Hale, Bruce. From Russia with Lunch.
Harcourt Brace 2009 112p 15.00 978-0-15-20548-8 elem
Chet Gecko Mystery
“When Chet's favorite teacher is fired and replaced by Russian scientist Tanya Lightov's mechanical invention, the school is suddenly possessed by unnatural forces and events, and Natalie Attired abandons Chet in his hour of need.” Fans of Chet Gecko will not be disappointed in this installment of the latest mystery to be solved. In this title, Chet Gecko, a lizard detective, and his mockingbird partner Natalie Attired, are presented with a mystery involving members of their elementary school, Emerson Hicky. Staff members are being replaced by devices such as the Bibliomalgamator, the Munchmeister 2000, and Yard Czar to help automate and streamline the library, cafeteria, and to simplify yard work. The devices were created by a mysterious Russian scientist and inventor, Dr. Tanya Lightov, but when tested, they did not function as they were intended. Everyday life at Emerson Hicky seems out of the ordinary as strange things and events happen. Kindergartners overrule the playground and beat up sixth graders, good students who normally are teachers pets are talking back and getting suspended from school, and his partner in crime and best friend, Natalie has abandoned Chet when he most needed her. Chet realizes that something is seriously wrong and he is determined to find out what is happening at his school.
Written in first-person narration, students will enjoy the puns, wisecracks, metaphors, and overall funny descriptions, while enjoying the scattered black-and-white pencil drawings. Students who enjoy mystery stories will appreciate this title. The author includes a quick summary of the first thirteen mysteries of Chet Gecko. Charlene Forba-Mayer