A Monster Like Me by Wendy S. Swore
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Summary from NetGalley:
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.
ARC provided by Shadow Mountain Publishing via NetGalley for an honest review.
This was such a wonderful story about acceptance and inclusion. It should be a must read for any middle schoolers. Sophie is an engaging character who has many hardships to overcome. But with a new friendship and some loving adults she is able to overcome her fear and accept herself.
I really liked Sophie, she has a great imagination and at times I wasn’t even sure what was real and what was imagination. Sophie’s inner dialogue was also fun to read. She was very insightful at times, especially when she was identifying the different monsters in her life. She had a good relationship with her mom too, which was nice to see. I also enjoyed watching her developing friendship with Autumn.
Autumn was also a great character. She was so accepting of Sophie from the start, and Sophie’s blood tumor didn’t bother her at all. She was able to see Sophie for who she was right from the start. I also really liked Autumn’s grandmother, who I was hoping would have a bigger role, but that is ok.
Sophie’s mom was good too, but I wanted her to stick up for Sophie a bit more. She didn’t deal with Sophie’s issues very well. When things happened she tended to ignore them, or just remove Sophie from them. They changed schools because of bullying, and that was her go to solution when it started again. She also tended to want to hide Sophie when they were out in public. I think Sophie would have been more accepting of herself if mom had been.
I really liked the little snippets we got from Sophie’s favorite book, The Big Book of Monsters in between the chapters. The offered up some interesting insights into monsters and included a few that I had never heard of. They were also from all over the world and different cultures, not just your typical ones.
Some of the bullying scenes were hard to take. I always like to think that kids are not that cruel, even when I know they can be. I also like to think that adults would not be that bad, but there is one scene where and adult makes a very cruel remark about Sophie’s blood tumor that just made me really mad. I really wanted Sophie’s mom to say something, but she didn’t. That was a lost opportunity to help Sophie accept herself.
Overall, an excellent book that I highly recommend you check out.