Most of the time in books when there is a child or teen bent on attaining power that individual is a cunning genius. He or she might have a well connected family. While Casper Bengue is no slouch, that isn’t what gives him the edge in Tom Angleberger’s hilarious caper-filled novel Fake Mustache. Casper’s edge has everything to do with his two newest possessions – a finely tailored man-about-town suit and, more importantly, the Heidelberg Handlebar #7.
The Heidelberg Handlebar #7 is a one of kind fake mustache so far removed from the fake mustache seen on joke glasses as to be an entirely different species. The wearer of this creation made from real Belgian hair has an unequaled influence on all who see it. Mild mannered accordion players, craft store workers and even school librarians become little more than a brainwashed criminal mob when confronted with the mustache.
Nerdy Lenny Flem Jr. knows precisely who is behind the powerful facial hair because he lent his friend Casper the last ten dollars needed to buy the mustache. Unfortunately, Casper knows precisely who tried to rat him out to authorities and uses the town of Hairsprinkle’s morning television show to turn everyone against Lenny, the one they’ve been told is the Evil One by Fako Mustacho.
Nearly everyone that is. Lenny ends up with one ally at his side – Jodie O’Rodeo. The former tv star isn’t shy about doing her own stunts and isn’t going to stand for Fako Mustacho taking over the US in a rigged election.
Fake Mustache is a fast action read brimming with quirky characters, mayhem and unexpected solutions. Their are brave rescue attempts, perilous water bottles and stunts on horseback. Diabolical deeds seem to carry the day but the heroes just won’t stay down. Adding to the chaos is a strange foreigner bent upon regaining his mustache. Lenny and Jodie O’Rodeo tell this series of Fako Mustacho’s bid for power and their trials to bring him down in this romp of a middle grade novel that had me laughing from the moment I saw the cover. This book is begging to be shared with middle grade readers.
I receive an arc of this book free at an event at the Cooperative Children’s Book Center.