STARRED REVIEW
October 03, 2017

Facing down a disease with laughter

By Chad Morris & Shelly Brown

Mustaches and the magic of cards unexpectedly come in handy when a brain tumor challenges a brave 12-year-old girl.

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Mustaches and the magic of cards unexpectedly come in handy when a brain tumor challenges a brave 12-year-old girl.

Maddie Bridger always earns some chuckles when she dons a fake mustache. Even the teachers let out a laugh when she pulls a mustache from her pocket and slaps it on her face during her school’s Shakespeare play audition. Maddie’s classmate Cassie has high expectations of becoming Juliet, but when Maddie ends up landing the role, their friendship is strained, and Cassie begins bullying Maddie. Fortunately, Maddie is used to battling monsters—mostly imaginary ones, especially when she’s playing ninja-like games with the other fifth graders. But when the results of an MRI show that she has a brain tumor “about the size of two and a half golf balls,” Maddie knows that she has a real monster to face.

Authors Chad Morris (the Cragbridge Hall series) and Shelly Brown (Ghostsitter) are the parents of a real-life girl named Maddie, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 9. Their tale reflects the ups and downs of a young person braving such a terrifying journey. Morris and Brown capture the interests of middle grade readers from the get-go with Maddie’s high-energy, imaginative narration and her love for sporting fake mustaches. But the story doesn’t end there. Amid surgeries (she ends up having two within one year), there are topics that Maddie ruminates on, such as life, friendship and the importance of accepting oneself.

Very funny yet poignant, Mustaches for Maddie is an encouraging read.

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Mustaches for Maddie

Mustaches for Maddie

By Chad Morris & Shelly Brown
Shadow Mountain
ISBN 9781629723303

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