A is for alligator; b is for boat; c is for chomp….like in Carl Hiaasen’s latest novel for tweens, teens and adults alike. Wahoo Cray is named after the wrestler, not the fish. But that is the least of his problems since he lives in a zoo-like setting. Literally. Wahoo’s dad is an animal wrangler. And Wahoo has grown up with all sorts of creatures: snakes, parrots, lizards, and an alligator who took a chomp out of Wahoo one day! But after his father’s accident (a frozen iguana (which is not indigenous to Florida wildlife) fell out of a tree and hit Wahoo’s father in the head) Mr. Cray cannot work. Money is tight, causing his mother to take a teaching job overseas and the Cray’s to get involved with the wildest, most unpredictable creature of them all…..a Steve Irwin-like Wildlife Host, Derek Badger of Expedition Survival!
Like all of Hiaasen’s novels for the 10 to adult age range, Chomp is funny, series and a love-story to Florida—a land near and very dear to Hiaasen. Once again Hiaasen tells a tale that on the surface is very simple (family needs money; family meets wild-life host who thinks bats and a particular myth about their bites are very real). But when you follow the paths he has created the maze of the swamp become very clear and his messages of conservation, family, love and ultimately survival are much deeper. Hiaasen wants you to laugh, cry and wonder how come Derek Badger can make it out of his expensive yacht without help. But he also wants you to think, enjoy yourself and come away from it all with a little something.
That little something is up to you, reader. Everyone who reads a Hiaasen novel will come away with something different. And each of his novels will also appeal to a different part of a reader: Hoot will make you hoot with laughter; Flush will make you think twice about what is out there and Scat will make kitties of all sizes (and eccentric millionaires) be loveable.
Find Chomp on the shelves of the Northshire Bookstore. And while you are there, you can find other titles by him (and other great authors) there too! And don’t worry; the alligator doesn’t nibble too much….
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