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Flush Paperback – May 11, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375861254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375861253
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (369 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–Noah and his sister, Abbey, are more understanding of their volatile dad's latest arrest than their mother, who begins talking of divorce. Dad sank the Coral Queen, a casino boat on a Florida Key because, he alleges, its owner, Dusty Muleman, has been illegally dumping raw sewage into the local waters. Soon enough the kids begin trying to gather proof that will vindicate their father and put the casino out of business. The colorful cast includes a drunken lout named Lice who disappears before he can be persuaded to testify against Dusty, his former boss. His rough-around-the-edges girlfriend, Shelly, comes through, though, helping the siblings dump dye in the boat's holding tanks, which finally brings the matter to court. Dusty's son, Jasper, is a chip off the old block, threatening and beating Noah on several occasions until he and, later, Abbey are rescued by a mysterious stranger who turns out to be their grandfather, long ago thought to have died in South America, probably while involved in drug smuggling. As the tale ends, he's back to Colombia to settle old scores. The plot would practically disappear if any one of the major characters had a cell phone, but the environmental story is front and center and readers will be hooked as the good guys try to do the right thing. This quick-reading, fun, family adventure harkens back to the Hardy Boys in its simplicity and quirky characters.–Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Junior High School, Iowa City, IA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Hiaasen's second novel exhibits some of the same elements found in his 2003 Newbery Honor Book: Florida local color, oddball adults (buxom and brawny), and a delightful quirkiness.But the sparkle that catapulted Hootinto the limelight isn't quite as brilliant here. Even so, there's plenty to like in this yarn, which, once again, drops an environmental issue into the lap of a kid. Righteous indignation, usually resulting from some sabotage of Florida's natural resources, has gotten Noah Underwood's dad in trouble before. This time, however, Dad's gone too far: he sunk a floating casino. Why? Its owner is dumping human waste in the water. Unfortunately, Dad can't prove it, and that's where Noah and his younger sister, Abbey, come in. The amateur sleuthing puts the sibs into some mildly suspenseful, occasionally amusing, situations, which, as in the previous book, share space with run-ins with a local bully (Noah takes some lumps but gets sweet revenge). An old-fashioned deus ex machina interrupts an otherwise believable setup, but Hiaasen still succeeds at relating an entertaining story while getting across a serious message about conservation and the results of just plain greed. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida, where he still lives with his incredibly tolerant family and numerous personal demons.

A graduate of the University of Florida, at age 23 he joined The Miami Herald as a general assignment reporter and went on to work for the paper's weekly magazine and later its prize-winning investigations team. Since 1985 Hiaasen has been writing a regular column, which at one time or another has pissed off just about everybody in South Florida, including his own bosses. He has outlasted almost all of them, and his column still appears on most Sundays in The Herald's opinion-and-editorial section. It may be viewed online at www.miamiherald.com or in the actual printed edition of the newspaper, which, miraculously, is still being published.

For his journalism and commentary, Hiaasen has received numerous state and national honors, including the Damon Runyon Award from the Denver Press Club. His work has also appeared in many well-known magazines, including Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Time, Life, Esquire and, most improbably, Gourmet.

In the early 1980s, Hiaasen began writing novels with his good friend and distinguished journalist, the late William D. Montalbano. Together they produced three mystery thrillers -- Powder Burn, Trap Line and Double Whammy -- which borrowed heavily from their own reporting experiences.

Tourist Season, published in 1986, was Hiaasen's first solo novel. GQ magazine called it "one of the 10 best destination reads of all time," although it failed to frighten a single tourist away from Florida, as Hiaasen had hoped it might. His next effort, Double Whammy, was the first (and possibly the only) novel about sex, murder and corruption on the professional bass-fishing circuit.

Since then, Hiaasen has published nine others -- Skin Tight, Native Tongue, Strip Tease, Stormy Weather, Lucky You, Sick Puppy, Basket Case, Skinny Dip, The Downhill Lie and Nature Girl. Hiaasen made his children's book debut with Hoot (2002), which was awarded a Newbery Honor and spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller lists. For young readers he went on to write the bestselling Flush (2005) and, most recently Scat (January 2009). The film version of Hoot was released in 2006, directed by Wil Shriner and produced by Jimmy Buffett and Frank Marshall. ("Hoot" is now available on DVD).

Hiaasen is also responsible for Team Rodent (1998), a wry but unsparing rant against the Disney empire and its creeping grip on the American entertainment culture. In 2008, Hiaasen came back to nonfiction with The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport. The book chronicles his harrowing and ill-advised reacquaintance with golf after a peaceful, 32-year absence.

Together, Hiaasen's novels have been published in 34 languages, which is 33 more than he is able to read or write. Still, he has reason to believe that all the foreign translations are brilliantly faithful to the original work. The London Observer has called him "America's finest satirical novelist," while Janet Maslin of the New York Times has compared him to Preston Sturges, Woody Allen and S.J. Perelman. Hiaasen re-reads those particular reviews no more than eight or nine times a day.

To prove that he doesn't just make up all the sick stuff in his fiction, Hiaasen has also published two collections of his newspaper columns, Kick A** and Paradise Screwed, both courageously edited by Diane Stevenson and faithfully kept in print by the University Press of Florida.

One of Hiaasen's previous novels, Strip Tease, became a major motion-picture in 1996 starring Demi Moore, and directed by Andrew Bergman. Despite what some critics said, Hiaasen continues to insist that the scene featuring Burt Reynolds slathered from his neck to his toes with Vaseline is one of the high points in modern American cinema.

Customer Reviews

The narration was great, and the story was very entertaining.
LisaNTexas
Well, main character Noah decides to avenge his father's imprisonment by proving the owner of the casino boat, Dusty Muleman, is guilty of pollution.
Conman
I bought this book for my 10 year old granddaughter and she loved it!
Michael Meredith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Richie Partington VINE VOICE on October 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
IN the spring of 2002 I wrote about Carl Hiaasen's first children's book, HOOT:

"Carl Hiaasen does an incredible job of showing the different styles of activism that different people resort to. He presents the reader with the contemporary clash of free enterprise versus global ecological issues. He has a lot to say between the lines about parenting, and he has some great insights into the methods of dealing with bullies.

"I've never read his adult books, but I sure hope Hiaasen writes more books for kids. HOOT is one heck of a first step into the world of children's literature."

So I was, of course, ecstatic that both the 2003 Newbery committee and 2003 Best Books for Young Adults committee recognized HOOT.

I was somewhat less thrilled about having to wait three long years for the pleasure of reading a second children's book by Hiaasen. And while FLUSH is a completely different story, everything that delighted me three years ago about reading HOOT is equally applicable to FLUSH.

"The deputy told me to empty my pockets: two quarters, a penny, a stick of bubble gum, and a roll of grip tape for my skateboard. It was pitiful.

" 'Go on inside. He's waiting for you,' the deputy said.

"My dad was sitting alone at a bare metal table. He looked pretty good, all things considered. He wasn't even handcuffed.

" 'Happy Father's Day,' I said.

"He stood up and gave me a hug. 'Thanks, Noah,' he said."

So begins FLUSH, the story of what happens after Paine Underwood pulls the plug on the Coral Queen and willingly gets arrested for doing so.

The Coral Queen is a three-tiered casino boat owned by Dusty Muleman.
Read more ›
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael Meredith VINE VOICE on May 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
There aren't many books that can appeal to both a grandfather and granddaughter, without leaving one or both of them feeling just a little shortchanged. Flush is that very, very rare exception!

Carl Hiassen has mixed in his usual elements into a froth that's appropriate for youths, but remains equally appealing to adults. There's a comic bad guy who values profit over quality of life (in this case the owner of a floating casino); a few witless thugs (both adult and kid-sized) and a man with anger management issues (a little reminiscent of the guy in Sick Puppy). But the heart of the story rests with the narrator, Noah and his little sister Abbey, two kids that share their dad's love for the Florida Keys.

Noah's dad has already tried to stop the Coral Queen casino boat from dumping raw sewage into water around the Keys, by sinking it. Unfortunately, the efforts of the local sheriff have restricted his ability to follow through once the boat is raised and reopened within a week. That leaves Noah and Abbey to find a way to shut down the boat, and clear their dad before their mom loses her patience and leaves him. But how do you prove that a specific boat is the source of foul bacteria and worse, especially when there's rat in the Coast Guard office that tips off the boat's operator whenever they are about to pop a surprise inspection?

It helps if you're resourceful and don't mind riding your bike everywhere. It also helps if you befriend a semi-rough blonde with a barb wire tattoo, and can stay clear of the boat owner's bully of a son.

I bought this book for my 10 year old granddaughter and she loved it! Then I read it and loved it. Within a month or so I suspect that everyone in the family will have finished it, with similar results.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By T. Hancock on July 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed flush just as much as I enjoyed Hoot. My only word of caution is that the book has many more adult overtunes, and there is one entire chapter that gets the book kicked out of my outloud reading program at school. I think that even kids as young as 13 may lack the maturity for some of the situations in the book.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This was an excellent book , with a great story line, that doesn't keep you guessing but definately keeps you at the edge of your seat.

Flush is about a boy named Noah , and the things he has to put up with , because of his father Paine ( who can be a real Pain ) who sunk the Coral Queen a casino boat who has been dumping human waste into the ocean. This is not only disgusting, but really unhealthy for ocean life and people. But no one believed Noah's father when he told them the reason he sunk the Coral Queen. He was actually put in jail. So Now Noah has taken it into his own hands to prove his father right. It's amazing what he gets himself into, and how far he is willing to go.

This is a great realistic Fiction book for middle school boys, because the book is told from a boy's point of view and has that boyish humor to it.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on June 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This time I didn't make the mistake of not realizing that Flush was a "young readers" book when I ordered it as I did with Hoot, his first such novel. I didn't care, because based on my prior experience, I expected an entertaining and pure Hiaasen adventure and I was not disappointed.

Hiaasen has a way of writing his pro-ecology novels whether for us seasoned citizens or for younger readers which demands constant refueling on the part of the reader. His villians are alway very villanous and his good guys are often flawed, but always but always endearing.

In this book the good guys are a family named Underwood, Mom and Dad (Donna and Price) and the kids (Noah and Abbey). Price has taken offense that a bad guy named Muleman who owns a casino boat tied up in their harbor sees fit to simply empty the boat's holding tanks into the harbor rather than into a pump out system. To deal with the issue he has gone aboard the boat and pulled the seacocks sending the Casino Queen to the bottom. Following his arrest Price refuses to let his wife bail him out and decides to use his incarceration as a bully pulpit to talk to the press about Muleman's activities. He references Nelson Mandela as his role model.

Muleman has insulated himself from investigation and prosecution in numerous ways and the remainder of the book involves getting Dad out of jail and keeping him out, exposing the truth about Muleman and generally seeing that justice is done.

As usual it is done in a very entertaing and creative way. There are other characters who populate the book you will enjoy as well. So, no matter that Hiassen wrote this for young readers. You are only as old as you feel and after reading this you will feel yound indeed.
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