by Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo’s father, a professional wild animal wrangler in Florida, hasn’t... read more

Wahoo’s father, a professional wild animal wrangler in Florida, hasn’t been able to work much since a dead iguana fell on his head (it froze in a tree during a cold snap). But when the reality TV show Expedition Survival wants to film segments using some of their wild animals, Wahoo and his dad say yes. They need money and the potential paycheck is too good to turn down. It turns out the show’s star, intrepid explorer Derek Badger, is more Hollywood hack than hero. An incompetent loser with delusions of grandeur, Derek’s stupidity is a real danger (and really funny) when they head with him and the crew into the Everglades to assist with on-location filming. But the real threat to their well-being ends up coming from someone else. Tuna, one of Wahoo’s classmates, is on the run from her physically abusive father and takes refuge with Wahoo and his dad on location. But Tuna’s angry dad has every intention of getting his daughter back, even if it means tracking her through Florida swamps. True to form, author Carl Hiaasen offers up a novel in which much of the action and quite a few of the characters are over-the-top. Hiaasen deftly incorporates moments of high humor into a story that manages to comment on both serious situations (abuse) and the absurdity (reality TV) of our world. (Ages 10–13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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