Flush Library Binding – Sep 13 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Gr. 5-8. Hiaasen's second novel exhibits some of the same elements found in his 2003 Newbery Honor Book: Florida local color, oddball adults (buxom and brawny), and a delightful quirkiness.But the sparkle that catapulted Hootinto the limelight isn't quite as brilliant here. Even so, there's plenty to like in this yarn, which, once again, drops an environmental issue into the lap of a kid. Righteous indignation, usually resulting from some sabotage of Florida's natural resources, has gotten Noah Underwood's dad in trouble before. This time, however, Dad's gone too far: he sunk a floating casino. Why? Its owner is dumping human waste in the water. Unfortunately, Dad can't prove it, and that's where Noah and his younger sister, Abbey, come in. The amateur sleuthing puts the sibs into some mildly suspenseful, occasionally amusing, situations, which, as in the previous book, share space with run-ins with a local bully (Noah takes some lumps but gets sweet revenge). An old-fashioned deus ex machina interrupts an otherwise believable setup, but Hiaasen still succeeds at relating an entertaining story while getting across a serious message about conservation and the results of just plain greed. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The main difference between Mr. Hiaasen's "adult" books and this one shows up in his gentle way of describing everything. He's much harsher in the adult books, but I think the gentle style is actually more appealing. As a result, I heartily recommend this book for young readers "of all ages."
The book opens with a "glug" as Noah Carmichael visits his dad in the local jail on Father's Day. No, Noah's dad didn't get drunk: He got even by sinking a floating casino that he believes has been dumping its sewage into the water. There's just one little problem: Noah's dad has no proof. His dad has a heart of gold, but he acts a little impulsively sometimes (how about all the time?).
As a point of principle, Noah's dad decides to stay in jail. This creates certain tensions in the family as Noah's mom is overhead to mention the "d" word that no youngster wants to hear parents use.
Eventually, a fully calmed down dad arrives home . . . and swears off tackling Dusty Muleman and his casino while agreeing to pay damages and take anger management classes. At that point, Noah and his sister Abbey decide that they will have to get to the bottom of the toilet bowl. In the best tradition of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher, the youngsters hatch up and execute a hilarious scheme to catch Dusty "red-handed" with dyed evidence that tracks back to the casino boat.Read more ›
I especially like his kooky characters, their sassy dialogue, and that Hiaasen tackles a serious issue like the environment in a clever way that teaches children without preaching ... and makes them laugh all along the way.
I may be going about this backwards, but I read FLUSH first; now I'm going back to read HOOT! After reading FLUSH, there's nothing else I can do but read HOOT. I'm hooked on Hiaasen. Fantastic!
Reviewer: Betty Dravis, author of The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley
They enjoyed the plot with it`s twists and turns. I must admit that I also read it and loved it. It was an easy read for all of us. Just found out
it was written by the same author who wrote Hoot which we saw as a Movie. Great book. I really recommend it for kids, but adults will enjoy it too.
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