Flush by Carl Hiaasen
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Published in 2005
Recommended Age Group: 12 and Up
Summary: Flush begins with Noah Underwood going to see his father Paine on Father’s Day. His Dad is in jail for sinking the Coral Queen a gambling boat that has been dumping it’s waste into the water. This is a big problem because it would wash up on a popular beach and people and animals get sick from swimming in it. Paine said he’d tried to notify the Coast Guard and other people to tell them what was going on but Dusty Muleman, the owner, always seemed to know when they were coming and would dump the waste just like he was supposed to. Paine asks Noah to help him which he son readily agrees to in spite of some misgivings he had about the whole thing. Noah believes his Dad is a good person but his brain just shuts off when he’s upset about someone hurting the environment. Noah decides to find a legal way to catch Dusty in the act and stop him from dumping the Coral Queen’s waste into the ocean. With the help of his little sister Abbey and Shelly, Dusty former fiancée and a bartender on the boat, they fill the holding tanks with fuchsia food coloring so when Dusty dumps later a long stripe of evidence leads straight back to the Coral Queen. After a couple more surprises and a few unexpected along the way Dusty gets what he deserves and the water is safe for swimming.
Personal Notes: The first thing that drew my attention to this book was the fish and the toilet seat on the cover. It was just as interesting as the cover. I especially liked how Noah found legal ways of solving his problems and didn’t resort to vandalism like his father. I think it teaches people to use their brains to reach their goals and to stop things they don’t like. Hiaasen didn’t ever really tell us how old Noah was and that bothered me for some reason. It was my goal through the book to find this kids age. At one point we find out that his Grandpa left when he was two or three and returned ten years later and that he is three years older than his sister who passed fourth grade so I guess that’s close enough for me. Overall it was a fun read and a great adventure.