MUSTACHES FOR MADDIE by Chad Morris

MUSTACHES FOR MADDIE

Age Range: 9 - 11
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

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)

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-62972-330-3
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2017




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenSUMMERLOST by Ally Condie
by Ally Condie
ChildrenTHE UNICORN IN THE BARN by Jacqueline Ogburn
by Jacqueline Ogburn
IndieDancing Cancer by Linda McDonald
by Linda McDonald