Chamelia (Ethan Long)


Summer Reading Day 61: Our book today was Chamelia by Ethan Long, a story about a little chameleon girl who loves to stand out. As messages go, this book had sort of a complicated one: Chamelia is an original, and loves to be different from everyone else, but she lacks the understanding that her constant rebelling can affect others negatively. 

Honestly, I’m not sure how I felt about the conclusion that Chamelia needed to try to blend in with everyone else (she’s a chameleon, get it?) by giving up some of her individuality. It seemed very odd to me to tell a little girl to stop being too loud, or too colorful, or too independent. It felt, well, like a book written for little girls by a man who has never been one. I can’t say I would recommend this one. Girls should not be discouraged from being who they are, regardless of how loud, unique or different they may be. 

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2 thoughts on “Chamelia (Ethan Long)

  1. Kim Miner Litton says:

    I’ve always been on the fence about this one too, but ultimately I felt like it was trying to talk about having the right outfit for the right moment (heels don’t work for playing soccer, etc.) This, in itself, is a touchy subject though, as ideas of “appropriate” dress vary wildly. So… a solid meh from me as well.

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    • thebabybookworm says:

      My fellow librarians and I were discussing it this morning, and we pretty much said the same thing. We got how Chamelia needed to learn how her actions affected others (plus, wearing heels while playing soccer is just a safety issue), but the message also seemed to be that her being loud and colorful was also an issue, and she just needed to tone it down, which is sexist.

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