cover image Maxine in the Middle

Maxine in the Middle

Holly Keller, Author Greenwillow Books $12.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-688-08150-8

It isn't easy being in the middle. Hand-me-down clothing, last year's Halloween costume, and missing all the special privileges that seem to go with being oldest or youngest leaves middle-child Maxine feeling left out and unloved. Christmas dinner is the last straw. Rosalie, the oldest, gets a drumstick, and Sammy gets the other one because he is the youngest. Maxine is left out--again. When she takes up residence in the backyard tree house, it isn't long before Rosalie and Sammy begin to miss her. Games that were fun for three turn boring when there are only two. The two lonely siblings plan a party to entice Maxine back into the family. Sammy and Rosalie decorate Maxine's ice cream with a cherry and Mom serves doughnut holes with peanut butter and jelly to show that middle things are sometimes best. This tender tale dealing with the woes of the middle child is sensitively written in an unassuming, nonjudgmental manner. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)