Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Mubarak (Book II, Detective Maxine Hill Series)
Young Detective Maxine Hill is always busy performing community service, investigating issues, and exploring future careers. However, Maxine is facing a special challenge this year. This time it’s very personal. Follow our little problem solver as she finds a solution for a unique situation. Detective Maxine HIll is on the case again and she’s on the way back! If you enjoyed Maxine’s New Job, you will like Book II of the series; Maxine Listens.
Book Excerpt: Maxine Listens
One afternoon Maxine Hill began to notice some changes in her vision during her math class. Her teacher, Mr. Norman, was explaining a process on the whiteboard and his writing was completely blurred. She knew she would eventually grow tired of asking Mr. Norman to repeat the instructions, even the ones written on the board. Maxine finally asked to be moved closer to the front of the class. After a few weeks she realized the new seating arrangement did not seem to be helping. Mr. Norman had also noticed her squinting her eyes on several occasions and decided to call Maxine’s mother, Mrs. Hill, and discuss the situation.
“Mr. Norman, I am so glad you brought this to our attention. I am noticing how Max has to adjust her glasses several times when we are working on a puzzle, playing Scrabble, or watching a movie. I’ll call our ophthalmologist and make an appointment immediately,” said Mrs. Hill.
Maxine did not like the sound of that. She did not enjoy visits to the doctor’s office, especially when her eyes had to be dilated.
“Oh no, not another eye appointment,” Maxine uttered in a slow moan. “The eye drops don’t hurt Mom, but the ride home is rough because the sun seems extra bright after my eyes are dilated.”
“I know honey, but Dr. Chambers has to look inside those beautiful brown eyes to see what’s going on,” Mrs. Hill replied.
That night, Maxine sat on the couch with her Dad watching TV. When she briefly took her eyes off the screen she caught a glimpse of her cat, Amos. He was sitting on her mother’s favorite chair.
“Shoo Amos! Get down from there!” Maxine waved. Amos scurried off the chair onto the floor. “Wow!” she shouted, “I am so glad tomorrow is Friday! It’s been a busy week at school and I’m looking forward to enjoying the weekend.”
“Well,” replied Mrs. Hill, tapping her foot against the carpet, “if you want to enjoy the weekend then you better head upstairs and get ready for bed. It’s a school night. Do you know what time it is young lady?”
“Please Mom!” Maxine begged, “It’s only 9:30 and tomorrow is Friday.”
“I know honey,” said Mrs. Hill as she sat down on her favorite chair, “but you need all the rest you can get because we have your early morning appointment with Dr. Chambers. I have your doctor’s note prepared for the attendance office tomorrow explaining your late arrival, so go upstairs and get ready for bed. Right now!”
“OK Mom. I can’t believe I forgot all about my eye appointment. Nighty-night, Dad,” Maxine said reluctantly, dragging her feet across the floor and adjusting her glasses.
“What did you say Max?” Mr. Hill asked.
“I said . . . NIGHTY-NIGHT, DAD!” Maxine raised her voice and laughed.
Mr. Hill nodded and smiled as Maxine gave him a big hug, scooped up Amos and ran up the stairs. The next morning, Maxine and Mrs. Hill left early to avoid the traffic which seemed to swell between 6:30 am and 8:00 am, especially during the weekdays. Maxine noticed the construction workers drilling and operating the huge cranes as they passed the detour signs. The highway was filled with red dust blowing from the machinery.
“Mom, when are they going to finish this interstate? They have been working on this since I was in second grade,” said Maxine with a frown on her face. Mrs. Hill smiled, “Baby, you might be a senior in high school before it’s completed. Road construction sometimes lasts for years.” Maxine sighed, put her head back on the seat, closed her eyes and listened to her favorite musical group on the radio for the remainder of the ride.
After arriving at the doctor’s office, Maxine sat on the red leather chair next to Dr. Chambers’ rack of magazines, and began looking over the latest issues. Hmm, where are the kid’s magazines? I don’t want to read the Ladies Home Journal, thought Maxine. As soon as she found a copy of Sports Illustrated for Kids with an interesting article named “Girls on The Mound,” the receptionist walked into the patient waiting area with a folder in her hand and announced, “Maxine Hill.”
“OK Max, that’s us,” said Mrs. Hill.
Moments later, Maxine sat quietly as Dr. Chambers began his eye exam. “Max, your mom says you have been having some vision problems in class lately.”
“Yes, mostly in math class when I’m looking back and forth from the whiteboard to my notebook,” answered Maxine.
“Well, your exam shows no serious vision concerns, but your prescription needs to be upgraded for another pair of glasses. This is not unusual for your nearsightedness. We will discuss contacts as you get older. Until then, you will be just fine. However, I would like to see you in six months,” explained Dr. Chambers.
Mrs. Hill smiled and thanked Dr. Chambers. Maxine shook Dr. Chambers’ hand and walked out to the receptionist’s counter while her mom waited on the instructions for the next appointment. A few minutes later they left the doctor’s office and headed for B. H. Obama Elementary School.
As they walked to the car, Maxine said, “Mom, I saw some cool, round purple frames in the 20-20 Optical Store window in the mall last week. Can we take my new prescription there this weekend and see if they can measure them for me?”
“We sure can Max. It’s a deal,” Mrs. Hill gleamed.
( Continued… )
© 2019 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Dr. Lynda Mubarak. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Maxine Listens by Dr. Lynda Mubarak will be released on March 23, 2019
Picture Book for ages 6-10. Genre: Children’s Literature
Purchase books: https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-Mubarak/e/B01ELLYYGO
Intimate Conversation with Dr. Lynda Mubarak
BPM Describe yourself in three words.
I am funny, optimistic and creative.
BPM What drove you to publish your first book? How long have you been writing?
I did not write my first book until I retired as a special education teacher and facilitator. I have been writing professionally for three years.
BPM Introduce us to the people in the book, Maxine Listens. Give us some insight into your main speakers.
The main characters in Maxine Listens are 5th grader student Maxine Hill and her parents, the Hills. Maxine is an only child with a pet cat named Amos. She spend hours reading, doing community service with her family at a local food pantry. Maxine enjoys solving mysteries, puzzles, and other family, neighborhood and school events. She is often told by her mom that she asks far too many questions. Her family thinks she may have a future career in law enforcement as a detective or in forensic science as an investigator or researcher. Maxine reads constantly, is president of her school book club, plays Scrabble with her BFF, Amanda Grayson, and often enrolls in courses offered at the local library including American Sign Language and Creative Writing. Mr. and Mrs. Hill are often amazed by Maxine’s interest in anything and everything from architecture and engineering to learning Mandarin Chinese.
BPM Share one specific point in your book that resonated with your present situation or journey.
Maxine’s mothers tells her, “Max, if you want to learn the truth about a person or a group of people, take some time to learn how they live, work and play.” I think so much time is spent analyzing or over-analyzing people or other cultures that we often forget that life experiences are different for all of us and we are all products of the events and backgrounds in our life. Your view of life can transition as you mature and grow. How you feel about a person or situation at 20 may be totally different by the time you reach 35. We all live our lives in phases.
BPM Tell us about you most recent work with the community.
I have a lifetime partnership with the Community Food Bank of Fort Worth, TX. A percentage of each book sold by Stations for Kids is donated to the food bank to assist families in need and displaced workers. I am honored to part of an organization that provides so much for so many!
BPM What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I was surprised by the families that related to my themes in my first and second Maxine books. The story topics are common to all families and Maxine offers some simple solutions to the challenges faced by each family in the stories. The solutions are doable and simple to implement.
BPM Do you ever have days when writing is a struggle?
Writers are often overcome with the term ‘writer’s block’. What I have discovered as many will affirm, is that ‘writer’s block’ is another term for distractions. Daily distractions keep you from focusing and remaining grounded until your book is completed. Finances, children, job issues, aging parents, ill family members, or personal medical issues can be a deterrent to your book project. It often becomes difficult to stay on course while keeping your purpose on target, and allowing your faith to provide the strength to forge ahead. You must select a time each day or on the weekend to pull away from everyone for a few hours and continue your writing journey. It is essential if you truly want to become an author.
BPM What project are you working on at the present?
I am currently completing Maxine’s Hands, Book 3 of the Detective Maxine Hill Series. Maxine continues to learn new concepts and apply her knowledge of community service anywhere it is needed. In progress is a Stations for Kids website which will be completely kid friendly and interactive.
BPM What legacy to you hope to leave future generations of readers with your writing?
I would like to instill a love of reading and writing to the readers of my writing. I want them to know that reading my book or other great literature will allow your mind to flourish, explore and navigate through life and its challenges. In addition, reading will increase your critical thinking skills and provide a way to understand mankind in general. They also need to know that everything you need to know about yourself and life has been recorded in a book somewhere.
BPM What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you?
Readers can get in touch with me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amazon Page: amazon.com/author/lyndamubarak.com