"Flush" by Carl Hiaasen

I was looking for a “quickie” after The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and I found it in this little gem by Carl Hiaasen.  I was familiar with the author’s name, and I thought the movie Hoot based on was of his books was cute, and had a great message for kids regarding protecting the environment.  So I expected something of the sort when I picked this book up at the used bookstore not too long ago.

In Flush, we first meet Noah Underwood visiting his father at the local jail house on Father’s Day.  You see, his father is extremely passionate about many things, including protecting the waters surrounding their Florida Keys home.  In this instance, Dad (Paine) believes that the waters are being polluted by the local casino boat owner – just to save some money.  Paine’s answer to this injustice?  Why, sink the boat of course!  Unfortunately, there is no proof to Paine’s claims…..  until Noah and his little sister Abbey start to search for proof….  and clear their father’s name.

This is a great book for young readers – possibly aged 13 or 14 and up.  I’m not exactly sure how old the character of Noah is, but I’m guessing he’s around that age.  The older kids who bully him (the casino boat owner’s son and his friend) are said to be 16.  I really loved how simply and eloquently the effects of pollution on the fragile environment are laid out, and supported continually throughout the book.  It also really shows how one person – even a kid, though I’d be pretty upset if my child did anything quite this dangerous – can really make a difference.  This is such an important lesson to not only teach our children, but also to reinforce at every opportunity.

The author’s website can be found here.

by Carl Hiaasen
Knopf, 2005
263 pages

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