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Mustaches for Maddie — 7 Comments

  1. All of the books on the list have been engaging reads. This book was no exception, but it ended up being my least favorite. I thought it became somewhat repetitive as it progressed. The book’s plotline moved forward, but each experience or interaction seemed to reinforce that character’s basic personality and it ended up getting a bit stilted. I would have preferred the author to focus on the nuance of characters once their major traits were set. That said, I appreciated the imagination and visualization Maddie expressed in her introduction to treatment, and I think this is a good choice for young readers to explore medical crisis and intervention.

  2. Mustaches for Maddie is a bit like the book Wonder; Maddie has a huge, fun imagination that she uses in awkward situations to break the ice; she thinks mustaches are funny (I do too!) and gives out fake ones freely. Topics: She gets a brain tumor and could die. Mean girl in class that Maddie reaches out; Maddie is a 5th grader in the story. Great “understanding people” book!

  3. Even though this book is about a girl who faces a brain tumor, it was an upbeat story. Maddie is a 12 year old girl in 6th grade who deals with “typical” 12 year old girl things…friendship issues (including a snobby “mean” girl), boys, younger siblings, and auditioning for short plays of Shakespeare. In the midst of her everyday life happenings, she is diagnosed with a brain tumor.

I listened to the audio version of this book. The narrator was the mom of the girl whose life this story was based on. She read the story with a happy, optimistic tone. Even in the midst of worrying about the tumor, friendships, and the part she is going to get in the Shakespeare scene, her worries don’t seem to weigh her down. She is concerned about the issues in her life, but she is able to work through them and not let them ruin her spirit.

This book would be especially good for late elementary-age/tween girls. The story does a good job showing that someone with an illness is still normal. It also gives a bit of insight into the feelings of her classmates (and parents) and how all individuals are dealing with some kind of emotional challenge…whether big or small. I can see this book mainly appealing to late elementary school/early middle school age girls.

  4. Another great read, my top 2 would be this one and Lucky Broken Girl. *5 Stars* WOW!!! This book was so moving. The emotions, courage, strength, empathy, hope and love. And so much more… I loved the imagination that Maddie showed and just how she was able to face and overcome the difficulties/challenges she was faced. I am very happy about adding this one to our library. I think many kids will enjoy it as well!

  5. This was another of my favorites. Maddie is very sweet and likeable. Her dealing with cancer is almost too perfect. I did appreciate how the author kept it real by including a student who was a bully to Maddie. (This book reminded me of Wonder; and all that Auggie went through.) I enjoyed the guy/girl friendship through the Romeo & Juliet play. I think the book is chock full of wonderful messages, and is so uplifting in spite of all that Maggie goes through. I love the the note from the real Maddie at the back of the book. This would be a great read aloud for teachers or librarians. I think this book will be heavily circulated in my elementary library.

  6. This was a fantastic book – I would definitely give it 5 stars! This story is based on a true story and there is even a note in the back of the book from the real Maddie. It would be a great book for a book club because there are so many discussions that come up with this story – overcoming obstacles, dealing with illness, using imagination, standing up for yourself/finding your voice, and dealing with peer pressure and bullies. I also liked that the main character pointed out that many people are going through difficult times, but not everyone necessarily knows their struggles. The main character was very likeable.

  7. I really liked this book! I think it would be a great read-aloud in a 5th or 6th grade classroom. I would use it to discuss empathy and/or to discuss the sickness of a child. I would recommend this to my students as I feel they could really relate to Maddie and the everyday struggles she faces in middle school. 5 stars! *****

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