BOOK REVIEW: Scat by Carl Hiassen

Scat by Carl HiassenScat
By Carl Hiassen
Completed August 26, 2011

My son will be reading Scat as part of his sixth grade Language Arts assignment, so I decided to try a new strategy: Read his assigned book first so I know what he’s reading! It was fun to read this book, making mental notes of plot twists or characters that I thought he would enjoy. And it didn’t hurt that Scat was a well-rounded story.

Nicky Walters and his friend Marta were students in Mrs. Starch’s biology class, when she vanished into the swamp during a field trip. Nicky and Marta were suspicious of their classmate, Smoke, who had a falling out with the teacher during class. Little did Nicky and Marta know that Mrs. Starch and Smoke were in “cohoots” – along with a colorful naturalist, Twilly – to help protect endangered panthers from being killed.

Scat had a little bit of everything: well-developed charactes, plot twists, secrets, bad guys, good guys and animals with their own characterizations (I especially loved Horace the bloodhound). Set in Florida, I enjoyed learning about panthers and other wildlife that live in my home state. I was a bit surprised, though, by the anti-Iraq war stance in the novel. While I don’t disagree with what Hiassen wrote, I am not sure it had its place in the story. I will be curious to see if my son picks up on it.

This is just a little quibble; overall, I was very pleased with Scat and think it’s the perfect book for my son and his classmates. I look forward to my son’s interpretation of this fun book. (  )

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Aug 28, 2011 @ 07:56:24

    I find it interesting that the school chose a book with a political message like that. I hope the kids love it.

    Reply

  2. rhapsodyinbooks
    Aug 28, 2011 @ 09:07:29

    I agree with Kathy – how weird! But maybe it’s something just the adults will get!

    Reply

  3. Dee
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 20:52:33

    I have a son who will be starting Year 6 in September and I’m now wondering whether to buy this for him. It can be difficult to persuade him to start on something new but I think he’d like the cover which is a start!

    Reply

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