Derrick Hollis is a 7th grader at Zachary Taylor Middle School and an aspiring cartoonist, too shy to show his work to anybody but his best friend Doug. When his dog Max dies, Derrick is left devastated. But then Max returns from the other side and starts to give Derrick advice. Derrick could use it, especially when it comes to affairs of the heart and standing up to bullies. When Derrick is too scared to ask his crush Kim to the Spring Fling, Max tells Derrick to "dog up!" and shake his tail on the dance floor. Will Dead Max be good for Derrick or lead him astray?