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HORTON HALFPOTT by Tom Angleberger

HORTON HALFPOTT

Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, the Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset

By Tom Angleberger

Age Range: 8 - 14

Pub Date: May 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8109-9715-8
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

A positively gleeful historical mystery farce. Trouble really begins around Smugwick Manor, ancestral home of the Luggertucks and current resting place of the Luggertuck Lump (world's largest and ugliest diamond), when M'Lady Luggertuck instructs her lady's maid, Crotty, to loosen her corset a bit. What follows is a general loosening all around. Usually this wouldn't affect Horton Halfpott, lowliest of kitchenboys, since he doesn't like breaking rules (a good thing, since the business end of Miss Neversly's cooking spoon is known to impart lethal corrections, and he meets it often enough even when he doesn't break rules). When the newly loosened M'Lady plans a costume ball to make a match for her snooze-inducing nephew Montgomery to the comely and amazingly well-off Celia Sylvan-Smythe, events are set in motion that involve a missing Lump, Shipless Pirates, M'Lady's evil weasel of a son, Luther, and, of course, our hero Horton. Is he up for some derring-do? Angleberger's second (The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, 2010) is a satirical homage to Dickens by way of Pratchett and Snicket. Short chapters, a fast pace and plenty of linguistic and slapstistic humor will have young readers hoping that a sequel is planned. The scribbly pen-and-ink chapter-heading cartoon illustrations are just icing on the cake—or pickle éclair. A romp from start to finish. (Humor. 8-14)