February 18, 2013

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:12 am by suebe2

Fake Mustache 
or, How Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Guy) Saved the World
by Tom Angleberger
Amulet Books
AR 4.6

What do you do when your best friend buys the best, most realistic fake mustache ever and then goes on a crime wave so that he can rig the election and become President of the United States?

Our hero, none other than Lenny Flem, Jr., dresses as a cow girl, but not just any cow girl.  He dresses up like Jodie O’Rodeo, teen cowgirl queen.  Imagine his surprise when, while wearing his fake cow-girl hair and pink cow-girl outfit, he runs into none-other-than Jodie O’Rodeo herself?

Unbelievable but true.

As much as I liked Angleberger’s The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, I adored Fake Mustache.  A big part of this may be because I read Fake Mustache before I heard much about it.  I didn’t got into it with any expectations so I could dive in and experience it for myself.

Like Origami Yoda, the setting is clearly recognizable as “here and now.”  But Fake Mustache is even more fanciful and wild — no, there aren’t unicorns and elves but the things that take place aren’t entirely believable.  Casper, starts out the book as your average 12-year-old best friend.  Add one super deluxe fake mustache, made from real (ick) mustache hair, and adults see him very differently.  He is clearly a man about town, a fellow adult, someone of great purpose and authority.   The only person who seems to realize that something is going on is Lenny.  Where did Casper suddenly get all that cash?  Gold bars are even more suspicious.

Lenny may not have the ultimate mustache, but he does have a super sticky hand and just enough money to buy a discounted cow girl costume.  Can the two get him close enough to find out what is going on and how to save his very best friend?  The only other person who seems to see through the disguise is the real Jodie O’Rodeo who has her own bag of tricks, and a stunt horse too.   It is up to them to save the day.

This book is a quick read and would be a good choice for a reluctant reader.   It is longer than Origami Yoda  and has fewer illustrations but the chapters are very short, many no more than 2 or 3 pages.  Between the wacky things they encounter and the goofy costumes Lenny has to wear, there is plenty for readers to enjoy.  Furthermore, Lenny is such a real kid that it will be easy for readers to identify with and actually imagine themselves in the shoes of this hero.

–SueBE

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