Each month, my friend Jen Vincent and I pick a book to discuss on my blog. This month it was Jen’s turn to pick. I was very exciting when she told me that we would be reading Fake Mustache. I am a big Tom Angleberger fan.
JEN: We’ve come to the end of the month and our discussions of Fake Mustache. It’s been so much fun talking about the wild and craziness of this book. We talked about the beginning and we’ve talked about the random things Tom scatters throughout the book and how it might even become a writing strategy to try. I think for our last chat it just makes sense to talk about the endings in Fake Mustache. Not necessarily the ending of the book, but the great endings of some of the chapters.
COLBY: Sounds good to me.
JEN: I really noticed how the endings were so clever! Here are some of my favorites…I tried to pick ones that don’t give tooooo much away and I didn’t include some of the fun ones at the very end.
Chapter 2 – “But I had never bothered to go into Chauncey’s Big & Small, Short & Tall before. That’s the first place Casper wanted to go that fateful day.” p. 7
Chapter 3 – “I had to admit, Casper did look a little bit more like a short man-about-town than a slightly tall nerdy seventh grader, while I still looked like a slightly short nerdy seventh grader. Maybe I should have bought a dusty hat.” p. 12
Chapter 4 – “‘All right, fine,’ I said, and gave him the ten bucks.
This, of course, was a terrible, terrible mistake. A mistake that would change the course of history. But please, please believe me that if I had known what that ten dollars would do, I never would have given it to Casper. Never.” p. 15
Chapter 5 – “‘JUST TAKE IT AND GET OUT OF HERE, YOU PATHETIC, SLIGHTLY SHORT, NERDY SEVENTH GRADER!’ bellowed Sven.” p. 19
Chapter 12 – “”Did you do it or not?!?’ I yelled after him.
He didn’t answer.” p. 38
Chapter 14 – “That’s when our front door was knocked open by a battering ram and fast-food restaurant employees burst through, point at me and yelling, ‘There he is! The Evil One! Grab him!’” p. 45
Chapter 15 – “Nobody can catch me when I’m on my bike.” p. 47
Chapter 28 – “‘Where’s my Jello-O?’ he snarled.” p. 84
Chapter 30 – “The bodybuilders applauded wildly.” p. 93
Chapter 31 – “I looked at my watch. It was already 3:30. I had been a girl for more than seven hours!” p. 96
Chapter 46 – “I hit the surface hard and kept going down. It was like diving in a pool, except instead of a splash it made a big burping sound as it sucked us under.” p. 142
COLBY: It’s fun to read these endings out of context. I am thinking how fun it would be to read these chapter endings to my fourth graders and ask them what they think the book will be about.
A good ending to me makes me feel something. Good endings make me laugh, smile, cry, wonder, feel nervous, and all sorts of other emotions. I think that Angleberger does a wonderful job of getting his readers thinking and feeling with his endings. Did I mention that I’ve cried my way through the endings of all three of his Origami Yoda books?
JEN: Did you really? I don’t think I cried in any of the Origami Yoda books! And I am Mrs. Weepy-pants when it comes to books! I’m the most sentimental when it comes to the original Origami Yoda, but no tears. Usually a book that does have me completely destroyed by tears is an amazing book. I love books that really grab my heart right out of my chest.
What I really love about a book is when I read the last page and close the book and I just have to sigh. My eyes-closed, head-shaking sighs are for the great books. I can’t help but marvel at great books when I’m done. They fill a tiny place in my heart and make me feel a little more complete because I read them. Is it weird to say that books complete me? I really do believe that we learn and grow as people from reading so I guess it makes sense that books make us just a bit more complete…not that we could necessarily be completely complete because we’re always and continually growing…but you know what I mean (I think).
Once I finish a story, it’s like the book weighs more in my hands because reading and knowing the story gives it more value. It’s extra special after I know the beauty it holds within its pages. There’s something super exciting about a book that I haven’t read before…it’s the curiosity over what the book has in store for the reader. But it’s pretty amazing to hold a book I have read – or hug it, I usually hug books that I love after I read them – and know what it has in store for another reader. It’s hard to contain myself once I’ve read a book and want to share it.
Was that a little TMI about me marveling over books? I feel mega-Nerdy-Book-Club right now!
COLBY: You didn’t cry at the end of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda when Tommy went out on a limb and asked Sara to dance? Crazy.
I have no problem saying that books complete me. None at all. And yes, you are mega-Nerdy-Book-Club.