Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

Simply put, Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger is a book that grown-ups should be recommending to young readers. As a public service, I offer several suggestions to would be recommenders for doing just that.

First, point out the book’s alternate title. Listed underneath the impressively mustachioed young man on the cover, it reads How Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election from a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind. Who doesn’t like a colorful cast of characters and high stakes?

Second, you might point out to your targeted young reader that one of the book’s lessons is this: If ever presented with the opportunity to purchase a Heidelberg Handlebar Number Seven fake mustache along with a complimentary year’s supply of spirit gum from the Heidelberg Novelty Company, say no. Evil can lie in wait, even in an impressive mustache.

Third, mention that the story begins in Sven’s Fair Price Store, a place to “buy fake tattoos, fake noses, fake thumbs, fake eyelashes, fake tuxedo shirts, fake books that have secret compartments, fake laughter machines, fake fog makers, fake feet, fake teeth that you wind up, fake teeth that you stick in your mouth, fake gum that snaps people’s fingers, fake dog poop, [and] fake people poop.” (And fake mustaches.)

Fourth, even though not given in the above list of products, one of the story's heroes uses a Nasal Gun enabling him to shoot fake boogers out his nose. And it’s every bit as gross as it should be.

Fifth, it’s by Tom Angleberger, the guy behind The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. You’ve read Origami Yoda, right?

And finally, some reasons for the recommenders themselves. Beyond the absurdity and hilarity in the first four reasons, Fake Mustache contains grown-ups worthy of a Roald Dahl story, the action pace of an Alex Rider adventure, ordinary kids with extraordinary accomplishments, and a sequel-ready ending. Kids will love it.

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