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Skink no surrender by Carl Hiaasen
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Skink no surrender (2014)

by Carl Hiaasen

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A missing girl,
A hungry gator,
Only one way out...

This adventure tells the story of a young boy, Richard who meets a rather crazy but well-intentioned old man (nicknamed Skink). Skink is hiding under the sand, disguised as a turtle nest and breathing through a straw. Why is he doing this you ask? Because he is trying to catch a criminal who digs up turtle eggs and sells them on the black market for two bucks each.

When Richard discovers his cousin Malley is missing, he is desperate to figure out what happened to her. Malley told her parents she left early for boarding school. But, It seems as if Malley ran away with a boy she met on the internet. Richard, with Skink's help, is going to figure out where Malley is and exactly what is going on.

This is a fun adventure story for middle grade students. Richard is determined to help Malley, but he is scared at the same time and makes some mistakes. Both Richard and Malley are likable and relatable. Skink is an outrageous character and some things that happen are definitely past the edge of believable. But he brings a certain levity to the story. Overall, this is a fun adventure/road trip story with some exciting, tense moments.

Recommended to:
There are some real edge of your seat moments that may be a little intense for younger readers. This is a good book for 6-8 grade students. ( )
  Jadedog13 | Feb 3, 2016 |
Narrated by Kirby Heybourne. Heybourne does an awesome job voicing the characters in this story, from the teenage Richard and Malley, to the oddball characters of Skink and T.C., Malley's kidnapper. His pacing is deliberate, unspooling each incredulous moment for the reader's amusement. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
An entertaining read for teens or adults, but I wouldn't recommend it to younger readers unless they're unusually mature readers. There's a certain grossness factor here that would be enjoyed by nearly all boys, much less so by girls. All of that having been said . . .

Richard and his female cousin, Malley, are very close friends. When she disappears and it's apparent she has connected online with someone posing as a young soldier (who had been killed in Afghanistan), he accepts the help of Skink, a former governor of Florida and a Vietnam vet, who pledges to help Richard find Malley. Thus begins a road trip like none other.

This book requires the reader to suspend disbelief in a host of ways, not least is Malley's airport disappearance, but if you're willing to do that it's often laugh-out-loud funny and always diverting. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Jan 25, 2016 |
This is a realistic fiction novel about the environment and the dangers of strangers on the Internet.

Skink is the ex-governor of Florida, and he basically cannot be killed. You name it and it has happened to him. When Richard meets the ex-governor, he almost suffocates him, but Richard finds him interesting and a person with strict beliefs in what is expected of people. If those people fall short, they need to be re-directed in whatever means best work. Skink decides Richard needs his help.

Malley has always been difficult. She apparently gets in quite a bit of trouble and definitely goes by the beat of her own drum. In response and in an attempt to get her on the right track, her parents have enrolled her in private school in New Hampshire. Malley leaves early to attend an orientation. Richard, however, has his doubts. After calling the school, Richard learns there is no early orientation. After contacting the police, it is determined through video surveillance that Malley has left with a male she met on the Internet.

Malley is determined not to move north where there is winter. She is a beach girl and wants to stay home. TC is a poet, and life will be better with him. Malley secretly sends a message to Richard letting him know that the situation has changed and she isn’t safe. Skink and his mysterious helper assure Richard’s mom that he will be safe, and they go to rescue Malley.

This novel is typical Hiaasen, so if you’ve read his books before, you’ll enjoy this one as well. I like Hiaasen’s books and the environmental messages he leaves. I always learn new information, especially in this one because I spend little time on a beach or ocean. There is also a great message about the Internet. Malley gets herself in a situation that is fairly common these days--trusting a stranger from the Internet, so it’s very current and real. It’s a good book. ( )
  acargile | Nov 8, 2015 |
Adult Reader Reaction: Quirky and poignant are the first words that come to mind. The story - told in Richard's voice - grabs you quickly and pulls you along. I was unfamiliar with the character "Skink" before I read No Surrender. I'm glad I met him. He's a great character, but I loved Richard, too, and would like to read about the next chapter in HIS life.

There is an unspoken irony in Malley running away with someone she just "met" and Richard going on this rescue mission with someone HE just met.

Pros: Even while being a bit unbelievable, the story is thrilling, touching, and laugh-out-loud funny. With references from the 1960s through the 2000s, preteens and adults can enjoy reading this together.

Read our full review and add yours at The Reading Tub®.
  TheReadingTub | Apr 14, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375870512, Hardcover)

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Carl Hiaasen debuts his first book for teens with Skink—No Surrender.

Classic Malley—to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, she takes off with some guy she met online. Poor Richard—he knows his cousin’s in trouble before she does. Wild Skink—he’s a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, the unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.

Carl Hiaasen first introduced readers to Skink more than twenty-five years ago in Double Whammy, and he quickly became Hiaasen’s most iconic and beloved character, appearing in six novels to date. Both teens and adults will be thrilled to catch sight of the elusive “captain” as he pursues his own unique brand of swamp justice. With Skink at the wheel, the search for a missing girl is both nail-bitingly tense and laugh-out-loud funny.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:33 -0400)

With the help of an eccentric ex-governor, a teenaged boy searches for his missing cousin in the Florida wilds.

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