Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fake Mustache, by Tom Angleberger - goofy silliness perfect for kids who just want to have fun (ages 9 - 12)

Fourth, fifth and sixth graders often tell me they want a funny book. They love the Wimpy Kid books and have read all of them. They've read the Big Nate books. And they want more! If your kids gobble up funny books and are ready for something even wackier, look for Tom Angleberger's newest book Fake Mustache.
Fake Mustache:
or, How Jodie O'Rodeo and her wonder horse (and some nerdy kid) saved the U.S. Presidential election from a mad genius criminal mastermind
by Tom Angleberger
NY: Amulet / Abrams Books, 2012
ages 9 - 12
available from your local library, favorite bookstore and on Amazon
preview available on Google Books
Lenny Flem, Jr. is your average 7th grader. Nothing exciting happens in his life. That is until his best friend, Casper Bengue turns out to be an evil mad genius who tries to take over the ENTIRE COUNTRY! It's up to Lenny and Jodie O'Rodeo, a former TV child star, to save the day. It all starts when Lemmy lends Casper the money to buy a fake mustache. This isn't any old cheap fake mustache - it's the Heidelberg Handlebar #7, a mustache that's so powerful that Casper is able to convince anyone of anything when he puts it on!

With his fake mustache firmly in place, Casper takes over the local toy company, then the local town council. Now, as Fako Mustacho, Casper is able to amass great wealth stealing banks, hire a mob of strongmen to protect him, and set about to steal the US presidential election! Only Lenny knows the real truth and is immune to the mustache's evil power. With the help of Jodie O'Rodeo, the preteen cowgirl queen, Lenny is determined to stop Casper and thwart his evil plan. You'll get a sense of Angleberger's style from these opening pages:

For some extra fun, take a look at Tom Angleberger with his own fake mustache! He's definitely a guy who loves a good joke. Kids are definitely going to recognize his name as the author behind the popular Origami Yoda series.

Tom Angleberger sports a fake mustache!
Kids are going to love this over-the-top madcap adventure. Angleberger revels in goofy silliness without getting bogged down in too much detail. The plot is fast-moving with enough suspense to pull kids through from start to finish. They're going to love the twists and turns, the wacky characters and the dangerous situations that Lenny and Jodie O'Rodeo find themselves in.

You'll definitely need to suspend any sense of reality to enter Tom Angleberger's wacky world of Hairsprinkle, USA. Silliness overflows, and questions of "would this really happen" never enter the conversation. But our early readers have definitely given this a thumbs up, recommending it to their friends as funny and a bit unusual.

My one wish is that the book designers made Angleberger's chapter titles more prominent. They're great chapter titles and help keep the plot developments clear for the reader. Young readers definitely need these sign posts to guide their comprehension and understanding of a story. That's especially true for one that takes as many strange turns as Fake Mustache!

Finally, for a bit of extra over-the-top fun, take a look at me sporting Tom's amazing fake mustache! I think this will definitely give me some power over kids in my library.
Ms. Scheuer as Fako Mustacho!
For other reviews, definitely check out Betsy Bird's at Fuse #8 and Monica Edinger's at Educating Alice.

The review copy was kindly sent by the publishers, Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books


  1. I love this book a lot and so do my kids!

  2. Fake Mustache is a great hit in my class! Two thumbs up and five stars for sure