Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Horton Halfpott - book review

I read an Advance Copy.
Actual cover will glow
in the dark.  How cool
is that?
 Angleberger, Tom. 2011. Horton Halfpott: Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset. New York: Amulet.

Not resting on his (very comfortable) laurels from The Strange Case of Origami Yoda  and with Darth Paper nearly ready to strike back, Tom Angleberger has cranked out another winner!  On the day that M'Lady Luggertuck's corset is loosened, unusual things begin to occur at the usually starched and stately Smugwick Manor.  From the Luggertucks themselves, right down to the lowly kitchenboy, Horton Halfpott, something is stirring in the air at Smugwick Manor.  The "loosening" has begun.

In Horton Halfpott, or The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor or The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset, Angleberger unleashes a large cast of colorful characters in a mystery that includes the servants (including Loaf Burton, Old Crotty, the stable boys, and the spoon-wielding Miss Neversly), pirates, a certain desirable young maiden by the name of Celia Sylvan-Smythe, a pompous detective, the loathsome Luggertucks, members of the press (well, someone must tell the story of the theft!), Horton (of course), and Montgomery, but, as the ever-helpful narrator points out,
Reader, I must warn you.  Montgomery is such a dull character that, if he did not play such an important part in the story, I would have left him out. His mother is dull, too.  In fact, you're welcome to forget her. There are enough characters for you to remember as it is.
However, you will remember Horton Halfpott. Against all odds, you will root for this charming, undernourished, kitchen lad and his never-ending pile of dirty dishes.  A hilarious romp through the social mores of 19th century England.

Tom Angleberger once worked as a kitchenboy.  Thankfully, he has found his true calling!  Horton Halfpott is pure gold.

On shelves in May.
Advance copy (minus glow-in-the-dark cover, [sigh]) supplied by publisher.


  1. I love good mysteries. Can't wait to read it!

  2. This was not my favorite, but I think my students will enjoy it. Thanks for the positive review.


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