but the vague references leads to unanswerable questions in my mind. It’s a short, simple story, which is what prevents me from elaborating further on the plot. It also sets up expectations for children who might like to write to their own favorite author, and don’t get a personalized famous penpal in the process.