March 27, 2012 by Alice in Readerland
‘Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he’s grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one.
When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called “Expedition Survival!”, Wahoo figures he’ll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show’s boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo’s acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who’s sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out.
They’ve only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna’s dad shows up with a gun . . .
It’s anyone’s guess who will actually survive “Expedition Survival”. . . .’ ~ Goodreads description
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Imprint: Alfred A. Knopf BFYR
Publishing Date: March 27th, 2012
Ages: 10 & up
Book courtesy of NetGalley
Filled with hilarity, adventure, and plenty of fangs, Carl Hiaasen’s Chomp is a book readers will want to sink their teeth into.
Wahoo’s father has been out of work since a frozen iguana fell from a tree and hit him on the head. So when Wahoo and his father get asked to be animal wranglers for the reality T.V. show Expedition Survival!, the money seems like a good idea. Dealing with the show’s (fake) animal wrangler lead, Derek Badger (or was it Beaver)? Not such a good idea.
And when Derek decides to actually shoot in the Everglades with wild animals? An even worse idea.
Along the way, we meet Tuna, the girl with the black eye and who has memorized the Latin names of animals; Tuna’s dad, a drunk with a gun; and, of course, the animals. Oh, yes, there are plenty of awesome animals (like Alice the Alligator).
I have to admit, I have been a big fan of Hiaasen’s books since I first read Hoot. I enjoyed Flush and Scat just as much, and Chomp was no exception. Hiaasen’s well-crafted plots, humor, and nature themes carry themselves over to Chomp; this is one book that will have readers chomping through the pages from beginning to end.
Hiaasen handled animal issues, parental abuse issues, and money issues with tact and real feeling, adding just enough heart and seriousness to this book. Chomp also managed to include both subtle sarcasm and the pure hilarious, making it a great book for parents and children to read together.
Filled with commandeered boats, romps around the everglade, laugh out loud lines, vampires (yes, even vampires and no, not real ones), and plenty of chomping, all set in the one-of-a-kind Florida, Chomp is one book that you don’t want to miss!
5 out of 5 tea cups.