Thursday, August 12, 2010

Flush by Carl Hiaasen

I have to admit, I've never read a book by Hiaasen before. My kids love the movie Hoot, but we have never read the book. In trying to get my younger son to read, I picked up Hoot for him and Flush for me. I like the fact that Hiaasen writes with such passion about environmental issues and his characters are great too. His setting is always Florida and he is able to paint a great picture of the landscape and culture of the oceans and surrounding lakes in Florida.

In Flush, Hiaasen deals with the issue of illegal dumping of raw sewage into the ocean and it certainly makes me wonder how often this happens. The book starts out with Noah visiting his father in jail. His dad is in jail for sinking a floating casino that was dumping the raw sewage. The man running the casino has friends in high places and Noah's dad is forced to realize that there is nothing he can do to clear his name, or stop the environmental damage that is being caused.

Noah and his sister soon decide that they can't stand to let that happen, they are compelled to clear their dad's name and stop the casino from ruining their swimming and fishing spots. Hiaasen writes some interesting characters into the story to help Noah and Abbey- not your typical characters for children's stories, but characters with flaws and faults. It is very interesting to read how they develop as well.

I was hoping this book would be a good read aloud to tie in with my first science unit on ecosystems, but I think it is a bit young for a read aloud. Having said that, I'm sure I will be happy to recommend this book to kids in my class this year.

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