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Friday, September 04, 2009

Scat by Carl Hiaasen

Scat
That is scat - as in poop! There is a mysterious fire in Florida where a biology class goes on a field trip. The teacher goes missing. The teacher had always encouraged her students to know every endangered animal of Florida. Scatology proves the answer to solving the mystery.

A panther is an endangered animal in Florida. It is determined that the fire is arson related. The panther is displaced from its cubs because of the fire. Nick and his classmate, Marta get directly involved in the mystery. The prime suspect is their classmate, Smoke. He has started fires in the past. Nick solves the mystery literally with one hand tied behind his back. He wraps up one of his arm to experience what is father is going through. His father loses an arm in the war in Iraq. Carl Hiaasen must have wanted a distraction for this character so that he wouldn't have to constantly worry about his father.

This book has special focus on the environment while including empathy for the returning soldiers. Despite these solemn topics, Carl Hiaasen uses such outrageous names and predicaments to add elements of humor. Both boys and girls ages ten through thirteen will really appreciate this unique book.


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