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Chomp by Carl Hiaasen


by Carl Hiaasen

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I got an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.com. This book will be released March 27, 2012.

I was delighted to see a new book from this wonderful author. May he live and write a very long time.

This is Hiaasen at his best. Fun plot, great laughs, thrilling suspense, wildlife avenged, and bad guys get their due. As a librarian I will be sure to add this to my collection with multiple copies. The kids will love it! ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Wahoo is the son of an animal wrangler. When he and his dad are hired to work for a survivalist television show, they head out on a crazy adventure. Lots of humorous and serious events ensue as Wahoo does some growing up.
  Boockk | Feb 10, 2014 |
Finding a book boys will read is always a pleasure. This has it all: adventure, humor, engaging characters and a little romance. ( )
1 vote Lauralmoe | Jan 10, 2014 |
LOVE the author, I have read many of his books (almost all of them) this is just another moral adventure. I really liked the references to bear grylls and how fake all the "adventure" shows on tv are. The names of these characters are hilarious. ( )
  KaylaWatson | Dec 9, 2013 |
Ok I have a confession to make, and you may all gasp at this........I've never read a Carl Hiaasen book before! I've seen them all and heard about how good they are (Flush, Hoot, Scat), but I just never picked one up to read it. Then this summer I did this program called Camp Read-a-Lot, and Chomp was one of the choices. I decided it was time. And I'm so excited because it was great! Now I can wholeheartedly recommend it to my students.

I found this book to be funny, serious, fast-paced and smartly done. It was funny because of the character of Derek Badger. Here is a guy that plays on survivalist on TV but is clearly not one in real life. The problem is - he's believing the hype about himself, so he thinks he can do all kinds of things he can't do. This gets him into one problem after another. I found myself just shaking my head at him but laughing at him too - especially towards the end of the book (but I can't say way or I'd spoil it!). He's written so larger than life that he almost become a caricature of a real person. Thankfully it's kept from getting to crazy and totally unbelievable.

I also liked the character of Wahoo (how can you not like a kid name Wahoo). He's such a smart kid - figuring out how to keep his dad, the TV crew and himself - all under control. Over and over again he had to figure out how to keep his dad on the job he was hired to do for the TV show. He had to remain calm when his dad was ranting and ready to walk. You could easily see what Wahoo does has unrealistic, but honestly I could see a kid acting like him especially growing up in the family Wahoo grew up in.

I need to talk about the story of Tuna. This is a young girl that Wahoo and his dad end up helping. If there was any part of the story that was unrealistic this might have been it. I like Tuna's story - she's on the run from her dad - but how she ends up with Wahoo's family seemed a bit unrealistic. What I liked was how her mind worked. Wahoo was street smart, but Tuna added the book smart that was often times needed.

Lastly I liked the message embedded into the story. It dealt with how we treat the environment. What I liked was that it was clearly there - there was no missing the message - BUT it didn't club you over the head with it in a super preachy way. It just made it clear in a way that you saw the affects of NOT taking care of animals and the land they live on. Well done there!

Final thought: I'm glad I got to meet Wahoo and these crazy cast of characters. Enjoyable and smart.

For the Guys? Yup for sure. Wahoo is someone boys could relate to, and I think many would enjoy the outdoor aspect of the book. ( )
  MrsBookOwl | Nov 2, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375868429, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month for Kids, April 2012: Carl Hiaasen taps into a pop culture phenomenon in Chomp by taking on the popularity of reality television shows with one of his own, “Expedition Survival!.” The Florida Everglades provide the perfect backdrop for a reality survival show and Mickey Cray, a wild animal wrangler, and his son Wahoo are hired to keep the pampered Expedition Survival! star from accidentally killing himself with the local wildlife. The Cray’s are joined by a girl on the run from her abusive father and adventure, laughter, and even a mysterious disappearance follow. The eccentric characters and wacky humor that make Hiaasen’s adult books so much fun to read carry over to the pages of Chomp and Wahoo’s voice of reason in the cacophony of unpredictable adults is an appealing dynamic for young readers. --Seira Wilson

Amazon Exclusive: Q&A with Author Carl Hiaasen

Q. What do you enjoy most about writing for kids versus writing for adults?

A. The best part about writing for kids is the piles of letters I get. Grown-ups might stop you in an airport and tell you they like the novels, but kids will sit down and write a three-page letter, complete with illustrations. They're sharp and perceptive, and they really love the irreverent point of view in the books.

Q. Chomp pokes fun at a survivalist reality TV show--what do you think about America’s obsession with “reality” TV?

A. Reality television taps into the same human impulse that makes you slow down on the highway to gawk at a six-car pile-up. Everybody does it and nobody wants to admit it. Beside Jon Stewart, the best comedy on television is Finding Bigfoot and some of these other reality shows. Infested! is another good one, particular the bedbug episode.  

Q. As a native Floridian, what is the most exotic animal you’ve encountered?

A. Poisonous snakes, gators, crocs, iguanas, black widow spiders, all that stuff. I tried to raise a couple of wild raccoons, which I would not recommend. I also used to breed rat snakes, which are beautiful animals. Even though Chomp takes place in the Everglades, I wouldn't call it a scary place--not nearly as scary as the lobby of the Orlando airport on a day when the Disney tours arrive.

Q. In Chomp, both Mickey and Wahoo are fearless when it comes to snakes and other wild beasts (and nutty people, for that matter)--do you have any animal phobias?

A. Yeah, I'm not crazy about chihuahuas. My Labrador and I will go two or three blocks out of our way to avoid one. For some reason they always want to chew my ankles off.

Q. You named the two kids in Chomp after fish--Wahoo and Tuna--how did that come about?

A. I just thought it would be cool to name a boy after Wahoo McDaniel, who played for the Dolphins when I was a kid. I'm not sure whether he was named after the fish, or after the wild noises he made when he was a pro wrestler. As for Tuna, it's just a fun name that looks good on the page. "Big Tuna" is what they used to call Bill Parcells, the former Giants coach. He looks nothing like a tuna, by the way.

Q. Did you know when you started writing that you would include a character who is being abused by a parent?

A. My novels don't have wizards and dragon-hunters, just ordinary kids in the ordinary world. And the reality, sadly, is that some kids go home every night wondering if their mother or father is going to hurt them. That's Tuna's world, and I didn't have any qualms about portraying it that way. In Scat I had a character whose dad comes back very badly injured from Iraq. Again, that's real life for thousands and thousands of families in this country.

Q. Can we assume you are going to keep writing for kids (we hope)?

A. Hoot was going to be my one and only novel for kids, but now I'm sort of hooked on writing them. Young readers are just the coolest audience, and I feel so lucky that my novels have been so well-received. I don't see myself quitting. It's too much fun.

Q. You clearly have the single word title thing going for your kids’ books, is that just something you started with and stuck to, or is there more to the story?

A. The novels for young readers have one-word titles because I want to distinguish them from the grown-up novels, which all have two-word titles like Skinny Dip and Strip Tease. It was a conscious decision. I have a son in middle school (and also grandchildren), and none of them are ready to read the Big Person novels yet. The one-word title lets the booksellers (and the parents) know that those are the kid-safe books.

Q. What has been your most memorable moment as an author?

A. I was at a book-signing in Boulder, Colorado, when a very nice woman told me she'd named her cancerous tumor after a character in one of my novels. It was quite astonishing. I was flattered (who wouldn't be?) but also a bit rattled. The happy ending was that her surgery had been successful and she was totally recovered.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:46 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When the difficult star of the reality television show "Expedition Survival" disappears while filming an episode in the Florida Everglades using animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane's family, Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him while avoiding Tuna's gun-happy father.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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