A Monster Like Me by Wendy S. Swore

About:

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.

EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER ONE

The blonde lady follows the kid’s pointing finger and stares at me, her eyebrows arching up into her poofy hair, which is okay, but then she opens her mouth, which is not. “Hey, look, kids! That girl doesn’t even need a costume for Halloween! She’s already got one.”

Four heads peek around their mother like a five-headed hydra to stare and stare and then laugh. They point their fingers and giggle like it’s the funniest joke in the world, but it’s not funny. And I’m not laughing.

Mom’s mouth drops open as the hydra family walks away, and I bury my face in my book. The echoing laughter hurts my ears. It grates and stings, and I press my face against the pages so I’ll never have to see anyone ever again. My eyes burn, but I blink fast and hold the tears inside. I don’t want Mom to see me cry, and besides, I don’t want to wreck my book.

“Sorry about that,” the clerk says over the sound of our groceries beeping across the scanner.

I peek over the book to see if he’s making fun, but he really does look sorry.

Mom’s face is red, her lips mashed tight in a thin line. The rest of the shoppers around us are quiet too, and I duck back into my book, hoping that Mom doesn’t understand what the hydra lady was talking about. She knows part of the truth about me, but not all. And she never will if I can help it.

The checkout machine prints the receipt, and I hear the cashier rip it off. Mom’s gentle touch pries my hand from the book and presses it against the cart’s handle. I wait till we’re out of the store to close my book, but even then, I keep my head down, my hair falling over my face like a curtain.

“You can open the fruit snacks now, if you want,” says Mom.

I pretend I don’t hear and run the last few steps to the car. Lights flash as she pops the trunk with her key button. “We have one more place we need to go today after we drop off the groceries, then we can do something fun. Maybe plan for your birthday next week?” She winks and flashes ten fingers plus one. …

“Sophie? You okay?” Mom checks my reflection in the rearview mirror.

“I’m fine,” I mumble.

As long as Mom never finds out the truth, it’ll be okay. She’ll still love me, and I can stay at home. Until then, I have to do what every other kid-who’s not really a kid-does and hide my true nature from her. Only I can know.

I really am a monster.

About the author:

Wendy S. Swore farms with her husband and children in Idaho. She writes part-time, particularly in winter when her farming chores give her time to plant seeds in her imagination.

In Emilee’s opinion:

I knew I was going to enjoy reading A Monster Like Me before I even started. I knew I needed to read it. Sometimes we feel different and alone so it was nice to read about Sophie’s perspective regarding her own struggles and trials as a young child.

A Monster Like Me was about a young girl named Sophie who grew up thinking she was a monster because she had a hemangioma on her forehead. She often carried a book titled, The Big Book of Monsters which helped her identify the other monsters around her. Will she be able to cope with being the new student at school or with her mother’s new boyfriend? This story was sweet yet sometimes I cried right along Sophie. Some of the experiences she had were unbelievable and I couldn’t believe she had to go through it all. Life is tough but when we have real friendships, life is ten times better. I definitely recommend A Monster Like Me. I feel like we all need to be more vulnerable because life ain’t perfect and we all have our trials to deal with. Be nice to others!

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services for free in the hope that I would mention them on my blog and offer an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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