Some people are surprised to learn that Carl Hiaasen writes books for kids. Others, like me, didn’t realize he wrote books for grown-ups! Whichever of his books you’ve read, you’ve gotta come out and meet the author of some of our favorite books: Hoot, Flush, and the brand-new Scat!
I’m reading Scat right now, and I’m incredibly impressed with Hiaasen’s latest. Like his other middle grade novels, it’s a mystery with an environmental edge. It takes place in Florida, with our protagonists Nick and Marta suspecting that their missing teacher is more missing than the authorities think. Sure, she has a message on her answering machine saying she’s out of town. But bad boy Smoke did threaten her in class the other day, and even though she’s a total weirdo, Mrs. Starch has only ever missed one day of school, and that was when she was in a car wreck. She came back the very next day.
Covering the mystery from several angles – the headmaster, the bad boy’s family, the local police, and a suspicious oil company all have their say – Scat is filled with the twists and turns that make a mystery worth reading. Every time I think I’ve got it figured out, I’m surprised to learn something new. And Hiaasen’s style is smooth, witty, and engaging. As a kids’ book, Scat is entertaining, fun, and terribly hard to put down. But don’t be surprised if you see a few adults leafing through this book as well – Scat is written with a certain sophistication that makes it fun for all ages.
Whether or not you’ve read the new book, you’ve gotta come out to BookKids this Saturday! Carl will sign any and all of your books, as long as you pick up a copy of Scat at BookPeople. The event starts at 7pm, and I’ll be there – so should you!