Fake Mustache

11 06 2012

There are a couple of websites that I keep finding great book recommendations from: Twitter and Goodreads.

I’d never used Twitter before this summer, because I figured I connected to enough people through Facebook.  However, to make a long story less long, last year I read a great book for teachers called The Book Whisperer.  The author of that book, Donalyn Miller, has a blog that I started following online.  Near the end of this past school year, she blogged about a challenge that she gives her students (and, of course, does herself) – to read 90 books in 90 days over summer break.

If you’re reading these blog posts on my site, you probably already know that I’m working on that 90 book challenge too.   Fake Mustache, by the waywas the 21st book I read this summer.

Anyway, on her blog, Donalyn Miller said that she’d be tweeting each time she finished one of her 90 books.  She also said that a whole community of readers would be on there, using the hashtag #bookaday, to inform the world as they read their 90 books.

I decided to start a Twitter account (@mcliterature), and connect with some of these folks.

The coolest stuff started happening.  I made online Twitter friends through our shared interest in good books.

I started following Donalyn Miller on Twitter, and even participated in a Twitter discussion about graphic novels in the classroom.  That led me to some great books like Babymouse, Squish, and Smile – which I might not have ever read if it hadn’t been for all those Twitter people suggesting them.

So, I read a few Babymouse books and Squish (they’re by the same authors), and when I finished, I tweeted to the #bookaday folks that I was done.  Next thing you know it, my messages were being re-tweeted by Matt Holm (the guy that draws both Babymouse and Squish).  So, I started including him in my tweets each time I read one of his books, and this led me to a few other folks, who started talking about books like The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Big Nate, Diary of a Whimy Kid, and the Origami Yoda books (all of which aren’t quite graphic novels, but tell the story with both pictures and words).

I had just read The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and The Return of Darth Paper, so I had a lot to say about stories like that.  It turns out that Tom Angleberger had another book, Fake Mustache.   I read that one, and loved it so much, that when I tweeted about finishing my third Tom Angleberger book of the year, I raved about all three books.

About a day later, Tom Angleberger himself, who had seem my tweet, messaged me and recommended I read his other book, Horton Halfpot.  Then we actually went back and forth, messaging one another for a little while.  During the conversation, he (and I know it was in a fun, joking way) even called me #mynewfavoriteenglishteacher.

Now, I’m not saying Matt Holm, Tom Angleberger, and I are all best buddies now, but it’s so cool to connect with these authors in such a personal way.  I’m really loving Twitter for that.  I’m hoping maybe we can read a few of their books in class next year and get them to answer a few questions from the class.

Anyway – on to Fake Mustache.  This book is hilarious.  It’s the story of a 7th grader named Lenny Jr. who goes with his friend Casper to a local novelty shop, where Casper purchases a very realistic fake mustache.

The next day, a small man (or is it a tall boy) who looks a lot like Casper with mustache that looks a lot like the one Lenny Jr. saw him buying robs a bank.  Then another bank gets robbed, then other strange events start happening.  Lenny’s not positive, but he thinks that Casper’s behind it all, when a man named Fako Mustacho steps onto the scene.

Fako, who may or may not really be Casper, has plans for world domination, and there’s something about that mustache that’s allowing him to brainwash the whole world.  Well, except Lenny Jr. and washed up television star Jodie O’Rodeo, formerly of The Jodie O’Rodeo Showdeo, and they have to figure out a way to stop him.

I laughed through the whole book, and can not recommend it more.  I can’t wait now to get my hands on Horton Halfpot – I mean, how can I not read it, the author himself recommend it to me?

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