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Archive for April 3rd, 2019

A Monster Like Me

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A Monster Like Me by Wendy S. Swore

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.

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Wendy S. Swore

About the Author

Wendy S Swore farms on the Sho-Ban reservation where her corn maze and pumpkin patch is home to her five kids, two dogs, two geese, seven peacocks, eleven ducks, nineteen cats, and two hundred thirty seven chickens. She farms in the summers, writes in the winters, and would rather chew her leg off than eat something spicy.

Rep’d by Stacey Glick, Member SCBWI, Her debut novel, A Monster Like Me, comes out in March 2019.

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Sophie’s story is dear to my heart because I know how it feels to be bullied because I looked different from everyone else. When I was a child, I had a hemangioma on my forehead that stuck out so far my bangs couldn’t cover it, no matter how hard my mother tried. Because the tumor was made up of blood vessels, I could feel my  heart beating inside it when I was playing hard or really upset.

The incident at the grocery store where the hydra lady says, “Hey, look kids! That girl doesn’t need a Halloween costume. She’s already got one!” is an exact quote of what a woman once said to my mother and me. Another woman told a classroom full of kids that I had the mark of the devil. Kids asked if it was a goose bump, or hamburger, or if my brains had leaked out. My dad had to chase away some bullies who had followed me home, called me names, and pushed me into the street. Sometimes, after a bad day of bullying, I wished I could just rip the mark off my face and be like everyone else—but it was a part of me, and wishing didn’t change that.

My parents decided to take an active role in educating the people around me so they would know what a hemangioma was and understand that it wasn’t icky, or gross, or contagious. Whenever we moved to a new place, my dad would go with me to the elementary school and talk to the kids about my mark and let them ask questions. After those talks, kids befriended me and noticed when bullies came around. Like Autumn, my school friends would speak up when they saw someone being mean to me, and sometimes they would stand between me and the bullies until they left me alone. I didn’t let the bullies stop me from doing what I wanted to do. I climbed trees, went swimming, wrote poetry, brought my tarantula and snakes to show-and-tell, and played in the tide pools.

This is my message to anyone who experiences bullying: Don’t let the bullies define you! I’ve been there, I know it hurts to be teased, but don’t let it stop you from doing what you want. Find something you enjoy—a hobby, talent, or challenge—and practice that skill. Know that someone out there, maybe even someone in your same school, needs a friend as much as you do. Be that friend. Stand up for each other. And know that you are not alone.

You can always find me at WendySwore.com, and I would love to hear your stories and what you thought of the book.

My Review

5 stars

When Sophie was a couple months old she got a blood tumor on her face. This makes her stand out and makes her feel awkward around people so she uses her encyclopedia of monsters as a shield. She recognizes different monsters from myths all around her from the bullies at school to her neighbor. She is very lucky to find a new friend at her new school but Sophie is filled with doubt and thinks that she is a monster herself. She blames herself for her father leaving and is afraid that he mother will realize that she is a monster and abandon her too.

It’s tough enough to be in a new school. But to have the blood tumor just makes life worse. People that are polite don’t always know how to act around her and kids are just horrible. I completely understand why use hides behind her encyclopedia. But to think that she is a monster just broke my heart. But she navigates her world well and learns a lot about herself.

I loved this story. It is so touching and a great read for any age. It has a great message for those that feel like they don’t fit in. I recommend checking this book out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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I would like to thank Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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