Hiaasen, Carl. 2005. Flush. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Newbery Award winning author Carl Hiaasen presents another eco-adventure for young adults worthy of praise. With its intriguing title, Flush hooks readers from the start. Noah’s father has been thrown in jail for sinking a casino gambling boat in an act of eco-terrorism. But who is the bigger terrorist, Noah’s dad, Paine Underwood for sabotaging the boat in an effort to bring the issue to light or the owner of the boat and perpetrator of the more devastating eco-crime of dumping sewage and illegal disposal of waste into Florida’s protected waterways? Some mature issues are tackled by adventurous teens in this rousing adventure full of more twists and turns than the Florida Everglades. Hiaasen’s gift a drawing multi-layered characters and building a story within a story makes this a must read, exciting activity. Noah’s strong sense of doing what is right; not only to clear his father’s name, but to protect the community in which he lives is a noteworthy trait. Hiaasen, who has written many outstanding books for adults along the same lines, can sometimes create unbelievable dialog for the kids in the story. Told in first person narrative from Noah’s point of view many of his thoughts and descriptions are quite advanced and righteous for a teenager but considering the advanced subject matter of saving the environment it seems necessary and not distracting to move the plot along. Serious issues about choices, right and wrong, ecological preservation, greed, and determination make this an exciting read, jam packed with an electrifying, mysterious twist at the end where the good triumph over evil once again.