And now for something a little different: The Quest Diaries of Max Crack

What is this about?: Young Max Crack is new in town and has a quest list of things he wants to including finding a BFF and solving a mystery.

What else is this about?: Finding friends who appreciate your weirdness, arguing with them and compromising. And, it’s written in the form of a complete with lined pages that look like a notebook and comics, and cartoons — and it is hands down, just fun.


Hi everyone! I’m Max Crack and this awesome book is all about me and my quests and my best friend Frankie!

Buried treasure, new school, doodles, peanut butter and honey toast, best friends, horrible blobs, mysteries, Meddlyslop, spelling bees (hard words, harder words), more doodles, comics, World War Undies … this book has it ALL.

The Quest Diaries of Max Crack (yes that’s his real name) introduces readers to young Max, who is just about to enter a new school. He is afraid of not making any friends, but very quickly he finds ad makes friends with Frankie — and thereby knocking off the first thing on his Quest list.

What is his quest list? It is Max’s list of things he wants to do in his new home and school, where no one knows him. It’s his clean slate, and who can’t appreciate that?

So, Jules Faber takes readers on a fun ride (quest) with Max and Frankie. Frankie is the youngest brother in a big family, and Max is an only child — they both envy each other’s family life for different reasons, but Faber always manages to make each home sound wonderful in their own way. I enjoyed that the book explored what it meant to Frankie to be the youngest, with all the hand-me-downs in the family, and how much he wanted something that was his. There’s a complexity like this to parts of the book, that coupled with the funny cartoons and humourous writing that makes it all the more enjoyable.

I have to note too that nothing is too weird for this book — I think it celebrates all the weirdness that comes with being a kid, with an active imagination that might, more often than not, be told to calm down, to think the right way and not the different, weird way.

And the pages are lined like the pages of a notebook, with Faber showing off his skills as his cartoonist within its pages.

However, it is Frankie and Max’s relationship that is the heart of the book: they fight and argue, and Max is afraid at one stage he has ruined their friendship — but his father reminds him of how to maintain a friendship.

This book, these two are so relatable! And coupled with the talent of Faber, who is an accomplished cartoonist, it’s going to be easy for a young reader is going to see themselves in these pages.

Friendship can be so complicated at a young age, when every little thing can be blow up to mean 10x more than it really should — and it does for Max and Frankie, but their friendship survives and grows stronger as the book progresses, and they continue on their adventures — ahem, quests.

Because yes, there is a mystery to be solved, and an adventure to be had! 


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