CARL HIAASEN was born and raised in Florida. He writes a column for the Miami Herald and is the author of many bestselling novels including Bad Monkey, Star Island, and Nautre Girl.
His books for younger readers include the Newbery Honor winner Hoot, as well as Flush, Scat, and Chomp. Skink--No Surrender was Hiaasen's first book for teens and features one of his most iconic characters, the reclusive ex-governor of Florida now known as Skink. You can read more about Hiaasen's work at carlhiaasen.com.
Gr 5 Up-In Flush (Knopf, 2005), Carl Hiaasen's ecological concerns focus on illegal dumping of raw sewage from a floating casino. Noah Underwood's dad has sunk the gambling ship, the Coal Queen, in protest. Now the elder Underwood is launching a media campaign from his jail cell to raise public awareness since the sewage-spewing ship will soon be back in operation. Though Noah and his younger sister Abbey believe in their father's cause, they also fear their mother will file for divorce if he continues to react so outrageously to environmental issues. After a few false starts and run-ins with the casino owner's son and the ship's hired goon, the siblings come up with a plan to use food coloring to expose the hazardous dumping. Working with Shelly, the casino's bartender, and aided by a mysterious white-haired man, Noah and Abbey set their trap, but end up adrift off the Florida Keys. Rescue and an unexpected family reunion make their successful exposure of the corrupt casino owner even sweeter. It takes a few more plot twists before the Coral Queen is closed forever, and by then Noah's parents have learned better ways to manage their marital problems. Michael Welch's narration neatly balances the protagonist's earnest youthfulness with the story's humor. In the manner of Hoot (Knopf, 2002), Hiaasen's award-winning first foray into young adult novels, Flush deals with serious ecological and personal issues. With good insight into real world relationships plus a mix of solid citizens and offbeat good guys, this audiobook has broad appeal and will be valued in middle school, high school, and public libraries.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Hiaasen's (Hoot) action-packed mystery set in the Florida Keys offers a colorful cast of dastardly villains and eccentric heroes, along with his signature environmental themes. Noah would be the first to admit that his father, Paine Underwood, "sometimes goes too far" in his campaign to save the environment, especially when he single-handedly sinks the Coral Queen, a gambling boat that he believes has been dumping human waste just offshore. This feat leads to a jail sentence, and while Mr. Underwood is behind bars, it is up to Noah to prove that his father had good reason to put the floating casino out of action. Noah's mission-to catch owner Dusty Muleman "red-handed" as he drains his boat's sewage-is not an easy task. Dusty employs a burly watchman and has connections with the Coast Guard and the police. Yet Noah finds some unusual adversaries in Lice Peeking, Dusty's former employee, who is willing to testify against his ex-boss for a price; Shelly, Dusty's blond, buxom ex-girlfriend; and an unnamed "old pirate," who conveniently appears whenever Noah needs help out of a tight fix. While much of this adventure (including the identity of the "old pirate") is predictable, Hiaasen creates enough interesting plot twists to keep the pages turning. Budding environmentalists especially will delight in the ingenious way that Noah beats Dusty at his game. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"Compulsively readable with a cleverly conceived resolution. . . . Fans ofspy stories, action, environmental intrigue, and, well, Hiaasen, will cheer forthis one." - The Bulletin