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Scat by Carl Hiaasen
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Scat (2009)

by Carl Hiaasen

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1,356785,677 (3.93)41
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One teen says - Scat has the classic elements you want in a book: a feel good plot; characters with interesting backgrounds and personalities; and timelessness. Add in a great message of environmentalism, seeing the wrong in deforestation, caring for those that you love even if they are going through hard times, and helping others. The plot moves quickly, and nothing drags on.

The other teen says - This book is long. Very long. Don’t get me wrong, Scat is an excellent story revealed through a suspenseful plot, but it you are looking for a manageable novel to encourage a young reader, the length may actually deter rather than promote reading. If read in school, students could spend weeks dissecting Hiaasen’s political and environmental commentary.

Pros: Humor and over-the-top absurdity keep kids turning page after page. The story is balanced, offering kids insight into conservation and endangered species.

There is a lot more to our review. Visit The Reading Tub®. While you’re there, add a link to your review.
  TheReadingTub | Feb 18, 2016 |
This starts out as a mystery about a missing biology teacher from a small Florida middle school. As the story becomes more complicated, it involves a greed-based anti-environmental company and endangered species. Along the way, many of the characters prove to be not what they seemed at the beginning of the book. Another theme enters the story with the main character's father having served in the Iraq war and returning with injuries.

I enjoyed the book because it is told with humor and has the main character helping to save the day. The environmental theme is not always front and center as the characters deal with the missing teacher and trying to sneak around and solve the mystery on their own.
  abtrav | Feb 16, 2016 |
Narrated by Ed Asner. Carl Hiassen's environmental mysteries for kids always involve earnest, heroic kids and bumbling, inept adults. This is no different as Nick, Marta and Smoke attempt to help reunite a baby panther with its mother in the Everglades, while a greedy oil developer secretly tries to illegally profit from oil on state-owned land. Very funny yet the important message still gets through. Listening to Ed Asner read is like having your Grandpa or favorite uncle reading aloud to you. He does great work with the voices and brings alive the various personalities, even those just making brief appearances in the story. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Nick Waters has had a lot on his mind since his father left to serve a tour of duty in the Iraq War. A school field trip to a nearby Black Vine Swamp goes awry when a fire cuts the trip short and his biology teacher, the ultra strict Ms. Starch, disappears. Could the class outcast have done something to their teacher? He did threaten her the previous day. When the principal announces that their teacher is fine and has left to take care of a family emergency, Nick doesn't buy it. He begins investigating her disappearance because it helps keep his mind off of his worries about his father's safety, but soon he realizes that nothing is as it seems.

This was a fun read. I would have loved it when I was a kid. I appreciate the environmental message, but at times it was a little heavy handed. The "good guys" were all great characters that had interesting wrinkles to their personalities, but the "bad guys" were all one dimensional idiots that seemed a little lazy. Some of the themes are those I have read about many times before in young adult novels (the outcast who has a heart of gold once you give him a chance and get to know him) but other themes gave it an original feel. It had some humor and covered some serious issues (specifically Nick's emotions regarding his father's service) and I hope that my middle school age son will pick this one up and read it. I would love to discuss it with him. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
...the ingenious plotting makes “Scat” more engrossing than either of its predecessors. The characters are richer — two of them turn out to be not at all the caricatures they seemed at first. And even the title is a clever pun, referring both to the good guys’ message to the bad guys, and to the panther droppings that hold a key to the mystery. In short, Hiaasen’s​ novels for younger readers seem to be maturing right along with them.
 
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This is dedicated to the memory of Dr. David Maehr, a gifted wildlife biologist who helped me during the research for this book. Dave spent many years tracking and studying Florida's endangered panthers. Because of his efforts, and those of others who followed, these magnificent cats still roam wild in the swamps and prairies of southern Florida.
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The day before Mrs. Starch vanished, her third-period biology students trudged silently, as always, into the classroom.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375834869, Hardcover)

Bestselling author and columnist Carl Hiaasen returns with another hysterical mystery for kids set in Florida's Everglades.
 
Bunny Starch, the most feared biology teacher ever, is missing. She disappeared after a school field trip to Black Vine Swamp. And, to be honest, the kids in her class are relieved.
 
But when the principal tries to tell the students that Mrs. Starch has been called away on a "family emergency," Nick and Marta just don't buy it. No, they figure the class delinquent, Smoke, has something to do with her disappearance.
 
And he does! But not in the way they think. There's a lot more going on in Black Vine Swamp than any one player in this twisted tale can see. And Nick and Marta will have to reckon with an eccentric eco-avenger, a stuffed rat named Chelsea, a wannabe Texas oilman, a singing substitute teacher, and a ticked-off Florida panther before they really begin to see the big picture.
 
That's life in the swamp, kids.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:54 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Nick and his friend Marta decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts near a Florida wildlife preserve and an unpopular teacher goes missing.

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