Mustaches for Maddie. By Chad Morris and Shelly Brown. Release date, 3rd October 2017. Children’s fiction.
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.
I hadn’t realised until the last few pages that Mustaches for Maddie is based partly on a true story. There really is a girl called Maddie who had a brain tumour, and people really did post photos of themselves wearing mustaches online, to cheer her up while she was in recovery.
Knowing this made me like the story even more.
The story is told by Maddie, a twelve year old girl with an incredible imagination, her imagination helps her to cope with difficult situations, it helps her to be brave, and she really needs to be brave.
Maddie and her friends are at the age when they are starting to be interested in the opposite sex, and one of her classmates wants to be queen bee. It’s written with the perfect balance of honesty and naivety.
There’s a theme that runs through the story about friendship and being kind to people because everyone is going through their own version of hard stuff and I thought it was done really well, not patronising.
I actually read Mustaches for Maddie all in one go. It is children’s fiction but it’s an uplifting story about friendship, being brave and going through surgery for a brain tumour, and as a forty something adult I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Mustaches for Maddie gets four stars because it’s informative, and enjoyable with a strong theme of kindness and friendship. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I received a free digital copy for review purposes via Netgalley but all thoughts and opinions are my own.