Max and Teresa, one of his best friends, are always finding adventure—even the kind that might get them into trouble. But Teresa doesn’t mind. When their class goes on a fieldtrip to a local farm, Teresa convinces Max to sneak out after dark to see the baby piglets. When the mama pig voices her unhappiness, the squeals wake up the farmer and the entire class. How will Max and Teresa get out of this big, muddy mess?
Two friends sneak off on a late-night adventure during their class field trip in this third series installment by Stonewall Award–winner Lukoff. White, transgender boy Max and his friend Teresa, a cisgender girl of color, love making messes together. Although Max doesn’t like getting into trouble, Teresa thinks trouble is part of the fun. When their class takes an overnight field trip to a farm, unexpected mischief awaits them after dark in the stinky, muddy pigpen. This picture book/early reader hybrid captures the playful, innocent spirit of two friends testing the boundaries of the world around them as Teresa’s spontaneity encourages Max outside of his comfort zone. The story centers on the dynamic of their friendship and what they learn on the farm, but readers of previous titles in the series will recognize recurring characters in the background, and both Max’s teacher and his whole class support him when the farmer and square dance instructor misgender him. Lozano depicts racial diversity in Max’s classmates, including students with pink to dark-brown skin and different textures of hair. Lukoff’s representation of a transgender character is refreshingly casual and well rounded. He provides much-needed inclusion for transgender youth in a new-experience story that doesn’t fixate on identity as a point of conflict and goes beyond the coming-out narrative. A sweet and spunky everyday adventure. (Picture book. 4-7)