A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The narrator draws detention for tardiness and sassing a teacher, then sneaks out of his punishment.
Violence & Scariness
At one point, the teacher, Old Toady, gives a student "a friendly punt to speed him up."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book has a sharp ear for the lingo of pulp fiction and an intricate plot.
Is It Any Good?
Will the opening of THE CHAMELEON WORE CHARTREUSE set PC teeth on edge? "Some cases start rough, some cases start easy. This one started with a dame." But the next sentence clues us in to the Chet Gecko tone: "That's what we private eyes call a girl." From there, Bruce Hale sweeps readers into the wacky world of his school-age sleuth.
With tongue firmly planted in cheek, the author slips in some hilarious lines: "She was the kind of girl I could have fallen for. If I liked girls." Hale paints Emerson Hicky Elementary School as a benign and comical, if bizarre, world with just enough goofy reality to make it stick, and just enough style to make it pulpy. Kids (and adults) who've encountered classics of the genre will enjoy some good chuckles.
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