By Tom Angleberger, Abrams Books for Young Readers, 214 pages

-Life Changes When a Corset is Loosened-

On the morning that M’Lady Luggertuck loosened her corset, the fate of kitchen boy Horton Halfpott was changed forever. Along with “the Loosening” comes the abandonment of all the strict rules of Smugwick Manor. Things disappear, including the Luggertuck Lump, the most precious family heirloom. Famous detective Portnoy St. Pomfrey is called in to solve the mystery. It appears that Horton may be the thief. Readers join a wild cast of characters as they scramble to crack the crime and retrieve the Lump. There is barely time to breathe as readers race through author Tom Angleberger’s fantastic adventure, Horton Halfpott. Angleberger’s artwork is hilarious. He opens the book with a map of Smugwick Manor and an illustrated cast of characters.

Before each chapter begins, readers will be delighted to see more of the author’s unique ink drawings. Girls and boys alike will enjoy the riotous fun as they encounter kidnapping pirates, a snooping stable boy, a graveyard of unfashionable wigs, and even a budding romance. Angleberger’s writing style is above all extremely witty. He leaves no detail out, which makes the plot complex and rich.

Kathryn Franklin