Hiaasen, Carl. Flush. Knopf, 2005. ISBN 0375821821. $16.95. 263 pp. Reviewer: Laura Wadley Reading Level: Intermediate, Young Adult Rating: Excellent Genre: Humorous stories; Adventure stories; Subject: Environmental protection--Juvenile fiction; Florida--Juvenile fiction; Fathers--Juvenile fiction; Books--Reviews; Noah's dad is in jail for sinking the Coral Queen casino boat, because the boat was dumping raw sewage after dark into the water off the Florida Keys. Unfortunately the Coral Queen is soon back in business and Mr. Underwood is under strict court order to stay away. So Noah and his sister Abbey decide to vindicate their father and stop the dumping by proving the Coral Queen is violating the law. Add to this mix some really smarmy bullies, a disgruntled former employee named Lice Peeking and his tough-as-nails girlfriend Shelly, the mystery of Noah's missing grandfather, and a dangerous plan to nail the Coral Queen and you have a laughout- loud adventure with a deeply satisfying (though a tad too tidy) conclusion. Flush is reminiscent of Hiaasen's Newbery Honor-winning Hoot, only it is even funnier and more engaging. Noah and Abbey are likeable protagonists, and the family dynamics in this upper elementary/middle school book are refreshingly loving. The dialogue is snappy and the descriptions of the environment - and its befouling - are spot on. A bit of language towards the end of the story may disqualify this book for elementary library collections--parents and school librarians may wish to read the book before deciding whether or not to shelve it.
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