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Mustaches for Maddie

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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.

She will need all of her courage not only to face her illness, but also to face Cassie at school. Both Cassie and Maddie are auditioning for the same role in the school play, but when Cassie accuses Maddie of lying about her tumor in order to get attention, Cassie's bossiness turns into bullying.

And as Maddie's surgery approaches, she begins to worry more and more about the outcome. What if something goes wrong? What if the doctors don't get all the tumor out of her brain? What will happen to her family? What will happen to her?

It will take all of Maddie's vibrant imagination, a lot of kindness-both given and received-and of course, the perfect mustache to overcome the tough stuff ahead of her.

256 pages, Hardcover

First published October 3, 2017

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About the author

Chad Morris

14 books260 followers
Chad Morris coauthored Virtually Me, Mustaches for Maddie, Squint, Willa and the Whale, and the upcoming Wild Journey of Juniper Berry with his wife, Shelly Brown. He is also the author of the Cragbridge Hall series (The Inventor's Secret, The Avatar Battle, and The Impossible Race). He has won the Utah Book Award, the Buckeye Award, and the Nebraska Book Award, and the Silver Foreword INDIES award for Juvenile fiction. Chad also wrote one of the short stories in True Heroes: A Treasury of Modern-day Fairy Tales Written by Best-selling Authors. His story was based on JP Gibson, an amazing boy who faced cancer with courage, heart, and a basketball dream.

Chad grew up wanting to become a professional basketball player or a rock star. (Inspired by Animal from The Muppets, he has been banging on drums since he was eight years old.) Neither of those plans quite panned out. After high school, he left the Rocky Mountains to live in Brazil for a few years then returned home to write and perform sketch comedy while going to college. He graduated from BYU with a couple of degrees and became a teacher and a curriculum writer.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 542 reviews
Profile Image for TL .
1,879 reviews53 followers
November 22, 2017
I can't vouch if this lives up to the hype since I only saw this in a Goodreads Giveaway. I didn't win but I knew I had to read it. Something in the summary just spoke to me. Soon as I saw it cheap on Amazon, I snatched it up.

This was a beautiful book... it had me both smiling and crying, even laughing at some of the antics of Maddie. She is a sweet girl facing something huge, and was doing it in her own special way.

One character I did want to throw in a lake at one point... learning something new about her changes the perspective a bit and made you think. In this case, I was proud of Maddie for how she handled it. (She struck me as an "old soul")

Couple scenes broke my heart and still stick out in my mind. Just beautifully written (all of it really but these especially).

#MustachesforMaddie *Side note: didn't know this was based on something real but it made my heart swell when I read the acknowledgements and a letter afterward... big hugs to the authors and family*

Would highly recommend! Definitely passing this on for my mom to read.

As I said with "Amina's Voice", It makes me happy to see more diverse books (and books dealing with more issues) coming out for kids. I think its very important and hope it never stops:).
Profile Image for Jenny Baker.
1,286 reviews194 followers
August 13, 2017
Mustaches for Maddie is both humorous and heartwarming. There were so many things that I loved about this novel. It was an emotional roller coaster!

I loved that this novel had other story elements in it to balance the brain tumor aspect of it. It’s also a story about family dynamics, friendships, and social experiences. It’s also about facing our fears. Maddie learns who her friends are and who isn’t. She’s at that age when we all want to know what boy you like and if the boy likes you back. It’s about that awkwardness of who to sit with at lunch or play with at recess, because there’s always a Queen Bee who tries to dictate the outcomes.

There are many vivid characters other than Maddie — Maddie’s parents, four brothers, teacher, doctor, and several of her classmates. I grew to love them all, even Cassie, faults, and all. You immediately fall in love with Maddie — her humor, fighting spirit, and wonderful imagination. She could make up games and stories in a snap! When I entered Maddie’s world, I wanted to stay there and cheer her on. Part of me wished I were twelve again, so that I could play with her at recess or make her a card before her surgery.

The narration has the perfect voice of a twelve-year-old girl. Maddie’s personality is crystal-clear and that’s partly what made this so much fun to read. She’s full of life and has a heart of gold. She shows compassion towards a classmate that the rest of us think is undeserving of it. Maddie doesn’t see herself as courageous, but her actions say otherwise. She’s not afraid to look silly to make other people laugh.

When I finished reading Mustaches for Maddie, I started thinking that my local children’s hospitals need copies of this book so they can read it to the children, especially the ones facing brain surgery. Maybe the children need somebody like Maddie with her super ninja powers to help them fight their battles and take away some of their fears.

At first, I thought the ending was incomplete and I felt unsatisfied. Fortunately, there was an afterword and that gave me the answer that I needed.

If you like realistic children’s fiction and novels such as Wonder by R. J. Palacio, then you’ll love Mustaches for Maddie.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 28 books5,678 followers
June 14, 2017
Based on the true story of how Chad and Shelly Brown Morris' daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and how her friends and family rallied around her, cheering her up with hilarious mustache pictures.

I was braced for this book to be sad (though I know in real life there is a happy ending), or perhaps even too silly to try and undercut the drama. Instead it was a spot-on story about being twelve: figuring out friends and crushes, running afoul of mean girls, dealing with annoying younger siblings, having homework, as well as handling bad news. Maddie is a fun-loving girl, with a rich imagination, but she's not always as courageous or cool as she wants to be. In other words: she's real. And the things she deals with are real, too. Not just the brain tumor, but everything else, and the book is so well done. The family dynamic is great, the dynamic between the kids in Maddie's class is great.

This will be a good book to give to any kid who is facing challenges: whether it's just struggling with something in school, or with something bigger at home.
Profile Image for Ms. B.
3,033 reviews37 followers
August 5, 2020
7/28/20 I liked this one a little bit more the first time that I read it, yet; I still loved the message of the importance of laughter and kindness. We can all aspire to be a little more like Maddie, no matter what our age.
Tweens are going to love this story about twelve-year-old Maddie who navigates the dynamics of classroom friend groups and a brain tumor. Like the blurb (from School Library Journal) on the front cover of the copy I read says, "A good read-alike for fans of R.J. Palacio's Wonder."
This is the book for anyone who is looking for any of the following in a book:
*the power of kindness
*based on a true story
*feel good story
*the gift of a good sense of humor and/or laughter
*seeing the best in everyone
Profile Image for Aimee (Getting Your Read On).
2,998 reviews251 followers
October 5, 2017
It's been another tough week in the world. There is so much loss and devastation swirling around. So much hurt, injustice and evil. It can sometimes feel so overwhelming. That's why books like this are important, I think. They serve as a reminder that while there are hard things, there are good things too. We can be the good things for other people. We can make a difference, however small, through kindness and compassion for other people. I want to quote a small part of the afterwords in this book, written by Maddie herself.

"We don't always realize what trials other people are going through. Sometimes it takes courage to be kind to some people. But we need to always stick up for what's right. You can do it. Anytime, anywhere, you can have compassion. Everybody needs a friend and that friend can be you."

If only everyone believed this and acted on it.

Compassion: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

This book is perfectly suited for middle grade readers. It's also perfect to be read aloud to younger children. It provides so many great opportunities to talk with your children, grandchildren, students, etc. about kindness and how to deal with situations and people that are hard to understand. I think one of the most important lessons we can teach our children is how to be kind. Compassion matters.

While this book is a work of fiction, it is based on a true story. I LOVE the cover!!! I love Maddie's love for mustaches and how infectious it became for those around her. I loved that each chapter of this book had a different kind of mustache. It made me smile. This book brought back a bit of hope for me this week, renewed my belief that there is good in this world and that I need to work even harder to make sure I'm a part of that good.

My thanks to the publisher, Shadow Mountain, for providing a copy of this book for me.
Profile Image for Kacie.
254 reviews1 follower
July 20, 2020
Aww Mustaches for Maddie is such a sweet book. Even though it's meant for middle grade/elementary I still enjoyed it a lot. There are a lot of good lessons to be learned from this book. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone!
Profile Image for Karen R.
847 reviews498 followers
September 27, 2017
This book is based on the true story of the author’s daughter, Maddie. I didn’t know this until after I finished the book. I was delighted to learn that Maddie’s character traits, her big heart, strong imagination and sense of humor are real. And, yes, the real Maddie also LOVES fake mustaches because they make people laugh. It is hard to fathom how a simple act of donning a silly pink mustache can cut through a tense situation. This simple kinda crazy effort has in reality made such a positive impact.

One day, Maddie is diagnosed with a brain tumor. She faces this life-threatening challenge with the same humor she has used under healthier circumstances. She discovers early on that she does not have to face this alone. Friends, classmates and teachers rally around her. Aware of just how much she loves fake mustaches, they start an inspiring and creative show of support by sending pictures of themselves wearing mustaches. The same happened in the real Maddie’s life when this effort caught on like wildfire and “hundreds, if not thousands” were sent to help cheer the girl. All we seem to hear about are negative things, this story was a good one and a breath of fresh air.
Author 12 books670 followers
July 16, 2017
I was lucky enough to snag and ARC of this book from the authors at a conference this past spring. I absolutely adored it. Such a sweet, quirky, humorous and heartfelt story. The voice is spot on for the age group and the plot is deep and layered. This would make a great classroom read aloud and would definitely spur discussion about friendship, bullying, illness, and several other topics. Watch out for this book in October! Definitely one to add to your TBR pile.
Profile Image for Janssen.
1,606 reviews3,968 followers
October 3, 2017
I loved this book! So touching and encouraging. I was dubious about the comparisons to Wonder, but I wasn't disappointed.
Profile Image for A.L. Sowards.
Author 20 books1,083 followers
July 17, 2017
I read this aloud to my seven-year-old twins and they loved it. They laughed so hard so many times. They were always eager for me to read more, and in the end, they wanted to give it a thousand stars.

The story is about a twelve-year-old girl, Maddie, with a very active imagination. She finds out she has a brain tumor, so the plot revolves around the tumor and problems at school with a manipulative classmate. Those topics could have made it a heavy book, but Maddie’s imagination kept it humorous, even during rough spots. For example, when she’s getting an MRI, she imagines she’s in an escape pod in space. Maddie is a great character. She's not perfect, but as the book progresses she learns what's important and starts to follow her conscience.

My kids loved the story. I liked that it had strong themes of kindness, family, friendship, and meeting challenges with courage. It was also entertaining, for the kids, and for me. This book is a great choice for fans of contemporary middle grade fiction. It would also work for book clubs. And it was a great choice for a read-aloud book.
Profile Image for Darla.
3,517 reviews619 followers
March 9, 2019
It is no wonder that so many folks are drawn to this book. We all have hard things in our lives and can relate to Maddie's family. Maddie's imagination and her mustache collection are amazing tools for her and those around her. What a beautiful picture of someone using their gifts to make lives better. This would make a fantastic classroom read aloud for middle grade students. They will learn about coping with hard times like illnesses and friend conflicts and can apply that to the difficulties in their lives.

I am thrilled that this title is on the Mark Twain Nominee list for 2019. Young patrons at my library can join me for a discussion of this book and "Halfway Normal" by Barbara Dee on Wednesday, June 26. We have grouped these two titles under the heading "Persisting" and hope many will join us talking, games and more!
Profile Image for Elena.
215 reviews32 followers
September 19, 2022
4.5 ⭐️

Wow, this book just blew me away. I definitely didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. Maddie has such an incredible imagination and is so quirky, but I just loved it. It all took me back to my elementary school days and the DRAMA is so inconsequential, but it seems so big at the time. All of the characters were so vivid and dynamic and I just LOVED every. single. second of it. It gave me all the feels, like I actually teared up. I honestly liked it more than Wonder (R.J. Palacio) because it was just so unique. The fact that it was based on a true story made it even better. Read it! Even though it’s a juvenile book, it has so many life lessons. (Like reinstating the fact that potatoes are the best food on the whole planet.) Haha, just kidding, but still—it was seriously fantastic and it’d be impossible to be disappointed.💙🥸
Profile Image for La La.
1,014 reviews126 followers
September 26, 2017
This book is beautiful. It is also based on a true story of the author's daughter's illness. I love reading "write what you know" books because there is a depth to them not even well researched books can achieve.

The book is also much more than a story about a girl dealing with serious illness. It has family issue, sibling relationship, school trials and tribulations, peer group uncertainty, and friendship elements tucked neatly into Maddie's narrative. The reading was so smooth and effortless I finished it in no time and I think this is a huge plus when dealing with Middle Grade aged readers.

I was approved for an eARC, via Edelweiss, in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Rachelle.
Author 44 books770 followers
October 12, 2017
Chad and Shelly have written a compelling story accented with humor, delight, and heart-wrenching experiences. I especially felt the emotion in this story because it's based on a true story and I clearly remember when Maddie was in the hospital and it was too scary to want to think about, yet alone try to explain. That's why I love this book--Chad and Shelly have created a priceless masterpiece from their own experiences with their daughter, Maddie.
I laughed out loud several times, smiled plenty, and yes, even had to wipe some tears in a few places. I think this book is perfect for young readers because the pacing of the story is exactly in sync with how their wild imaginations and attention spans work. There is definitely a grounding truth in this story about how to deal with the desire to be "popular" and do what everyone else is doing and how to be who you are.
Kudos to Chad Morris and Shelly Brown for writing a book that entertains and inspires. If you have kids, grandkids, or friends, share this book with them today...and definitely a mustache!
There's another really neat thing with this book: Compassion into action. There are stickers and postcard available to help teach children compassion and an incredible resource has been created.
Take a look at the readers guide: http://shdwmtn.co/MustachesforMaddieR...
Profile Image for Paul.
308 reviews
November 14, 2017
Full disclosure: I received an advance copy for free in exchange for a fair review.

This book also happened to arrive after a very good friend’s 11-year-old daughter was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, so it had a personal impact on me. (And having a 10-year-old daughter of my own made me grateful for the health she has.) My sister-in-law is also battling lymphoma, so a great book was made even more poignant by these events.

The story is told from Maddie’s perspective, and when Maddie is uncertain about anything – and there are a lot of uncertainties when you are a “Tweenager” – she uses her imagination to make things an adventure and uses humor – often a fake mustache – to lighten the fears she feels or adversity that she experiences. This skill comes in handy as she encounters new and scary stresses in her life.

As she receives good feeling and wishes from others, she begins to notice those around her and try to help them, paying forward the goodness. This is the essence of the book, and it’s a large factor in what makes it so outstanding.

I don’t want to give it all away, so I’ll just recommend it (as I have to many whom I have discussed the book with). This book was well-written, and the story was compelling (even before Maddie’s tumor was discovered). I will probably read this again with my daughter, and that should tell you all you need to know right there.
20 reviews2 followers
January 19, 2021
I really liked this book. It had lots of details about Maddie and her family and classmates. I like how people posted pictures of them wearing mustaches to cheer up Maddie and to help her feel better. And because they did that to her she felt she should do something nice for someone else. She helped feel Cassie feel loved and forgiving. Everyone needs a little love and service in their life. I also like the each chapter had a different mustache by the number. I loved how mustaches mad everyone feel better ( Making them feel less sad, less awkward, fun, ect.) Her friends helped her get though her troubles.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Libby Powell.
176 reviews31 followers
January 19, 2022
Wow. This was so well done. How anyone could keep from loving Maddie after reading Mustaches for Maddie, I'm not sure. Seeing her growth throughout the book was beautiful. This book is beautiful. Not in an aweing or poetic way. It's satisfyingly down-to-earth, honest and sweet, and incredibly real. That's where the beauty lies. In the honest struggles and the hearty responses, in the pondering and in the humor, in the genuineness of it all. It makes for a truly endearing book.
Profile Image for Jenny Claiborne.
183 reviews2 followers
December 6, 2017
For lovers of Wonder, Mustaches for Maddie is a beautiful story. As if finding your place and learning to be comfortable with yourself in middle school wasn't hard enough, Maddie finds out she has a brain tumor. This tumor makes her clumsy, slow moving, and causes her arm to contort in strange ways. The way Maddie chooses to handle herself is a lesson for all. Kindness counts and being yourself is a beautiful thing!
Profile Image for Sean Gendreau.
13 reviews2 followers
June 21, 2017
I am not a reader per se. Prior to 2014 I had probably read one book a year. But I have a friend who is an avid reader and writer and has a book coming out next year and so I've been participating in some of the events leading up to that release. That some how put me on the list to receive an advanced copy of this book. Middle grade lit isn't my thing (I just finished Hamilton and the book after this is Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. Not middle school genre at all).
So imagine how pleasantly surprised I was with this book. There were times I was laughing out loud. There is a whole chapter that made me cry. There was one chapter that made me so mad at a 12 year old girl. I haven't been that mad at a character since Umbridge made Harry write in his own blood. And Umbridge was an adult. But ooh did I just get furious with this 12 year old.
This was a great book with believable characters and amazing descriptions and great imagination. And like all kid lit books it came with a moral lesson. But really it was just a great book to read.
Profile Image for Mindy.
857 reviews85 followers
October 20, 2017
I absolutely loved Mustaches for Maddie. Maddie is thoughtful, kind and so funny. I loved, loved, loved her imagination, which help carry her through her hard times. Maddie is so creative and caring.
Mustaches for Maddie is based on the real life story of authors Shelly Brown and Chad Morris's daughter Maddie and her experience with a brain tumor. I felt the story was heart-felt and truly wonderful. I loved how the kids (and adults) came together in the story, all to support a darling girl who loved mustaches. This book is so funny and at times brought tears to my eyes.
Profile Image for Kaylynn Johnsen.
1,266 reviews9 followers
November 18, 2017
I sat down and gobbled this novel. It was delicious. (Don't tell anyone but I even cried a little.) Maddie has a great imagination and courage, but can she beat a real life monster? You will love finding out!

Shelly and Chad you guys are the bestest parents ever and you are raising amazing children. I feel it a privilege to have provided a smile or two with our mustaches.

Profile Image for Becca.
418 reviews21 followers
September 12, 2017

Get your tissues ready, because you are going to need them for this sweet book. This book is told from Maddie's POV, and Maddie is only 12. It's so sweet and innocent, that it brought more tears to my eyes.

Maddie is in 6th grade and is trying to fit in with everyone. Like every sixth grader. The class Queen is Cassie. Cassie decides each day who gets to "walk" with her and be part of her group each day. Maddie wants to be included so bad.

Maddie places a mustache on her face as they are walking out to recesses and gets a laugh from all the girls, and in so doing wins a place at Cassie's side during that recess. Lexi however is not quite so lucky. Everyone gets picked except her. Maddie in her mind thinks that is a bad idea, but is too afraid to stand up to Cassie and tell her that Lexi should be invited as well.

Cassie decides who can try out for what part in their plays coming up. When turning in the papers, Maddie changes her at the last minute.

In the mean time, Maddie's arm is acting up again. Her fingers like to curl and her arm likes to hang in a funny position. Her parents are concerned and call the Dr to get her in as soon as possible.

This is when Maddie's life changes forever. Going through this journey with Maddie is both delightful, and heart wrenching. This sweet little girl is faced with some devastating news, and yet she still tries to make every one else happy. All that is except Cassie. Well, she tries, but Cassie thinks that Maddie has made up her illness just to get attention.

There is a part in this book where Maddie writes a letter to her parents, and all the feels come out. I thought I was doing well, until the letter. Looking at Maddie's illness through her eyes, is well, eye opening. She is scared of course but more than anything she wants everyone to know that she loves them.

I was blown away by how sweet this little girl is. How brave she is, and how compassionate she is. I don't know many 12 yr olds who would be worrying about others when going through what she is going through. Maddie is a shining light in the world.

Maddie's kindness has spread further than she can imagine. When she sees how the world and her classmates have responded her heart is touch and she decides that even people like Cassie need to know they are cared for.

I need to take a page from Maddie's book and focus on being more caring and compassionate to others. Especially those that I don't feel deserve it. It's not up to me to decide. I wish I had the innocence of this sweet 12 yr old girl. She makes me want to be a better person.

Pick this one up! I promise you won't regret it. Maybe read it with your kids or as a family. It is based on a true story, which makes it even more poignant. It touches your heart strings, and makes you weep for the sweetness, and compassion Maddie has. The world needs more Maddie's in it.

Source: I was given this book as part of a tour in return for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way for this review. These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.
Profile Image for Nathalia.
Author 15 books352 followers
June 15, 2017

This is one of the best books I've read this year. I won a copy of the ARC when I was at the NYC B0okcon. I didn't know what the book was about, but the cover was pretty and the tittle intrigued me.

I certainly wasn't expecting a "based-on-a-real-life-story" book, but I enjoyed every single page.

Maddie's story is not only interesting, but also really funny. The book is narrated by Maddie herself and her overflowing imagination. She presents an contradictory personality that bounces between "I want to be popular and friends with the class queen" and "I wan't to be funny and make people laugh even if sometimes they say I'm weird."

It's an easy to read book, full of lessons and laughter. Maddie keeps the reader at the edge of the seat with every aspect of her life.

There're a few details I didn't like, but all in all, I loved the book.



Basada en un caso real, la historia de Maddie es interesante. Nuestra protagonista tiene una personalidad que resalta entre el montón. Presenta la contradicción de querer ser aceptada por el grupo de chicas de su clase, pero al mismo tiempo se esfuerza por hacer notar sus peculiaridades.

El resto de los personajes me han parecido bastante estereotipados, pero supongo que los chicos DE VERDAD son así acá en USA. Tenemos a la chica popular, a sus seguidoras, al chico lindo que le gusta a todas, a la chica nueva que es ignorada, etc. Nada demasiado elaborado. El tema es que todos estos compañeros de escuela son ficticios, así que me queda la duda sobre qué tan poca imaginación tuvieron los autores o si acaso en todas las escuelas los chicos se dividen de verdad así. No es un punto negativo, pero le ha quitado cierto “toque” al libro.

La historia en sí me gustó. Por momentos es un poco lenta, pero Maddie se encarga de que nunca nos aburramos. Incluso las escenas más densas y tediosas son chistosas gracias a su imaginación. El final me dejó un gusto amargo en la boca. Es raro. Es un final abierto, pero con un “sobre la obra” final que te cuenta qué ocurrió en la vida real de Maddie. Creo que deberían haber escogido una mejor escena final.

Estoy segura que es una historia que formará parte de mi top 10 de mejores lecturas del año.

¿Cuándo sale a la venta? Saldrá en inglés para octubre de este año y NO SÉ si lo vayan a publicar en español o no. Sin embargo, se los recomiendo. Si saben aunque sea un poquito de inglés, les encantará. No es complicado y el vocabulario es muy básico (piensen que lo narra una nena) así que cualquier que sepa lo básico del inglés podrá entenderlo. Créanme, vale la pena.

Si quieren leer la reseña completa, los invito a pasar por mi blog http://pardonmispanglish.blogspot.com...
Profile Image for Lorena.
651 reviews
September 16, 2020
Have you ever sped up the speed of your audiobook so you could plow through it faster (*cough* Anna Karenina)? That was definitely NOT this book! I sped up my audio so that I could see what happened next!

I LOVED, LOVED this book! The second my amazing Audible version finished, I purchased the hardcover on Amazon so that this book can sit on my "favorites" shelf in my home library. I highly recommend this book to all of my children and also EVERYONE THAT I KNOW.

Some of the things that I loved about Mustaches for Maddie ...
• Maddie's character is hilarious! I would love to be her friend, both in my past when I was in 6th grade, and now!

• I loved how Maddie loves Shakespeare, and how she explains the parts. I think it can inspire kids to pick up Shakespeare.

• Maddie's positive attitude was incredible. Also, she was aware of the feelings/needs of kids around her that might need help and then tried to alleviate their burdens.

• Maddie's dad's prayers made me cry a little. It's something I can relate to.

• The author's note at the end explained the true parts of the story. I loved that Maddie is based on the author's daughter Maddie and that the real-life Maddie wrote a letter to her dad's readers at the end.

• The creativity and imagination of Maddie and her friends is innocent and fun! I created two new shelf labels for this book ("creative" and "bullies").

• Maddie's words are adorable ("Boo!" "Mustaches!").

• Something I've said recently (Save Me a Seat), and that I appreciate in this book as well, is how young characters show bravery through difficult situations.

So many awesome things to love about this book. Thank you, Mr. Morris and Ms. Brown for writing this mostly true story. Thank you, Wendy for the awesome recommendation! This is just the sort of children's literature that I love! I am going to look for another book by Chad Morris; he's a new author for me.
Profile Image for Nathan.
4 reviews
September 20, 2017
This book made me feel a little sad and a lot super happy.

A few months ago, I met the authors, Chad and Shelly, at a writer’s conference and immediately grew to appreciate their sense of humor and personality. I finally got the chance to read this book on a long drive home after visiting my brother in Kentucky with my pregnant wife and my retired parents. It was the first time my wife of two years was able to meet my brother. The visit took my mind away from work and turned it toward appreciation for my family.

With that mindset, and my sentimentalities, I found myself stuck in Honda CRV with nowhere to hide my teary eyes and an inability to stop reading until I had completely finished this childhood adventure. Maddie is a sweetheart, and her family and friends are equally significant. I feel as if somewhere along the way, Maddie lassoed a wild mustachioed mustang, and sat me on top to hold on for dear life. She made me laugh and cry. She tricked me. She took me all the way from guacamole to brain surgery.

Triple awesome.
Super-ultra-quadrillion awesome.

Profile Image for Michelle Stimpson.
413 reviews7 followers
January 4, 2018
Oh, wow. I want to give this book ALL the stars. I've actually been avoiding this book for awhile. I was afraid it would make me cry. It DID make me cry, but it also made me laugh.

This book is based on the true story of a girl who had brain surgery. Twice. But it's also about so much more. It's about friendship and mean girls and family and compassion and courage. It's about falling in love with a new passion. It's about imagination and overcoming obstacles. And it's a really, really good story. I've already recommended it to my daughter and son and I'll be recommending to everyone I know. #MustachesForMaddie.
Profile Image for Liz Friend.
970 reviews89 followers
September 27, 2017
The story: 6th grade Maddie's life--complete with bullies, Shakespeare, and tough decisions about standing up--is turned upside down when she finds out she has a brain tumor. Now it's the turn of her classmates to rally around her, and they do: complete with mustaches (Maddie's signature fashion accessory). But there's a big surgery coming up, and no guarantee Maddie will make it through. What can anyone do?

June Cleaver's ratings: Language G; Violence G; Sexual content G; Nudity G; Substance abuse G; Magic & the occult G; GLBT content G; adult themes (significant illness, somewhat graphic descriptions of brain surgery) PG; overall rating G.

Liz's comments: I thought this one was charming. Interestingly, Kirkus Reviews dissed the book they thought was too "squeaky clean", which somehow I don't find to be a disadvantage. Maddie is upbeat and does her best to face her trial with courage; her family is supportive and is seen (gasp!) actually praying for her. Maddie is empathetic, and comes to realize that even bullies have difficult back stories. Good for her. (And good for the author's family, whose own daughter Maddie actually did have a brain tumor and made a complete recovery.) Maddie is in 6th grade, but is still in elementary school, so this book is best for grades 4-6. Give it to any kid who liked R.J. Palacios's book "Wonder".
Profile Image for Susan.
1,037 reviews68 followers
February 10, 2018
This is a warm, uplifting novel about a 12-year-old girl who finds out she has a brain tumor. It's about facing trials with courage, treating others with compassion, and coming together to lift people up instead of tear them down. Based on the real-life experience of the authors' daughter, it's a tender story about family, friendship, and fighting for what's important. I loved it.
Profile Image for Christi.
94 reviews7 followers
July 16, 2017
Very sweet, heartwarming story. Definitely for fans of Wonder.
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