Friday, January 22, 2010

Flush


Flush is an extremely fun book. I taught it twice to my students and they enjoyed the story of Noah, a boy with an out-of-control eco warrior father. Noah’s father sinks the casino boat belonging to Dusty Muleman, one of the greatest-named antagonists I’ve come across. Noah, his spunky sister, and a cocktail waitress named Shelley have to get proof that Dusty is the bad guy, while dodging bullies, strangers, and reporters. The antics are hilarious and disgusting, often at the same time.

Carl Hiassen has a gift for crafting unsavory characters that are somehow likable. For example, Lice Peeking (again with the names!) is a terrible boyfriend to Shelley, but a character that the reader really loves. Noah's father is a criminal with an insane temper, but everyone ends up rooting for him. I love it when an author can flip your expectations so thoroughly.

Flush is my favorite of Hiassen’s books for younger readers, which include Hoot and Scat. The Key West setting is close enough to The Bahamas to excite my students, and the marine waste issue is close to our hearts. It ties in well with science class and the only reason I don’t teach it anymore is that I have moved on to more of a workshop model in my classes. I highly recommend Flush.

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