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on March 22, 2012
Fake Mustache

This book is about a 13 year old boy who tries to take over the world. He only uses a mustache for a disguise. His best friend even tries to stop him. he first runs for president and then... THE WORLD!!!!!!!
his friend does so many things that make the book worth reading and it is exiting to the very end.

I read this because I liked his two origami Yoda books so much. This book was even better! I read it until my mother made me go to bed. Then I got up and finished it the next day. The story was an exiting adventure. I wish I could write stories like this!
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on March 1, 2013
I read this to my seven and eleven year old boys and they really liked it and couldn't wait for bed so I would read more chapters. I liked it because there were a few characters with fun accents that I got to read. I did think it got a little slow in the end and wrapped up quick but otherwise I have loved all of Tom Angleberger's books and look forward to the next one.
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on May 19, 2012
Be prepared to laugh! No seriously, I mean it.

Angleberger does it again with this hilarious take on what happens when a seven-year-old has enough money to purchase a "man about town" suit and a "Heidelberg Handlebar Number Seven" mustache.

The novel opens with Lenny Flem Jr.'s point of view, following him through the discovery that his best friend is actually a bank-robbing, governorship-stealing, president-wanting criminal mastermind...all because of a suit and mustache!

The narration is broken into two parts: Lenny and Jodie O'Rodeo. I prefer Lenny's narration, and I felt as if Jodie's took away from the overall novel. But, the chapter titles are clever, the chapter lengths are appropriate, and the overall effect = belly laughs.

While there are parts that will make adult readers go "As if...", young readers will be delighted with the wit and charm of this novel.

This is a fast read, and it is appropriate for both male and female readers.
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on February 25, 2013
I'll admit that I'm a thirty-one year old male that enjoys reading children's literature; I simply find the stories imaginative, fresh, and full of fun. I recently read Angleberger's the Case of the Origami Yoda, and absolutely loved it. Based on that book, I purchased Fake Mustache and loved it even more. This book is hilarious - it even references the A-Team (a television show I loved as a kid). Although I typically find postmodern fiction tiresome and irritating, I thought the exaggerated characters and unbelievability of this story both fantastic and endearing; I was most upset when I had to put it down to go to work. Each character isn't terribly developed, but the storyline is surprisingly original (a rarity in any genre of storytelling), with plenty of comedy, action, and romance. To be put it bluntly: this book is so absurd, it's wonderful. The only comparison I can make is that this work reminded me of Roald Dahl's style of writing, which is pretty good company for any author to be in (although I find Dahl's postmodern take on storytelling to be a bit much for me). Even Angleberger's three part organization is intriguing and fun, enabling the reader to become better acquainted with the protagonists.

Overall, I highly recommend this book; it could be my favorite book, but I know that it will always be one of my favorites. Your child will love it, and you'll love reading it with, or to, your child as well. If you do like this book, I'd also recommend the Origami Yoda series from the same author - it's fine storytelling too (only it's not so postmodern). Angleberger is a great author, and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.
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on May 6, 2012
This book is an excellent eye-opener wfor kids. It explains perfectly -- PERFECTLY -- how a politician with no recognizable competence can burst on the scene, manipulate millions of TV-watching myrmidons, co-opt thousands of ill-educated workers within unionized and/or clown professions, and rob America blind.

It's the TV News. It's brainwashing everybody.

Well done, Tom Angleberger.

I love how the book also makes fun of the ridiculous economics of light rail in the state capital.

Just an all-around fun read. Tom Angleberger always delivers believable, likable young characters. Jodie and Lenny are both excellent.

Parent note: language -- some garbled cuss words (GottDangled, Get the Helchfitz out of here); younger siblings are described as "hyperactive little boogers;" there's one use of "Get your butt kicked;" and "You suck!" is in the book at least 4 times. Also, "Goshalmighty, I hate her."
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on May 7, 2014
I loved Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series, and was pleased to see this on the list of nominees for the Sasquatch Award in Washington State. As a librarian I was pleased to see our profession being represented by librarians who know ninja kicks. It is all because of the fake mustache Casper, Lenny’s genius friend bought. Now Casper has turned into a bank robber accumulating millions of dollars in his quest to be president. The humor is definitely for kids! I had kids waiting for it before it was ready to check out and I bet they’ll like it much more than I did.
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on October 25, 2014
It won as the best Sunshine State book at our school. I guess you have to be a kid to enjoy this book. The ridiculous situations and steam of consciousness writing was an ordeal for me to wade through.
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I said it about Laini Taylor. I said it about Jeff Kinney. Heck, I even said it about J.K. Rowling and now, my friends, I'm saying it about Tom Angleberger: I was into him before it was cool. Seriously, a show of hands, how many of you out there can say that you read his first middle grade novel The Qwikpick Adventure Society written under the pen name of Sam Riddleberger? See, that's what I though. I did and it was hilarious, thank you very much. The kind of thing you read and love and wish more people knew (plus it involved a poop fountain. I kid you not). Years passed and at long last Tom got his due thanks to a little unassuming title by the name of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. By the time Darth Paper Strikes Back came out, Mr. Angleberger was a certifiable hit with the 9-12 year old set. Fortunately for all of us he hasn't rested on his laurels quite yet. He's still willing to stretch a little and get seriously wacky when he wants to. Case in point, Fake Mustache. Just your average everyday twelve-year-old-takes-over-the-world title, Tom's desire for total and complete goofiness finds a home here. I was into Tom before everyone else was, but considering how much fun Fake Mustache is I guess I'm willing to share him a little.

If he hadn't lent Casper the measly ten bucks then it's pretty certain that Lenny Flem Jr. wouldn't have found himself pairing up with famous television star and singer Jodie O'Rodeo to defeat the evil genius Fako Mustacho. You see, Casper wanted to buy a mustache. And not just any mustache, mind you, but the extremely rare (and luxurious) Heidelberg Handlebar #7. A mustache so powerful, in fact, that when Casper puts it on he's capable of convincing anyone of anything. Now Casper, posing as Fako Mustacho, has set his sights on the U.S. presidency and only Lenny and Jodie are willing and able to defeat him.

To read this book, kid or adult, you need to have somewhere to safely place your disbelief. I recommend storing it in the rafters of your home. Failing that, launch it into the stratosphere because logic is not going to be your friend when you read this. Literal-minded children would do well to perhaps avoid this book. The ideal reader would be one who reads for pleasure and who enjoys a tale that knows how to have a bit of fun with its internal logic. Once that's taken care of you'll be able to really get into Angleberger's wordplay. He throws in just a ton of fun details that are worth repeating. Things like the fact that the state legislature tends to meet in the local Chinese buffet restaurant because "They used to meet in our fancy gold-domed capitol building, but they kept trashing the bathrooms and got kicked out." Or take the old man who uses a form of swearing worthy of Yosemite Sam himself: "Leave those hats alone, you FarDobbled Candy-Bar-Selling Punkler!" Silliness abounds.

There are books out there where siblings or parents turn out to be untrustworthy, and they do a good job of striking fear in the hearts of their little readers. Personally, though, I find the books where the villain is the hero's best friend to be a lot more interesting. After all, isn't that something that actually happens to a lot of kids around the age of twelve? One day your best friend is the person you've always known. The next they seem like some kind of supervillain, intent on ruining your life. Angleberger sort of takes this idea to its logical extreme, but he's not harping on the metaphor like I am. After all, this book is a comedy at its core.

One of the shockers of the book is that a little more than halfway through the point of view changes. One minute you're happily following hapless Lenny and the next you're in the head of Jodie O'Rodeo herself. One of Mr. Angleberger's finer talents is writing books that are just as popular amongst girls as they are boys. I credit his ability to create female characters that are more than just talking creatures with long eyelashes. For example, in this book Jodie may at first appear to be no more than a combination of Taylor Swift and iCarly but in fact she probably has more in common with Annie Oakley than anyone else. The fact that we bust into her head at the 5/8ths mark suggests to me that Angleberger is being a sneaky pete. I think we've all encountered those boy readers who refuse to pick up a book if they see it stars a girl. Well imagine their faces when they're thoroughly enmeshed in Angleberger's story only to hit the old switcheroo at Chapter 37. With any luck they'll be too interested in the story to care all that much, and in the process they'll find themselves reading the thoughts and impressions of a gal willing to pull a rescue mission at the drop of a hat. Awesome.

The book uses a plethora of contemporary words, terms, and phrases that threaten its longevity. On the one hand, I really appreciated that Casper was capable of making use of the employees of Burger King and not some generic fast food enterprise that doesn't actually exist. On the other hand, I worry that some of the more recent phrases in the book will date it in a couple years. I say that, but there were some jokes in this book that I wouldn't remove for all the fake mustaches in the world. For example, at one point Casper appropriates the term "Rock the Vote" in such a hilarious manner that even if the folks of the future don't get it it's nice that we can now. Ditto the sentence, "We're too big to fail", as spoken by the villain asking for a government handout.

Not all books read aloud particularly well. This one would. As I read it to myself I kept resisting the urge to try out passages on my tongue (though considering that I read most of it on the New York public subway system, I doubt I would have stood out all that much). It's the rare title that's funny to kids and adults and reads just as well in the head of a ten-year-old as it does on the lips of a fifth grade teacher. I think he's got enough books out by this point that you can label this title "classic Angleberger" through and through. Definitely a book for the discerning first-class man-about-town slash girl-about town slash boy-about-town slash woman-about-town. Which is to say, fun for the whole family. Seriously.

For ages 9-12.
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on November 19, 2012
This book was pretty silly, from an adult's perspective; however, my students seem to find it intriguing, especially because moustaches for some reason hold high comedic value for kids right now. Would be a good book for the age 9-12 set, especially reluctant readers or fans of Angleberger's Origami Yoda series.
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on September 29, 2013
I picked this book for a class project, I like the book because I enjoyed the story very very much. The story is about a kid that pretended that he was a robber and wore a fake mustache. I liked it because it was interesting and it was good and it teaches me to apologize.
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