Mustaches for Maddie
Mustaches for Maddie

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Annotation: Inspired by the true story. Maddie is a normal twelve-year-old, but when a CT scan reveals she has a brain tumor, it will take all her imagination, courage, and support from her friends and family to meet this new challenge.
Catalog Number: #167826
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 245 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-629-72419-X Perma-Bound: 0-7804-2337-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-629-72419-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-2337-4
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016050124
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Subject Heading:
Brain. Tumors. Fiction.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Twelve-year-old Maddie may or may not be friends with popular Cassie. Maddie may or may not get the coveted role of Juliet in the class play. Maddie's friends may or may not get her sense of humor, creative flights of imagination, or penchant for fake mustaches. Maddie may or may not admit to having something weird going on with her right arm, leg, and now eye. But it is definite when the neurologist says Maddie has a brain tumor and needs surgery, and that the surgery might change her personality, or even end her life. Maddie doesn't want anyone to know, but Mom convinces her to tell. Much to Maddie's surprise, it turns out she has a ton of supporters, who all start wearing mustaches, too. Pictures pop up on the Internet: teachers, friends' parents, Dad's coworkers, people in town, complete strangers re than 400 mustachioed postings to help Maddie bear her long, tough treatment. Based on the authors' experience, this sweet, hopeful, believable, and unsentimental tale rings true. Being brave, growing up, true friendship is has it all.
Kirkus Reviews
A 12-year-old copes with a brain tumor.Maddie likes potatoes and fake mustaches. Kids at school are nice (except one whom readers will see instantly is a bully); soon they'll get to perform Shakespeare scenes in a unit they've all been looking forward to. But recent dysfunctions in Maddie's arm and leg mean, stunningly, that she has a brain tumor. She has two surgeries, the first successful, the second taking place after the book's end, leaving readers hanging. The tumor's not malignant, but it—or the surgeries—could cause sight loss, personality change, or death. The descriptions of surgery aren't for the faint of heart. The authors—parents of a real-life Maddie who really had a brain tumor—imbue fictional Maddie's first-person narration with quirky turns of phrase ("For the love of potatoes!") and whimsy (she imagines her medical battles as epic fantasy fights and pretends MRI stands for Mustard Rat from Indiana or Mustaches Rock Importantly), but they also portray her as a model sick kid. She's frightened but never acts out, snaps, or resists. Her most frequent commentary about the tumor, having her skull opened, and the possibility of death is "Boo" or "Super boo." She even shoulders the bully's redemption. Maddie and most characters are white; one cringe-inducing hallucinatory surgery dream involves "chanting island natives" and a "witch doctor lady." Medically, both squicky and hopeful; emotionally, unbelievably squeaky-clean. (authors' note, discussion questions) (Fiction. 9-11)
Publishers Weekly
-Everything is funnier with a mustache- is 12-year-old Maddie-s motto, and she has fake press-on ones for every occasion, including imaginative stories and games she makes up on the spot. Maddie-s offbeat sense of humor is the heart of this story from spouses Morris and Brown, which was inspired by their own daughter. Maddie is trying to make inroads with cool classmate Cassie, who handpicks the girls she hangs out with during recess and tells them which parts to try out for in an upcoming performance of scenes from Shakespeare. Maddie secretly auditions for Juliet (the role Cassie wants) and is overjoyed when she gets it, but her life takes a turn when her family learns that she has a brain tumor. Maddie learns to stand up for herself and face her fears head-on in this moving story of courage and heart. Morris and Brown balance the gravity of Maddie-s illness with her buoyant imagination as she navigates the reality of the surgery she needs and the politics of sixth grade. Ages 8-11. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 46Twelve-year-old Maddie Bridger has a great imagination. She likes to imagine herself heroically fighting monsters, or even speaking out when Cassie, the most popular girl in her class, excludes other people at recess. But then Maddie comes face-to-face with an unexpected foe: a brain tumor that is affecting the right side of her body, and may leave her blind if it isn't removed. While trying to cope with the life-threatening prospect of brain surgery, Maddie also faces challenges at school: Cassie is jealous that Maddie has been cast as Juliet in the upcoming Shakespearean short plays, and starts a rumor that Maddie invented the tumor to get attention. At first Maddie is furious that Cassie could tell such a terrible lie, but she begins to realize that Cassie is facing challenges of her own. Meanwhile, although her first surgery is a success, a cyst on the part of the tumor the surgeon couldn't remove leaves her in renewed danger, and facing an even riskier surgery. Based on the true story of the authors' daughter, this is 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 . The title comes from her love of fake mustaches, which she carries around to lighten the mood wherever she goes, and which become a viral sensation when she is hospitalized. Although the novel does not reveal the outcome of Maddie's second surgery, an author's note explains that the real Maddie recovered completely, and that thousands of people really did wear fake mustaches to show their support for her. VERDICT This poignant and uplifting novel is a good read-alike for fans of R.J. Palacio's Wonder.Ashley Larsen, Pacifica Libraries, CA
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Word Count: 49,100
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.0 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 192123 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.2 / points:11.0 / quiz:Q75194
Lexile: 560L
Guided Reading Level: O
As far as twelve-year-old girls go, I hope I'm pretty funny, but that wasn't why my friends were laughing and taking pictures. It was because I was wearing a mustache. Yep. I'm a short, sandy-blonde girl with a mustache. And it was beautiful, bushy, and pink.

I also had a thick green mustache and a curly brown one, but they were still in my pocket. I collected mustaches for one major reason: they're hilarious. Everything is funnier with a mustache. For example, think of a pig. They're cute and funny with their piggy snouts and curly pink tails. Now imagine one with a mustache. Yep. Funnier. Or think of a woman in a fancy dress singing opera. Now imagine a woman with a mustache in a fancy dress singing opera. Think of your baby brother . . . with a mustache.

He-he-he. Hilarious.

Three of the girls liked my mustache, but I still wanted to win one more over. The hardest to impress.

Cassie turned to find out why everyone was laughing and taking pictures. She had been talking to Sarah at the front of the group. Cassie is like the queen of the sixth grade. Well, the queen, the president, the fashionista, winner of the People's Choice Award-pretty much everything important. It isn't official or anything, but everyone knows it.

She wore her blonde hair long and flowy, with a few fancy braids, the kind moms have to learn how to do by going to beauty school or by watching a lot of videos on the Internet. She also wore a glittery red sweater. Super cute, but we wouldn't expect anything less.

"Maddie! So funny," Cassie said, showing her brilliantly white teeth. "Weird, but funny."

The queen thought I was funny! Maybe I could work my way up to becoming the jester of the sixth grade. That would be awesome. My risky risk was paying off. Hopefully, she would let me hang out with her today.

I jogged to catch up to the other girls. All of them were taller than I was, and they seemed to walk faster too. We opened the big black doors and walked out of Acord Elementary, glad to have at least a few minutes of freedom.

We had only walked a few more feet before Cassie turned again, this time walking completely backwards, looking at the bunch of us following her. She could even walk backward sassy. "Okay," she said, with her big bright smile, "I need to talk with Sailor and Hannah."

She looked over her shoulder to make sure she was following the walking path around the school. Every recess Cassie picked who got to walk around with her. Sometimes she chose me and we talked about movies and makeup and funny jokes and boys. Well, I didn't usually do much of the talking, but it was still fun.

Some recesses I didn't get picked. Cassie didn't like it if I tried to hang out with a different group, so if I didn't get picked, I usually chilled by the door and made up jokes to myself or invented some crazy story. Once I made up one about a cyclops who had to go on a treacherous journey to get the only contact lens big enough for his monster eye. It was pretty awesome. Well, as awesome as telling a story to yourself can be.

"And Yasmin," Cassie said.

I really liked Yasmin and was glad Cassie picked her. And not just because she took a picture of me with her phone. Yasmin and I walk most of the way home together. She lives a street over. She has really dark straight hair and dark skin. She once told me to guess where she was from. I guessed India. I was so wrong. It was Ohio. But her grandparents were from Malaysia. That's somewhere way across the ocean. I could point it out on a map, maybe.

"And . . ." Cassie said.

This was it.

Please. Please.

I really hoped my mustache sealed it. "Definitely Maddie." Phew! I almost danced for real. Not only was I in, but I got a definitely. Behold the power of the mustache. "Even though she's holding her arm weird again," Cassie added.

For the love of potatoes! I had forgotten about my arm. I stretched it out quick. For some reason my arm liked to rest in a funny position sometimes. Cassie had pointed it out twice now. My fist would tuck in close to my chest and my elbow would stick out behind it. It was probably because I was growing. Bodies do weird things when they grow. At least that's what they told us in that really awkward presentation at school. You know, that one your parents have to sign the permission slip for you to go to and where they talk about deodorant and your body changing. The permission slip probably asked, "Is it okay for your son or daughter to sit through the most awkward presentation of their lives?" And all the parents signed it.

Or maybe I held my arm weird because of the ninja training I was doing after school in the invisible dojo in my basement. That was probably it. I was almost a titanium belt. That's like twenty levels above black, and it's when you learn to break cars with your pinky finger and bust through freeways with your head. Yeah. That kind of training is intense.

Okay, I made up the ninja stuff, but it sounded pretty cool.


Excerpted from Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris, Shelly Brown
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

A funny, inspiring story about when life's raindrops fall. Based on a true story.

Maddie has a quirky sense of humor and a fondness for sporting fake mustaches, the more outrageous-looking, the better. Her world is turned upside down when she's diagnosed with a brain tumor. Readers will take the journey with her as she battles her illness and encounters the usual obstacles of growing up by using her imagination to conquer her fears, her humor to stay optimistic, and compassion to stay connected to others in a meaningful way. Innocently and unknowingly, her example encourage those around her.

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.


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