Thursday, March 08, 2018

Warm, Funny Mustaches An Uplifting Novel About Kindness, Compassion, and Comedy

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Sixth grade can be super awkward.  Between trying to catch the cute boy's eye, attempting to convince the queen bee you're cool enough to hang out with her, and struggling to be yourself but not standing out too much, well, it's tough.  Thank goodness for Maddie Bridger's stick-on mustaches.  Pop one of those babies on and the discomfort melts away, replaced by hysterical fits of laughter.  There's nothing the 12-year-old likes more than making someone giggle—and it's a well-known fact that everything is funnier with a mustache.

Everything except cancer.  There's nothing humorous about the tumor lodged in Maddie's brain.  The mass is causing her body to contort in weird ways.  It's making her parents sad.  And it's getting in the way of all the things Maddie wants to do—perform as Juliet in the upcoming class play, invent fun games with her friends, and make it out of junior high alive.  Terrified of the silent monster growing inside her, Maddie uses her vivid imagination as a refuge.  When reality intrudes, however, she'll have to rely on courage, compassion, and, yes, comedy to make it through.  Is it possible that a mustache can make even cancer a little bit funnier?


Mustaches for Maddie, the newest offering from Chad Morris and Shelly Brown, is a middle grade novel based on the authors' daughter's experience battling a brain tumor.  Despite its heavy subject matter, the book tells a sweet, uplifting story that's more stirring than scary.  While Maddie seems a little immature for a 12-year-old girl, she's a likable heroine who's quirky, brave, and caring.  Disease novels often get cheesy or saccharine; this one is touching without being at all syrupy.  I've met Morris and Brown, even been in their home, and what strikes me about Mustaches for Maddie is that it exudes the genuine warmth that radiates from these kind, down-to-earth authors.  I thoroughly enjoyed their book about kindness, compassion, and community and hope that everyone who reads it will wholeheartedly embrace its important message.

(Readalikes:  Wonder by R.J. Palacio; also reminds me of All Better Now by Emily Wing Smith)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


although the cancer theme might be scary to younger children

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Mustaches for Maddie from the generous folks at Shadow Mountain.  Thank you!

9 comments:

  1. Suey loved this one too. I might have to seek it out. I’m a sucker for peer pressure.

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    1. LOL. It's a good one and a fast read.

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  2. I might have to read this one. I'm not sure yet. I like that the idea of it trying to help Maddie cope with her tumor, but I don't know if I'm up for reading something like it.

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    1. Disease novels are tough. Some are so sad and depressing that you wish you'd never read them. Others are lighter and more uplifting. This one is definitely the latter. But it's still about a child with a tumor so it's got some serious themes.

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  3. My daughter does not like reading. I read this one out loud and she loved it!

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    1. I need to read it out loud to my 9-year-old daughter. I think she'd enjoy it, too.

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  4. I think that this would be a great book for families who are battling disease.

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    1. Agreed. It talks about how everyone in the family reacts to the diagnosis and copes with it in their own way.

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  5. Mustaches for Maddie sounds like a great book!

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