Authors: Chad Morris and Shelly Brown
Release Date: October 3, 2017
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.
This story is based on the actual story of Chad and Shelly's daughter Maddie. Most of the story is fictionalized, but the truths are: Maddie does have four brothers, two of whom are twins, and she did have a brain tumor that she had to have removed via surgery. Because Maddie loves mustaches, people from all over took pictures of themselves wearing mustaches and posted them online to cheer Maddie up. The rest is made up by her parents (though, of course, she did have challenges she faced during the time that all this heavy stuff was happening. Who wouldn't?!)
In Mustaches for Maddie, Maddie seems like your normal 12 year old girl - she loves to play games, wear fake mustaches, and goof around with her friends. She also really wants to be accepted by Cassie, the popular girl in her class. She spends every day hoping Cassie will pick her to walk around and talk during recess. Here's the thing about Cassie though: She's a bit of a mean girl. She just kind of has this attitude that she is better than others and she treats other people like they should have to do whatever Cassie says because Cassie is just that awesome.
Anyway, Maddie starts having some trouble with movement in her left arm and hand, and her left leg feels, as she describes it, trippy. So, she gets an MRI, and it is discovered that she has a brain tumor roughly the size of 2 golf balls pressing into her brain. Surgery is the only option really. During this time, Maddie has also auditioned and gotten a part as Juliet at her school. Her grade is doing little scenes from various Shakespeare plays, and she is so excited to be Juliet (because you'll find out Maddie loves performing.)
So: some of the things I loved about this book:
*Maddie has such a creative imagination! She is just full of all these awesome and inventive ideas (like a Dragoporkasaur.)
*Maddie is so nice to everyone, even Cassie. She didn't always want to be nice to Cassie - and she struggled with whether or not she should - but she rose above everything mean that Cassie said and did, and she was just the kindest kid.
*The mustaches - they were fun and cute and creative!
This is a wonderful and inspiring book that your middle grade readers will love! (And parents, I think you'll love it, too!) This book is being released on October 3 of 2017, so keep your eyes peeled.
Disclaimer: I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for a review.