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4.7 6
Kids Fiction 2613
Way More than Toilet Humor
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Here’s one thing I loved about Carl Hiaasen’s “Flush:” Despite being an environmental book based on poop there was a surprising lack of toilet humor in this work. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good fart joke every now and then, and going into a book called “Flush,” I was expecting to get a lot of that. But instead of giving us poop this and poop that, Hiaasen follows up his Newbery Honor book “Hoot” with a story that has just as much meat as his first foray into YA.

Rather than focusing on saving just one animal, as in “Hoot,” “Flush” focuses on Noah who is trying to save an entire environment. The owner of the Coral Queen, a local casino boat, has been dumping his guests’ doody into the ocean. This obviously causes catastrophically toxic levels of waste that is killing resident sea life. In comes Noah to prevent this guy from doing any further harm. Of course, this is when the you-know-what hits the fan and the action of the story unfolds.

What makes “Flush” stand out from “Hoot” is that Hiaasen covers more grownup themes than in his first YA book. He discusses divorce, parental imprisonment, abandonment, and poverty. Though the tone seems similar to that of “Hoot,” it almost feels as if Hiaasen wants his characters to grow in real time with his readers, acknowledging that younger middle grade children who read “Hoot” are probably now ready to read about slightly more mature themes. While I have yet to read YA from Hiaasen that doesn’t involve the environment, he shows readers of all ages that environmentally focused material doesn’t have to come across as hippie dippie mumbo jumbo worthy of getting figuratively flushed.
Good Points
Despite being called "Flush" this book offers way more than toilet humor.
Slightly more grownup themes for upper middle grade readers.
Wonderfully detailed characters.
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