A Monster Like Me
A Monster Like Me

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Annotation: Convinced that if she looks like a monster on the outside (a blood tumor covers half of her face), she must be a monster on the inside as well, Sophie tries to find a cure before her mother finds out the truth.
Catalog Number: #183471
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 298 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-629-72555-2 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-4928-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-629-72555-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-4928-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018047099
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
Sophie, a 10-year-old with a facial birthmark, sees monsters everywhere she looks—including in the mirror.Sophie has a hemangioma, a textured birthmark across her face. A frequent victim of bullying, Sophie hides from the world behind sunglasses or her hair. Her mother moves them both from the Portland, Oregon, suburbs to the city, where she hopes specialists will be able to surgically remove Sophie's birthmark and Sophie can get a fresh start at a new school. The fresh start works, a little. Sophie makes her first friend, a bubbly girl named Autumn. But Sophie's demons are all too real. Constantly reading her Big Book of Monsters (which mixes monsters and figures from various world cosmologies), Sophie sees creatures everywhere. Most are dangerous but not all: Autumn is obviously a fairy, while Autumn's Irish herbalist grandmother is a kindly witch. Sophie decides to remove the curse she's sure has afflicted her, finding ingredients for a magical cure all over Portland while identifying "the ghost of a Native American princess" and "an old Native American man" in passers-by and deciding they're her magical helpers. The message—that true beauty comes from the inside—is worthy but unremarkable and is ultimately undermined by tired disability tropes. The mishmash of monstrosity and magic with world religions is as unfortunate as the placement of generic Native characters in the service of this white girl; that she has a Latina doctor would be nice except that the highly atypical spelling of her doctor's surname ("Escabar") will likely throw Latinx readers.Skip. (Fiction. 9-11)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* For as long as she can remember, Sophie has identified herself as a monster. She either shrouds her face with her long hair or hides behind her Big Book of Monsters to keep others from seeing the hemangioma on her face. She knows that people will think if she's disfigured on the outside, she must be on the inside, too. Now, starting in her new school in Portland, she's speechless when a lively girl in her class (never even looking at her mark) declares they will be best friends. Smart, but self-consciously quiet, Sophie thinks she can identify other people as various types of monsters, witches, or fae folk. Bullies may surround her, but Sophie must confront her own fears. Will she ever allow herself to be "just a human girl?" Swore integrates The Big Book of Monsters into the fabric of the book by beginning each chapter with the description of a different monster, creating a disruption in the first-person narrative but also adding insight into how Sophie views the world. Swore's character-driven debut, in the vein of R. J. Palacio's Wonder (2012), allows readers to step inside Sophie's thoughts and to understand and empathize with her, leaving them to wonder how they would react if they were Sophie.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (2/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
Word Count: 73,717
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.0 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 501029 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:15.0 / quiz:Q76869
Lexile: 800L

There are trolls, goblins, and witches. Which kind of monster is Sophie?

Sophie is a monster expert. Thanks to her Big Book of Monsters and her vivid imagination, Sophie can identify the monsters in her school and neighborhood. Clearly, the bullies are trolls and goblins. Her nice neighbor must be a good witch, and Sophie’s new best friend is obviously a fairy. But what about Sophie? She’s convinced she is definitely a monster because of the “monster mark” on her face. At least that’s what she calls it. The doctors call it a blood tumor. Sophie tries to hide it but it covers almost half her face. And if she’s a monster on the outside, then she must be a monster on the inside, too.

Being the new kid at school is hard. Being called a monster is even harder. Sophie knows that it’s only a matter of time before the other kids, the doctors, and even her mom figure it out. And then her mom will probably leave—just like her dad did.

Because who would want to live with a real monster?

Inspired by real events in the author’s life, A Monster Like Me teaches the importance of believing in oneself, accepting change, and the power of friendship.

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