Monday, November 02, 2009

I love Carl Hiassen's novels for young readers! He has written three witty and compelling environmental stories and all three are winners. I just finished listening to the audio version of his latest book, Scat. Scat is the story involving kids at a private school and their intimidating biology teacher who suddenly disappears during a field trip to the Black Vine Swamp. (All of Hiassen's books take place in Florida)
Hiassen develops his characters fully so that boys and girls and even adults are realistically portrayed - warts and all! The major protagonist is a boy, Nick, whose father is injured while serving in Iraq during the course of the story. There isn't any obvious political agenda in this book - other than the necessity to protect the natural habitat and creatures that are struggling for survival in our ever-encroaching "civilization". Hiassen employs humor to make his villains and less-than-ideal adult characters a respite between intense scenes involving the anxious teens.
His two previous novels for young people were called Hoot (which was made into a movie and won the Newbery Honor) and Flush. I think this third novel might be the best yet!

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