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Carl Hiaasen is the author of many bestselling novels for adults, including "Sick Puppy" and "Basket Case". He also writes a column for the Miami Herald.
With a Florida setting and proenvironment, antidevelopment message, Hiaasen (Sick Puppy) returns to familiar turf for his first novel for young readers. Characteristically quirky characters and comic twists will surely gain the author new fans, though their attention may wander during his narrative's intermittently protracted focus on several adults, among them a policeman and the manager of a construction site for a new franchise of a pancake restaurant chain. Both men are on a quest to discover who is sabotaging the site at night, including such pranks as uprooting survey stakes, spray-painting the police cruiser's windows while the officer sleeps within and filling the portable potties with alligators. The story's most intriguing character is the boy behind the mischief, a runaway on a mission to protect the miniature owls that live in burrows underneath the site. Roy, who has recently moved to Florida from Montana, befriends the homeless boy (nicknamed Mullet Fingers) and takes up his cause, as does the runaway's stepsister. Though readers will have few doubts about the success of the kids' campaign, several suspenseful scenes build to the denouement involving the sitcom-like unraveling of a muckity-muck at the pancake house. These, along with dollops of humor, help make the novel quite a hoot indeed. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Gr 5-8-At his Florida middle school, newcomer Roy Eberhardt must outwit his nemesis, the class bully. Outside school, Roy investigates the activities of a mysterious boy determined to halt construction of a restaurant above burrowing owls' nests. Plotlines converge as Roy's involvement to stop the construction deepens. Hiaasen infuses his eco-fiction with humor. Audio version available from Listening Library. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Absolutely compelling - the nearest thing to Sacher's Holes
I've read yet * The Times *
a sharp, funny fast-moving mystery romp * Financial Times *
good entertainment for all ages * Sunday Times *