Book Review: A Monster Like Me

What if you had a tumor on your face?  That’s what young Sophie has, a hemangioma (a benign tumor birthmark) on her face.  People stare at her, so she tries to hide it behind her hair and her Big Book of Monsters.  When children see her birthmark, they call her a monster. 

It’s easier to beat the bullies to the chase and believe you are a monster before they call you one.  Better yet, it is better to believe everyone is a monster or a mythological creature so that you can feel like you are not alone, that this world you live in is filled with creatures that are either good or bad.

This is how Sophie copes with her monster mark.  But it doesn’t stop the bullies or reality from crashing in on her world.  Along with her fairy friend, Autumn, they collect pieces to create a magical amulet that will cure her from being a monster, making her human again.

What she finds in her journey is that a monster mark is not what makes you a monster, it’s what you do that makes you human.

The Review

This book is rather magical.  If we could only see the world the way that Sophie saw the world.  It is so much easier to see the world filled with monsters, witches and fairies to explain the good and evil that happens in the world, than to see that humans can be monsters.

Wendy S. Swore, the author, as a child

What makes us monsters?  Is it a disability or a birthmark?  Or is it the circumstances with which we live that can force us to lash out and hurt others because we are hurting inside? 

A Monster Like Me not only explores what it means to be a child that looks different, but it also takes a look at bullying in a way that helps bullied children understand why bullies are bullies. 

Sometimes when we dream so big and wish for something so great, it is hard for us to see anything but ourselves and our wants.  For Sophie, she learns to see what she has is a gift that not everyone has.  There are things we have in our lives that we take for granted that someone may wish they had themselves, like the ability to run around and play, instead of being stuck in a hospital bed.

It is not necessarily what you look like on the outside that makes you human, but what you do that defines your humanity.

This book is well worth the read, especially for young readers facing challenges in school.

[Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.  This post contains affiliate links.]