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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Max’s Wild Night by Meg Welch Dendler is the story of a runaway dog, Max, who is unhappy with his new routine where his play-time has been cut short because the Daddy-man and Mama-lady are both busy. One day when Daddy-man lets him out at night to go potty before bedtime, Max discovers an amazing smell by a tree at the far end of the yard. Max snuffles along the ground in the dark, and loses his way ... and finds himself all alone in the moonlit woods. Max realizes that he has never been separated from humans before and is now all alone. Max did not want to go back now that he is free and he does not have to hear his Mama-lady calling him a Bad Dog.
Max’s adventures in the Ozark forest and mountains are exciting and readers get to see him meeting other dogs, snakes, coyotes, and a badger as he runs through the Ozark mountains. The fact that freedom comes with its own risks is a good lesson that young readers will learn after seeing Max and his dangerous adventures that night when he runs away from home. The detailed narration makes the scenes vivid and will draw young readers into the story. The author’s fluidity in expression gives the story a good pace and there is never a dull moment in the plot, from start to finish. The fact that the story is based on true events makes it more exciting and the black and white pictures in the book will help young readers connect better with Max.