Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mustaches for Maddie Book Review & Compassion into Action

"A moving novel about a truly brave girl. Maddie is a wonderfully thoughtful, creative, and funny protagonist, with whom readers will identify as she grapples with her social and physical challenges. This poignant and uplifting novel is a good read-alike for fans of R.J. Palacio's Wonder."-School Library Journal

I'm lucky to be part of a fabulous blog tour for a new middle-grade book, Mustaches for Maddie. This book is special for many reasons and I devoured it and then passed it on to my kids. I can't wait to see what they think, but I'll tell you what I think now.

Based on a true story.

Maddie is a normal twelve-year-old girl. Well, except for the fake mustaches she carries in her pocket. She likes to make people laugh and slapping on a mustache, especially a fuzzy pink or neon green one, always gets a smile. Maddie hopes that the class queen, Cassie, will find her mustaches as funny as she does and want to play with her at recess. She's been self-conscious lately because her right arm only feels normal when it's curled against her chest and she's constantly tripping over her feet. But that's probably just part of growing up and not something weird, right?

When Maddie's arm continues to bother her, her parents take her to a doctor who gives them a shocking diagnosis: the cause of the abnormal behavior of her limbs is a brain tumor and she must have surgery to remove it. She's understandably afraid as he describes the procedure, but knows she must find a way to be brave and must face her fears--all of them--at the hospital, at home and at school.

She will need all of her courage not only to face her illness, but also to face Cassie at school. Both Cassie and Maddie are auditioning for the same role in the school play, but when Cassie accuses Maddie of lying about her tumor in order to get attention, Cassie's bossiness turns into bullying.

And as Maddie's surgery approaches, she begins to worry more and more about the outcome. What if something goes wrong? What if the doctors don't get all the tumor out of her brain? What will happen to her family? What will happen to her?

It will take all of Maddie's vibrant imagination, a lot of kindness-both given and received-and of course, the perfect mustache to overcome the tough stuff ahead of her.

Mustaches for Maddie by [Morris, Chad, Brown, Shelly]Rachelle's Thoughts: Chad and Shelly have written a compelling story accented with humor, delight, and heart-wrenching experiences. I especially felt the emotion in this story because it's based on a true story and I clearly remember when Maddie was in the hospital and it was too scary to want to think about, yet alone try to explain. That's why I love this book--Chad and Shelly have created a priceless masterpiece from their own experiences with their daughter, Maddie.
I laughed out loud several times, smiled plenty, and yes, even had to wipe some tears in a few places. I think this book is perfect for young readers because the pacing of the story is exactly in sync with how their wild imaginations and attention spans work. There is definitely a grounding truth in this story about how to deal with the desire to be "popular" and do what everyone else is doing and how to be who you are.
Kudos to Chad Morris and Shelly Brown for writing a book that entertains and inspires. If you have kids, grandkids, or friends, share this book with them today...and definitely a mustache!

There's another really neat thing with this book: Compassion into action. There are stickers and postcard available to help teach children compassion and an incredible resource has been created.
Take a look at the readers guide:

Available wherever great books are sold in print and ebook.


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