Author: Carl Hiaasen

Publisher: New York: Knopf/Random House 2005
pages: 263
Author's website

Classification: Young Adult Fiction
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Media Type: Book

Grade level: 6-11

Reader's annotation:
Noah and his Dad are trying to catch, the owner of the gambling boat sitting in the harbor, in the act, as they dump their waste directly into the water - the water that the kids swim in during the day.

The book opens with Noah’s dad in jail because he sunk the Coral Queen, a gambling casino boat that sits a harbor in the Florida Keys. An act of civil disobedience he says, and tells his son they are dumping their nightly waste directly into the water. Unfortunately the boat is back in action a few days later. Noah is sent by his dad to talk to Lice who used to work there, to see what kind of information he can get and if he’ll submit a notarized statement of what is going on. After some haggling a deal is made but things don’t ever seem to go quite smoothly. What seems to be a side story, Noah gets bullied by son of casino owner and his friend Bull, but this ends up an integral part of the whole picture. The story is full of twists and turns as is Hiaasen’s style, this one including his little sister , the disappearance of Lice and his scary girlfriend, and a long lost grandfather. Justice is had by all, in the end, also characteristic of this author but the journey to get there is all the fun.

A classic Hiaasen story where the underdog has to overcome some pretty powerful characters to get justice. This story has a definite “what goes around comes around” message that is very satisfying.

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I grew up outside of Boston, went to college in western MA and lived in NYC dancing for several years before getting my teaching credentials and unintentionally moving to Santa Cruz CA. Married and divorced with two kids almost grown, a daughter in college and a son in high school, I am thrilled to be a librarian now, something that I should have done years ago. I love the applications of technology and realize that I have been interested in that since my first computer class back in 1986 - a new requirement for teaching degrees. Finally I can combine my love of curriculum, educational resources, working with adults and children, and technology applications.