(Advance Reader Copy supplied by publisher)
With another impossibly long title (who can forget last year's hilarious Horton Halfpott: Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset?), Tom Angleberger is ready to unleash another load of laughs on eagerly waiting middle schoolers in Fake Mustache: How Jodie O'Rodeo and her Wonder Horse (and some nerdy kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election from a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind.
In retrospect, 7th grader, Lenny Flem, Jr., realizes that he never should have loaned his friend Casper Bengue, the ten dollars to buy the Heidelberg Handlebar Number Seven from Hairsprinkle's own Sven's Fair Price Store. The mustache, combined with the "man-about-town" suit purchased at Chauncey's Big & Small, Short & Tall Shop, enable a chain of events that threaten the town of Hairsprinkle, the presidential election and especially, Lenny Flem, Jr. A cast of zany characters, including washed-up teen rodeo queen, Jodie O'Rodeo, fill out this funny, improbable adventure story.
Midway through the story, the first-person narration switches from Lenny to Jodie, so the reader doesn't miss any of the action. Angleberger's humor can be blatantly obvious, as in the "first-ever billion-dollar bank robbery" "carried out by a gang of strolling accordion players," or hidden away for those who take notice.
One chapter ends,
"No, thanks," I told the mime. "You clowns can either let us both go or get your heinies kicked. What'll it be?"And what, you ask, is the title of the next chapter? Why, "Behind Me," of course!
"First of all, I'm not a clown. I'm a mime. Second of all, do you really think you can kick the heinies of Hairsprinkle's top ten karate instructors?"
"I only see five."
"Look behind you."
Kids looking for a quick and goofy read will devour this book as quickly as a Hairsprinkle Hot Dog!
I look forward to seeing the finished artwork, which was not ready in time for the printing of this Advance Reader Copy.
Note: Just in case you're disappointed with our own election season and are seeking another choice, Tom Angleberger has got you covered. Get your Vote Fako! bumper sticker. Heck, he'll even throw in a free mustache (but not the Heidelberg Handlebar Number Seven - it's simply too dangerous!)
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Coming to a bookshelf near you on April 1st.