*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: There are trolls, goblins, and witches. Which kind of monster is Sophie?
Sophie is a monster expert. Thanks to her Big Book of Monsters and her vivid imagination, Sophie can identify the monsters in her school and neighborhood. Clearly, the bullies are trolls and goblins. Her nice neighbor must be a good witch, and Sophie’s new best friend is obviously a fairy. But what about Sophie? She’s convinced she is definitely a monster because of the “monster mark” on her face. At least that’s what she calls it. The doctors call it a blood tumor. Sophie tries to hide it but it covers almost half her face. And if she’s a monster on the outside, then she must be a monster on the inside, too.
Being the new kid at school is hard. Being called a monster is even harder. Sophie knows that it’s only a matter of time before the other kids, the doctors, and even her mom figure it out. And then her mom will probably leave–just like her dad did.
Because who would want to live with a real monster?
Inspired by real events in the author’s life, A Monster Like Me teaches the importance of believing in oneself, accepting change, and the power of friendship.
Love love love this book!
A Monster Like Me features Sophie’s first-person narrative as she navigates a world in which she looks like a monster (in her opinion) and other people act like them whilst looking human.
She sees witches, fairies, goblins and more everywhere she looks and constantly muddles fact with fantasy as she struggles to understand a world in which she is ostracised and bullied for her appearance and her mum seems fixated on ‘fixing’ her.
This is a beautiful, poignant and very clever exploration of what it is to spend your childhood on the outside looking in, and how coping strategies can mutate into something more harmful than helpful given time and pressure. I cried actual tears more than once, not just at Sophie’s struggles, but those of her friends and family.
The book isn’t just a tear-jerker though. It captures the highs and lows of childhood imagination: fairytale dens and daring quests to gather magical items, kind adults and best friends, all have equal importance with the health issues and bullies of the real world.
I would recommend this to anyone 8+ who loves a good story that tackles serious issues in an entertaining way.
You’d think monsters would have their own grocery store, but they don’t. They walk around with a cart the same as regular people and keep the monster part hidden inside where no one can see it. Mom’s grocery cart squeaks with every step like an elf getting squished, but Mom’s not a monster–not that I can tell anyway.
– Wendy S. Swore, A Monster Like Me
A Monster Like Me is available on Amazon right now!