Flush

Flush

4.4 544
by Carl Hiaasen
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Bestselling novelist Carl Hiaasen is back with another hysterical mystery adventure for young readers, set in the Florida Keys.

You know it's going to be a rough summer when you spend Father's Day visiting your dad in the local lockup.

Noah's dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor&ndashSee more details below

Overview

Bestselling novelist Carl Hiaasen is back with another hysterical mystery adventure for young readers, set in the Florida Keys.

You know it's going to be a rough summer when you spend Father's Day visiting your dad in the local lockup.

Noah's dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor–which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He can't prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noah's dad is stuck in the clink.

Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. He will prove that the Coral Queen is dumping illegally . . . somehow. His allies may not add up to much–his sister Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a greedy sot with poor hygiene; Shelly, a bartender and a woman scorned; and a mysterious pirate–but Noah's got a plan to flush this crook out into the open. A plan that should sink the crooked little casino, once and for all.


From the Hardcover edition.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
How does Hiaasen follow up his page-turning novel about saving owls in Florida (Hoot)? With a second fast-paced story featuring an environmental theme-this time about ocean pollutants harming turtles' habitats (and the surroundings in general) in the Florida Keys. Welch (TV's Joan of Arcadia) has a compelling, snappy delivery suited to 11-year-old Noah's personality; he's a clever kid who wants to set things right, even when it pits him against shady characters and the local bully. Noah is exasperated over his father's arrest for sinking a casino boat that the man believes is flushing sewage into the ocean. The boy also knows that proving his dad's suspicions could go a long way toward healing his strained family and saving the ocean. Welch handily captures Noah's moods, though not even he can make eccentrics such as Lice Peeking and his burly bartending girlfriend Shelly likable at the outset (they grow on listeners, however). Those who couldn't get enough of Hiaasen's last outing will find plenty to hoot about in this solid recording. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
On Father's Day, Noah Underwood visits his father in prison. Angry that the Coral Queen, a floating casino, has been dumping its bilge into the water of the Florida Keys, Mr. Underwood sought a vigilante's justice: he sank the boat. The situation is a tough one. Authorities have found no evidence of the dumping. Noah knows that, somehow, he must find that evidence if he is to secure his father's release and save his parents' marriage. Dogged by schoolmate Jasper Jr., son of the casino owner, Noah and his younger sister Abbey begin to investigate. They hatch a plan. It's crazy, to be sure, but it is also wonderfully beautiful in its simplicity. And it just might be crazy enough--and simple enough--to work. Carl Hiassen's latest environmental mystery is a fabulous, amusing tale full of off-beat characters which may be even better than his thrilling Newbery Honor Book, Hoot. Noah is a gem of a character: earnest, truth-seeking, amusing, and very real. 2005, Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf, Ages 12 up.
—Heidi Hauser Green
Noah Underwood accepts the daunting task of justifying his father's outrageous behavior through investigating the Coral Queen casino boat for flushing their sewage tank directly into the ocean. Noah is faced with opposition beginning with his father's arrest for sinking the Coral Queen and his mother's threat to divorce his father due to his anger issues. Noah finds support in his sister Abbey and together hatch a plot to prove their father was trying to stop the pollution and save the beaches, not that he had gone berserk. Help comes to Noah and Abbey from some interesting local characters that often cause Noah to fear for his own safety. These interactions strengthen Noah, providing him with the inner strength he ultimately relies upon to execute his plan to flush dye down the toilets of the Coral Queen to form a recognizable trace. The characters capture the diversity of Florida, creating the flavor of the novel and helping steer the plot. Noah's development into a self-confident boy runs parallel to the challenges he encounters throughout the novel allowing the reader to experience Noah's character development. 2005, Alfred A. Knopf, 272 pp., Ages young adult.
—Patti Rich
From the Publisher
"Compulsively readable with a cleverly conceived resolution. . . . Fans of spy stories, action, environmental intrigue, and, well, Hiaasen, will cheer for this one." - The Bulletin

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375837524
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/13/2005
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
22,136
Lexile:
830L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
10 Years

Meet the Author

Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for the Miami Herald and is the author of many bestselling novels, including Basket Case and Skinny Dip. Hiassen’s first novel for young readers, Hoot, was also a bestseller, and received a Newbery Honor Award. The author lives in the Florida Keys.


From the Hardcover edition.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Tavernier, Florida
Place of Birth:
South Florida
Education:
Emory University; B.A., University of Florida, 1974

Read an Excerpt

The Coral Queen had gone down stern first in twelve feet of water. Her hull had settled on the marly bottom at a slight angle with the bow aiming upward.

She was a big one, too. Even at high tide, the top two decks were above the water line. It was like a big ugly apartment building had fallen out of the sky and landed in the basin.

Abbey hopped off my handlebars and walked to the water’s edge. She planted her hands on her hips and stared at the crime scene.

“Whoa,” she said. “He really did it this time.”

“It’s bad,” I agreed.

The Coral Queen was one of those gambling boats where passengers line up to play blackjack and electronic poker, and to stuff their faces at the all-you-can-eat buffet. It didn’t sound like a ton of fun to me, but the Coral Queen was packed to the rafters every night.

There was one major difference between Dusty Muleman’s operation and the gambling cruises up in Miami: The Coral Queen didn’t actually go anywhere. That’s one reason it was so popular

By Florida law, gambling boats are supposed to travel at least three miles offshore–beyond the state boundaries–before anyone is allowed to start betting. Rough weather is real bad for business, because lots of customers get seasick. As soon as they start throwing up, they quit spending money.

According to my father, Dusty Muleman’s dream was to open a gambling boat that never left the calm and safety of its harbor. That way, the passengers would never get too queasy to party.

Only Indian tribes are allowed to run casino operations in Florida, so Dusty somehow persuaded a couple of rich Miccosukees from Miami to buy the marina and make it part of their reservation. Dad said the government raised a stink but later backed off, because the Indians had better lawyers.

Anyway, Dusty got his gambling boat–and he got rich.

My dad had waited until three in the morning, when the last of the crew was gone, to sneak aboard. He’d untied the ropes and started one of the engines and idled out to the mouth of the basin, where he’d opened the seacocks and cut the hoses and disconnected the bilge pumps and then dived overboard.

The Coral Queen had gone down crosswise in the channel, which meant that no other vessels could get in or out of the basin. In other words, Dusty Muleman wasn’t the only captain in town who wanted to strangle my dad on Father’s Day.

I locked my bike to a buttonwood tree and walked down to the charter docks, Abbey trailing behind. Two small skiffs and a Coast Guard inflatable were nosing around the Coral Queen. We could hear the men in the skiffs talking about what had to be done to float the boat. It was a major project.

“He’s lost his marbles,” Abbey muttered.

“Who–Dad? No way,” I said.

“Then why did he do it?”

“Because Dusty Muleman has been dumping his holding tank into the water,” I said.

Abbey grimaced. “Yuck. From the toilets?”

“Yep. In the middle of the night, when there’s nobody around.”

“That is so gross.”

“And totally illegal,” I said. “He only does it to save money.”

According to my father, Dusty Muleman was such a pathetic cheapskate that he wouldn’t pay to have the Coral Queen’s sewage hauled away. Instead his crew had standing orders to flush the waste into the basin, which was already murky. The tide later carried most of the filth out to open water.

“But why didn’t Dad just call the Coast Guard?” my sister asked. “Wouldn’t that have been the grown-up thing to do?”

“He told me he tried. He said he called everybody he could think of, but they could never catch Dusty in the act,” I said. “Dad thinks somebody’s tipping him off.”

“Oh, please,” Abbey groaned.

Now she was starting to annoy me.

“When wind and the current are right, the poop from the gambling boat floats out of the basin and down the shoreline,” I said, “straight to Thunder Beach.”

Abbey made a pukey face. “Ugh. So that’s why they close the park sometimes.”

“You know how many kids go swimming there? What Dusty’s doing can make you real sick at both ends. Hospital-sick, Dad says. So it’s not only disgusting, it’s dangerous.”

“Yeah, but–”

“I didn’t say it was right, Abbey, what Dad did. I’m only telling you why.”

My father hadn’t even tried to get away. After swimming back to the dock, he’d sat down in a folding chair, opened a can of root beer and watched the Coral Queen go down. He was still there at dawn, sleeping, when the police arrived.

“So, what now?” Abbey asked.

A dark bluish slick surrounded the boat, and the men in the Coast Guard inflatable were laying out yellow floating bumpers, to keep the oil and grease from spreading. By sinking the Coral Queen, my father himself had managed to make quite a mess.

I said, “Dad asked me to help him.”

Abbey made a face. “Help him what–break out of jail?”

“Get serious.”

“Then what, Noah? Tell me.”

I knew she wasn’t going to like it. “He wants me to help him nail Dusty Muleman,” I said.

A long silence followed, so I figured Abbey was thinking up something snarky to say. But it turned out that she wasn’t.

“I didn’t give Dad an answer yet,” I said.

“I already know your answer,” said my sister.

“His heart’s in the right place, Abbey. It really is.”

“It’s not his heart I’m worried about, it’s his brain,” she said. “You’d better be careful, Noah.”

“Are you going to tell Mom?”

“I haven’t decided.” She gave me a sideways look that told me she probably wouldn’t.

Like I said, my sister’s all right.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >