Based on a true story. Twelve-year-old Maddie has a quirky sense of humor and loves making her classmates laugh by slapping on fake mustaches every chance she gets. Being funny gets her noticed by class queen Cassie, and things are looking up when Maddie is cast as Juliet in the school play. Maybe Juliet could wear a mustache? When Maddie starts tripping when she walks and her hand starts curling up at her side, her mom takes her to the doctor, who confirms Maddie has a brain tumor. In an instant, her world is turned upside down. Maddie doesn’t want anyone else to know. Especially Cassie, whose jealousy has turned to bullying. What about Maddie’s chance to play Juliet opposite the cutest boy in the sixth grade? What if the doctors can’t get the ugly tumor monster out of her brain? As Maddie’s surgery approaches, she wonders if her illness is giving her super powers because her imagination is bigger than ever, her courage is stronger than ever, and her compassion is about to be felt by more people than she ever imagined.
Chad Morris and Shelly Brown are the proud parents of four sons and one daughter, Maddie, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was nine. Chad grew up wanting to become a professional basketball player or a rock star. Neither of those plans quite panned out, so he wrote and performed sketch comedy while going to college. Now he’s a teacher and a writer. Shelly loves to write books for children. In her spare time, she enjoys the theater and traveling. In addition to her five children, she has three chickens and sixty-four Pez dispensers.
Read an Excerpt
As far as twelve-year-old girls go, I hope I'm pretty funny, but that wasn't why my friends were laughing and taking pictures. It was because I was wearing a mustache. Yep. I'm a short, sandy-blonde girl with a mustache. And it was beautiful, bushy, and pink. I also had a thick green mustache and a curly brown one, but they were still in my pocket. I collected mustaches for one major reason: they're hilarious. Everything is funnier with a mustache. For example, think of a pig. They're cute and funny with their piggy snouts and curly pink tails. Now imagine one with a mustache. Yep. Funnier. Or think of a woman in a fancy dress singing opera. Now imagine a woman with a mustache in a fancy dress singing opera. Think of your baby brother . . . with a mustache. He-he-he. Hilarious. Three of the girls liked my mustache, but I still wanted to win one more over. The hardest to impress. Cassie turned to find out why everyone was laughing and taking pictures. She had been talking to Sarah at the front of the group. Cassie is like the queen of the sixth grade. Well, the queen, the president, the fashionista, winner of the People's Choice Award-pretty much everything important. It isn't official or anything, but everyone knows it. She wore her blonde hair long and flowy, with a few fancy braids, the kind moms have to learn how to do by going to beauty school or by watching a lot of videos on the Internet. She also wore a glittery red sweater. Super cute, but we wouldn't expect anything less. "Maddie! So funny," Cassie said, showing her brilliantly white teeth. "Weird, but funny." The queen thought I was funny! Maybe I could work my way up to becoming the jester of the sixth grade. That would be awesome. My risky risk was paying off. Hopefully, she would let me hang out with her today. I jogged to catch up to the other girls. All of them were taller than I was, and they seemed to walk faster too. We opened the big black doors and walked out of Acord Elementary, glad to have at least a few minutes of freedom. We had only walked a few more feet before Cassie turned again, this time walking completely backwards, looking at the bunch of us following her. She could even walk backward sassy. "Okay," she said, with her big bright smile, "I need to talk with Sailor and Hannah." She looked over her shoulder to make sure she was following the walking path around the school. Every recess Cassie picked who got to walk around with her. Sometimes she chose me and we talked about movies and makeup and funny jokes and boys. Well, I didn't usually do much of the talking, but it was still fun. Some recesses I didn't get picked. Cassie didn't like it if I tried to hang out with a different group, so if I didn't get picked, I usually chilled by the door and made up jokes to myself or invented some crazy story. Once I made up one about a cyclops who had to go on a treacherous journey to get the only contact lens big enough for his monster eye. It was pretty awesome. Well, as awesome as telling a story to yourself can be. "And Yasmin," Cassie said. I really liked Yasmin and was glad Cassie picked her. And not just because she took a picture of me with her phone. Yasmin and I walk most of the way home together. She lives a street over. She has really dark straight hair and dark skin. She once told me to guess where she was from. I guessed India. I was so wrong. It was Ohio. But her grandparents were from Malaysia. That's somewhere way across the ocean. I could point it out on a map, maybe. "And . . ." Cassie said. This was it.Please. Please. I really hoped my mustache sealed it. "Definitely Maddie." Phew! I almost danced for real. Not only was I in, but I got a definitely. Behold the power of the mustache. "Even though she's holding her arm weird again," Cassie added. For the love of potatoes! I had forgotten about my arm. I stretched it out quick. For some reason my arm liked to rest in a funny position sometimes. Cassie had pointed it out twice now. My fist would tuck in close to my chest and my elbow would stick out behind it. It was probably because I was growing. Bodies do weird things when they grow. At least that's what they told us in that really awkward presentation at school. You know, that one your parents have to sign the permission slip for you to go to and where they talk about deodorant and your body changing. The permission slip probably asked, "Is it okay for your son or daughter to sit through the most awkward presentation of their lives?" And all the parents signed it. Or maybe I held my arm weird because of the ninja training I was doing after school in the invisible dojo in my basement. That was probably it. I was almost a titanium belt. That's like twenty levels above black, and it's when you learn to break cars with your pinky finger and bust through freeways with your head. Yeah. That kind of training is intense. Okay, I made up the ninja stuff, but it sounded pretty cool.
Mustaches for Maddie 5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
More than 1 year ago
First of all, thanks to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain for this ARC!
I've read a variety of books about kid struggling with illness, but I have to admit this one hit me with the most genuine mixture of joy-pain. Maybe just because I'm a sap who's in the middle of another diagnosis journey, 10 years from my first symptom. But there was something uniquely charming and touching in this book.
Maddie's kindness, honesty, and imagination throughout this story helped give a fresh voice to a story that's not always easy to read. I also liked that Maddie's adventures in school held equal importance next to her struggle with the brain tumor. The balance of these two threads of story was great, and helped ground her health struggles in a world any kid can recognize.
As someone who's 10 years into Ye Olde Health Crisis, I also have to say I deeply deeply appreciated how the book ended. Conclusions are hard in stories like this--stories that, in real life, sometimes don't come with conclusions--and I felt Mustaches for Maddie hit the note perfectly.
Thank you Chad Morris and Shelly Brown for sharing this story!
More than 1 year ago
Best book a total must read
More than 1 year ago
People of all ages will love this book. It may be geared towards middle grade students but it will make people of all ages laugh and cry. You might need a box of Kleenex next to you. Maddie is a fantastic character who I would have loved to be friends with in grade school or now. She loves to make you laugh. This will tear you up inside also because of what she has to go through. Make sure to read. I received a copy of this book from Smith Publicity for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
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