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Review: Scat by Carl Hiaasen

ScatScat

by Carl Hiaasen

Reading level: Ages 10 and up

Hardcover: 384 pages

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (January 27, 2009)

Six pages in and I was hooked on this contemporary new novel by the highly acclaimed author Carl Hiaasen. This book is full of snappy one-liners and fun references to Hiaasen’s hometown, Florida. Scat deals with so many ‘real’ aspects of today’s young teens — Nick, one of the leading characters, is dealing with his father being in the Army Reserve. The book also deals with age-old teen elements, such as: friends, fitting in, a hint of young love, and most importantly (for this story) … awful school teachers.

Mrs. Starch is a ghastly teacher. All of the kids loathe her. When she doesn’t return from a field trip to the Black Vine Swamp, questions arise. Is she really dealing with a “family emergency” like the authorities are saying? Is she missing? Does the class bully and outcast have something to do with her leave of absence/disappearance? Nick and Marta become determined to uncover the truth. This alone makes a great plot for a story, but I’ve only told you about half of the story. The other half — or the real message, if I may — involves political matters: endangered species (the Florida panther plays a large part in the story), animal cruelty, the human-race, and even a gentle reminder to just say no! to drugs and alcohol.

With lines like ” … bull ants chewed up my butt cheeks pretty fierce … “, Hiassen has managed to use faultless juvenile humor to deliver another great story, applying sensitivity in all of the right places. Thumbs-up!

Links: Carl Hiassen’s website.
Hiaasen’s column at the Miami Herald.
Review by The Happy Nappy Bookseller.
Review by Help Readers Love Reading!
Review by Books for Kids Blog.

Note: At the time of this post, Scat is number two on the NY Times best selling chapter book list.

Add this book to your collection: Scat

Enjoy this video where Carl Hiaasen talks about Scat …

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

Comments
  • DIS BOOK WAS LIKE…STUPID..IN EVERYWAY POSSIBLE..IM SRRY BUT I JUST COULD NOT STAND MARTA IN THIS BOOK..YOU KNO SHE WOULDNTA FIRED THT GUN..It really sucks…im srry carl i just can’t do it no more

    February 25, 2011
    • totally on ur side girl!!!

      February 25, 2011
  • this book is boring 4 some reason it shuld have more action!no offence.:D

    January 23, 2012
  • best book ever

    July 27, 2012
    • I agree, this book is amazing. Well organized and just awesome Carl. Write more. I would like to read the other books of yours.

      April 25, 2013
  • People need to stop being so mean, I mean, havent you ever heard the saying, “if you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all” !? This is my favorite book, and Carl Hiaasen is an AMAZING author. This book is funny, and well orginized. So,if Carl Hiaasen is reading this, I want to say good job, and keep on writing.

    January 14, 2014

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