Saturday, October 07, 2017

Mustaches for Maddie

34525564Morris, Chad and Brown, Shelly. Mustaches for Maddie
October 3rd 2017 by Shadow Mountain
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Maddie is navigating 6th grade as best she can. She's excited about the play that her class will be doing, and decides to try out for Juliet, even though Cassie, a very popular girl, thinks the role should be hers. Maddie has a vivid imagination and an off kilter sense of humor, and she worries that her classmates won't quite get her jokes or share her love of fake mustaches. When the weakness in her arm and leg become bothersome, her mother makes a doctor's appointment for her, but when the symptoms become worse, Maddie ends up in the hospital undergoing an MRI. The verdict-- she has a tumor near her pituitary gland that is causing lots of problems and could potentially impinge upon the optic nerve. An appointment is made for surgery, but Maddie's parents decide to take her and her four brothers to Disney beforehand. Maddie isn't thrilled to tell her classmates, but is encouraged when they send her off with a basket of gifts and cards. Cassie, of course, feels that Maddie should give up her role in the play, especially since Cassie has a crush on the boy playing Romeo, and even goes so far as to voice the opinion that Maddie is making up the tumor in order to get attention! The surgery goes well, but Maddie later has problems with a cyst and has to undergo another surgery. When Maddie returns to school, she has more confidence that her classmates like her, and is able to talk her teacher into presenting Romeo and Juliet with a happier ending.
Strengths: This is based on the authors' daughter's similar experience, so there are a lot of good details about what it would be like to deal with this kind of medical experience. How Maddie's absence is handled by her school is a good thing to have in a book, since students do occasionally experience the illness of a classmate. The parents are supportive, the brothers are slightly annoying, and there is a good balance between Maddie's bravery and fear.
Weaknesses: A lot of the book was concerned with the play; I know that some schools do more with theater, but books involving theater don't do well in my library. Also, Maddie and her classmates often seemed a little young when they did things like play imaginary games on the playground. This may be because the authors' daughter was nine when she went through the experience, but they wanted to have an older middle grade audience.
What I really think: Debating purchase, since my readers do like medical drama but really don't pick up books with theater in them.
Ms. Yingling

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