If Mel Brooks directed a gothic satire about evil werepenguins, it would be this wacky and hilarious middle-grade novel! Orphaned as a toddler by parents who disappeared under suspicious circumstances, all Bolt Wattle has ever wanted was to find his true family. When a mysterious baron in far-off Brugaria abruptly sends for Bolt, he wonders if he’s getting closer to finding his parents. But Baron Chordata appears to be a twelve-year-old boy who wears tuxedos all the time, shouts at everyone, and forbids Bolt from asking questions. Things couldn’t get any worse…until midnight, when the Baron bites Bolt and turns him into a half boy, half penguin. Then things really couldn’t get worse…nope, wait, they get a lot worse. A plucky girl who just might be the world’s greatest bandit, a whale cult led by a man whose weapon is a stale loaf of French bread, and a sinister but friendly fortune-teller who can’t stop cackling are just a few of the characters who help (and hinder) Bolt on his journey to reverse the curse, return to human form, and stop the Baron from taking over the country of Brugaria with his army of mind-controlled penguins in what might be the weirdest—and funniest—middle-grade novel you’ve ever read.