Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Scat by Carl Hiaasen

Nick and Marta are two of the lucky eighth grade students in Mrs. Starch’s (who just happens to be the most feared teacher in the history of the world!) biology class. Every day they sit in and pass notes back and forth to each other discussing their fear of being called on.

 The day after their field trip to the Black Vine Swamp though something mysterious happens. Mrs. Starch doesn’t come back, and she is never absent, and people start to wonder. While there might be a scrawled note and a message on her answering machine that states that she has had to deal with a family emergency, people, especially Nick and Marta, aren’t buying it. They are all convinced that Smoke, the kid in Mrs. Starch’s class that she dislikes the most, has something to do with her disappearance.

In a whirl wind adventure filled with arson, endangered animals, the Iraq war, the Florida wet lands, a money hungry wannabe oil rigger, and panther poop, Nick and Marta set out to find their missing biology teacher.

Carl Hiaasen definitely has a knack for adventure. Every story he creates always some crazy plot that makes you think as well as laugh! In this case Hiaasen poses the problem of destroying the environment for monetary gain and how it affects the ecosystem in a hilarious manner. He also throws in some other great themes to think about: not judging people by their history/the way they look, believing in yourself and never giving up, learning to live with what you’ve got, and working as a team. These themes are so important for younger readers (and sometimes older!) readers to learn and Hiaasen did such a great job incorporating them into the book without blatantly stating them.  While this book has more of a middle grade audience, it is great for all ages of readers, although there is a tad bit of language. Overall I think the book was masterfully written and was a worthwhile and entertaining read. 

2 comments:

Carol(ina) said...

I agree. Carl Hiaasen's book are always funny and full of adventure. I think I may read this one soon. :)

Rebecca said...

Sounds like an interesting book, I've read Hoot by Carl Hiaasen and I quite liked it. I definitely think I'll have a go reading this one.

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