Scat by Carl Hiassen

ScatThis is quite a yarn. Hiaasen’s characters are bigger than life. This ecological tale is set in Florida and revolves around the protection of an endangered Florida cougar and her cub. There is an evil oil man trying to make an illegal fortune by scamming the government. He fancies himself a cowboy and uses a Texas accent and cowboy expressions. His top henchman knows his boss isn’t a cowboy and he is so aggravated with his boss’s pretensions and so stressed from the details of this illegal business deal that he is eating Tums like they are candy. There is also a teacher who makes children memorize every endangered species in Florida, an environmental activist who captures one of the oilman’s workers and glues him naked to a tree, and a troublemaker student who gets expelled for arguing with his teacher and bites the end of her pencil off and eats it.

When the fanatical teacher goes missing and so does the troublemaker student who ate her pencil, two students decide to investigate. The story is part adventure story and part mystery. I give it a thumbs up for fun! Do you know the double meaning of the title? Good reading for children in Grades 5-8.

Posted by: Fran

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