A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fletcher is beaten with a club into unconsciousness and hospitalized. Also, the adults in this story are mostly useless, and the most appealing characters are petty criminals.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Fletcher Moon, known around school as \"Half-Moon\" due to his size, has qualified as a private eye after taking Internet classes. So far he has only used it to solve petty schoolyard crimes, with payment in candy. But now he's on to something much bigger -- and more dangerous.
There's a conspiracy going on in town, and possibly more than one. They involve a local criminal family, a club of pink-clad girly-girls, a school talent show, arson, theft, and assault. And soon Fletcher finds himself in way over his head, as he is framed for arson and flees custody with a known delinquent, who may be more than he seems.
Is it any good?
Eoin Colfer, author of the bestselling Artemis Fowl series, brings his trademark combination of humor, brilliant kids, gritty violence, and likable villains to a new setting. Fletcher is a nerdy wimp of a kid detective, with a sharp mind and an inner core of steel, who narrates the story in the style of a '40s potboiler. Much more interesting is his reluctant partner, Red -- son of a local gangster, with a heart of gold, a short fuse, the gift of cool charisma, and the skills of his heritage.
Fletcher receives an extraordinary lack of sympathy from any adult, including his parents, after he is beaten badly enough to require surgery, which, by the way, was more violent than necessary for the storyline. When a child is beaten unconscious by an adult with a club, it doesn't register as the humorous, cartoon violence the author seems to think it is. But overall this is a satisfying romp.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the deductive techniques Fletcher uses. How does he figure out who the real culprit is? Were you able to figure it out before he did? Also, what would it be like to be Red? Why do people treat him the way they do? Why do they assume he's up to no good?