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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Max Odor Does Not Stink is a joyful and youthful story written by Greg Trine. As he embarks on his journey through the first year at Robert Frost Junior High, Max Odor (pronounced Odder) has some huge shoes to fill. Not only does his older brother, Jason, have the label as the most gifted sportsman on the football field, but Jason also holds a record that Max knows he will be expected to break - to run the length of the Year 9's oval without getting pummelled and stuffed into a trash can by the Year 9 students. Max not only meets a new friend on his first day, but he also meets Emily Brookings - another junior who simply takes his breath away with her beauty. Ignored at home on a daily basis, Max has two goals for his first year at school: to win Emily's heart and to make it through the year without being stuffed into a trash can.
Greg Trine's marvelous and extremely entertaining story of Max Odor's adventures on growing up had me smiling with each turn of the page. I was thrilled when Max makes a new friend through heroic actions and felt Max's elation at meeting the girl who he is determined to marry someday. Not only did Max have wonderful adventures, but he also had to endure bullying at the hands of his brother's enemies and felt peer pressure and guilt that threatened to crush him from the inside. I couldn't help but sympathize with Max and shed a tear at his pain when a secret he'd promised to keep reveals itself far too late. So many pressures put on someone so young truly feels like the weight of the world on your shoulders, but Max Odor Does Not Stink brought back so many memories of my own high school years which made me both laugh and cry.
Greg Trine's tale of a boy who is starting his journey toward becoming a teenager certainly did not let me down on any level and I highly recommend Max Odor Does Not Stink for young readers aged 10-16 - not only for the purpose of a great stride into humor and entertainment but also so that people can see how the peer pressures in a young life can truly feel like the weight of the world. This was most definitely the ultimate read for young teens of the world, and I cannot sing the praises of Greg Trine enough for a teenage tale which left me hoping for a sequel and more.