THIS GUM FOR HIRE by Bruce Hale

THIS GUM FOR HIRE

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Fourth-grade gumshoe Chet Gecko checks in for his sixth pun-ishing caper. It seems that Hugh Geste and several other members of Emerson Hickey Elementary’s football team have disappeared, just as a big game with Petsadena is coming up. Hired by hulking nemesis Herman the Gila Monster to track them down, geeky Chet lays aside his philosophy of athletics—“No pain, no pain”—to join the team undercover. Naturally, he finds a host of suspects, from surly water boy Buford the skunk to coach “Beef” Stroganoff’s ex-squeeze, school nurse Marge Supial. Ably assisted by joke-loving avian sidekick Natalie Attired (“What’s made of plastic and hangs around French cathedrals? The lunchpack of Notre Dame”), Chet’s investigation culminates in a suitably daffy dénouement: as it turns out, Buford’s mother, with the help of several Petsadena football moms and bribable assistant coach Jim Schortz, has been keeping the kidnapped players under wraps (literally, as football dummies) in an effort to get her son onto the team. From title to tailpiece—a view of Chet as the charging figure atop the “Weisenheimer Trophy”—this eye-rolling escapade will give the redoubtable reptile’s growing legion of fans yet more reason to cheer and chortle. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-15-202491-3
Page count: 132pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2002




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