Flush by Carl Hiaasen

Standalone. Knopf Books for Young Readers (2005) Library
"You know it's going to be a rough summer when you spend Father's Day visiting your dad in the local lockup.
Noah's dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor–which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He can't prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noah's dad is stuck in the clink. 
Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. He will prove that the Coral Queen is dumping illegally . . . somehow. His allies may not add up to much–his sister Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a greedy sot with poor hygiene; Shelly, a bartender and a woman scorned; and a mysterious pirate–but Noah's got a plan to flush this crook out into the open. A plan that should sink the crooked little casino, once and for all."

I've always seen Hiaasen around and I always refer to him as that guy who likes to write about the environment i.e. he's the guy who wrote Hoot - that book/movie featuring Logan Lerman as the MC who tries to fight to save endangered owls. So I had all this in my mind before reading Flush. The thing is I've never really read an "environmental" book so I still didn't know what to expect. What I got was a slightly long book with characters that proved to be heroic and even inspiring.

It's so nice to be reading children's books again. There's just something about them that eases your mind. They have this whole innocent I-can-do-anything attitude. You want to take on an everyday bad guy? Well you can. You don't think that good triumphs over evil? Well you are dead wrong there just look at what you can accomplish. I loved the whole realistic/everyday thing going on with this book. It's wonderful to get into a book and live in this fantasy but it's also nice when author's show us that there is a world outside of books and that you can change the world. I don't think he necessarily wants you to get in all this trouble (go to jail, get beat up, and almost die!) but you get the gist of it.

Noah's father is the type of person who fights for the little guy. He sees something wrong and he acts immediately. To be honest Noah says something like how his mother has to worry about three children instead of two is right on. He's pretty unpredictable and is a little over enthusiastic to be in jail. I kind of admire him though for standing up for what he believes in but its kind of unrealistic that it wasn't taken as seriously by him and the cops as I thought it should have. He did sink a whole boat where people gamble all the time and spend a lot of money. It is a small town though and Noah's mom was taking it plenty serious for both parents so I can see where that made sense to the story line. 

There's something you've got to know about Noah. He pretty much takes after his dad in the justice department. But, he's not as crazy about it as his dad is. He's more calm about it. Decisive. At least to me. He takes after his mother that way but he does have his dad in him. His sister, Abbey, who happens to be his partner in crime throughout the book, takes after their mother. She's angry at her father and can't believe what he's gotten himself into. She's pretty much a hot head who thinks her father has gone insane. Noah and her make a pretty good team. They both are up for anything - willing and ready to do anything to catch the bad guy red handed. I love sibling stories or when siblings get together like they did. It's like on my top three topics I love in books so I was happy to follow these two around as they tried to save their father from his own stupidity, their family from the d-word, and the marine life from cheapskates.

There were actually mainly two big villains and two lackeys. Both villains share the same blood. Crook Jr. was a real punk. I didn't understand how Noah didn't fight back against him. It was kind of good because he took the high road and everything but every time he came near Noah I just wanted to see him get pulled down a notch or two or at least for Shelley to show him some manners. Shelley is someone that befriends Noah and helps him out. She's this intimidating woman who has a soft heart and like a mother knows when you are not telling the truth. She was a great character that I came to care about. At the end I wanted her to remain friends with Noah and his family because she provided great wisdom and tenacity to the story. So before I ramble on anymore I have to say that other than this being slightly long (I might have just been impatient to see what happens at the end) this was a great children's books that shows readers that there are things in this world worth fighting for and you shouldn't stop fighting for what you believe in no matter what.

Overall: Loved that Noah and Abbey worked together to help their family. All the characters personalities were distinct which made it fun to read about them. I enjoyed the lesson in all of this. The only slightly negative part was that it was perhaps a little too long and it took a little while to get to what the title of the book means (but it does make sense that it was left until the end actually).

For More Info: For more info about Carl Hiaasen and his books you can click on these links: Goodreads. Website. Facebook

If you like the idea of Flush you might like Carl Hiaasen's last release for young readers:

Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one. 
When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called "Expedition Survival!", Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show's boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out.                            They've only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna's dad shows up with a gun... It's anyone's guess who will actually survive "Expedition Survival"...
You can find the trailer of Chomp here.

If you rather try his adult books you might want to try his upcoming release of Bad Monkey which will be released June 11th, 2013.


  1. I discovered Carl Hiassen via Hoot as well but he is surprisingly diverse. As a Floridian I heard an interview in local radio where he explained what inspired him; environmental issues and crooked politicians which go hand in hand in Florida. Enjoyed your review.

    1. Thanks. I'm also a fellow Floridian so I understand where he got his inspiration. The politics here can be messed up especially education wise.

  2. Oh I have heard of this author. Yes his books at least for me sounds unusual cause I haven't read many environment books. I'm so glad you've enjoyed this one. Only I'm not into MG books anymore. I lost my interest in them somehow. Great review :)

    1. Oh no! That's such a shame... some MG books can be very childish when you grow up so maybe that's it.

  3. This sounds both cute and educational. I've seen his covers around, but have never picked up anything by this author. With the exception of HP, I don't read MG often, but I may have to pick this up someday. Great review!
    -Natalie @Natflix&Books

    1. Id HP an MG book? I never thought of it that way. I guess since the book grows as you grow I consider it teen.

  4. As you know I love MG books. I am also really into the environment. I have been wanting to read something by this author and maybe I will pick this one up. It sounds like it is good and I like to read books were the characters are inspiring. :)

    1. I think you will enjoy this story. I'm planning on reading Hoot by him because it's the more "popular" of his environmental books so it should be good (:


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