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Farewell, My Lunchbag (Chet Gecko Series)

Farewell, My Lunchbag (Chet Gecko Series)

4.0 5
by Bruce Hale

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Danger may be Chet Gecko’s business, but dessert is his delight in this third entry of Bruce Hale’s hilarious mystery series.


Danger may be Chet Gecko’s business, but dessert is his delight in this third entry of Bruce Hale’s hilarious mystery series.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Raves for the Tattered Casebook of Chet Gecko
The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse
"Mystery fans will get a kick out of this new series, which features a clever, wisecracking fourth-grade . . . lizard."—Family Life
The Mystery of Mr. Nice
"Hold on to your fedoras: this gecko's going places."—Kirkus Reviews
Farewell, My Lunchbag
"A Raymond Chandler/Woody Allen literary blend in a fourth-grader/gecko guise. . . . Fodder for budding criminologists and stand-up comedians."—School Library Journal
Children's Literature
A third entry in the "Chet Gecko Mystery" series has the intrepid fourth-grade gecko helping the lunchroom cook, an iguana, looking for the food thief that strikes after school. Chet and his sidekick, a mockingbird named Natalie Attired, look for clues, and discover a long snakeskin that appears in the bushes. Readers will figure out pretty quickly who the thief is, but not before Chet has been framed, unfairly accused, and sentenced to dishwashing duty in the lunchroom. The puns, hard-boiled detective conventions turned on their ears, funny similes, and snappy parley will entertain readers. And the things they might not know¾as when Chet tells Natalie that they will "case the joint"¾are explained in context. It's all good fun, although the animal teachers act and sound like they come from a bad movie, circa 1950. But the elementary school humor, the outrageous food like green sowbug jello, and details of school familiar to children, such as pecking order by grade level and lunchroom disasters, are all just right for middle elementary readers who enjoy a good laugh and a good story. 2001, Harcourt, $14.00. Ages 7 to 10. Reviewer:Susan Hepler
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Children will likely appreciate Hale's relentless punning in this anthropomorphized detective series featuring a Raymond Chandler/Woody Allen literary blend in a fourth-grader/gecko guise. Here, it seems that someone is stealing food from the school cafeteria and Chet Gecko is hot on the trail of the thief. Mrs. Bagoong, an iguana with cheeks "soft as AstroTurf," who serves mothloaf and cockroach quiche, will be put out of business if the culprit isn't caught. Natalie Attired is Chet's mockingbird assistant, and Erik Nidd plays the role of a tough sixth-grade tarantula. Metaphors and similes work overtime in this detective/lizard world and, while geared toward an eager juvenile audience, Farewell will leave adults aching from laughter at the jokes kids will miss and from groans for the gross ones youngsters will love. This latest "Chet Gecko" tale is not only fodder for budding criminologists and stand-up comedians but may also provide inspiration for future zoologists. Hale's drawings are serviceable but they don't give much visual punch to the sassy prose.-John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Green-tailed gumshoe Chet Gecko's outsized appetite really gets him into hot water in his latest caper. Someone is pilfering supplies from Emerson Hickey Elementary's pantry. Chet's attempt to nab the phantom nosher backfires when he inhales a drugged pillbug muffin and wakes up amidst a plethora of evidence pointing to him as the culprit. It's a frame-up, but can he clear his name-not to mention escape a lifetime of detention-when even pun-loving avian sidekick Natalie Attired is giving him the cold shoulder? The redoubtable reptile's in a real pickle. Luckily, Hale dishes up plenty of clues, while setting the table for a wild climactic ruckus involving Chet, Natalie, custodian/mongoose Maureen DeBree, and two king cobras hiding out in the heating ducts while hatching both a clutch of eggs and a plot to take over the school. Occasional illustrations depicting a hard-boiled animal cast add atmosphere. It's literary fast food with no caloric consequences, and the incessant wordplay, plus the way everyone receives (what else?) just deserts, will give readers an appetite for more. (Fiction. 9-11)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Chet Gecko Series , #3
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.01(w) x 7.53(h) x 0.42(d)
520L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

BRUCE HALE is the author of five picture books as well as the Chet Gecko mysteries. A popular speaker, teacher, and storyteller for children and adults, he was awarded a Fulbright grant in 1998 to teach storytelling and to study folklore in Thailand. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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Farewell, My Lunchbag 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Someone is stealing food from the school cafeteria! Who could it be?
Chet Gecko, a forth grader, along with his friend, Natalie, are fourth grade detectives. Chet and Natalie are detective partners in solving mysteries in their school. Chet has bad luck and almost nothing goes right for him. He always gets bullied. Ms. Barrong, a lunch lady, told Chet to find out who was stealing food from the cafeteria. One day, my friends were over my house for my birthday and my took my PSP and hid it when my friends and I were down stairs eating, but she gave it back when my friends left. I¿m not telling the ending, so read on to find out. I recommend this book because it makes you really want to read on. It is a very good book and keeps you on the tip of your toes.

Jonathan P.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Farewell,My Lunchbag,a 4th grade gecko named Chet is asked to solve a mystery. There is food disapering from the cafeteria!Everybody thinks it's Chet but he pleads innocent. Actually, it turns out to not be Chet, but you'll have to read the book to find the rest. If you like a mystery mixed with humor, read Farewell, My Lunchbag.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Farewell My Lunchbag is definately great for little kids. However, me, not really a little kid (I think)found it boring. Hale's humorous style of writing is pleasant at first but quickly becomes annoying. I wasn't crazy about the other Chet Gecko books so the only reason I chose to read Farewell My Lunchbag is because it is the only book I haven't read ever written (kidding!). The book would have been better if Chet wasn't an in-school detective because I imagine no human (gecko, whatever!) would be stupid enough to try and solve a hard case when you have an education on your mind. School also interferes with the story because there are some in-class parts that are seriously unnessessary to the plot. If you are little kid you will love Chet Gecko, but if you are 12 or older, you will find it annoying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is good and so are all the others go get them and you'll see what i mean chet is so cool so go get the books get the first one that ones good bye