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2009 Award
( by Carl Hiaasen, Knopf $16.99 Score: )

When Mrs. Starch, a less than beloved biology teacher disappears after a field trip the rumors begin to fly. Was it a hot headed kid, Duane Scrod Jr., AKA as Smoke, who was getting even by setting a fire in the swamp where nasty Mrs. Starch was last seen? There are several suspenseful plot lines and a colorful cast of eco-enemies and eco-vigilantes who keep the pages turning in this well paced mystery involving an endangered panther cub separated from its mother, a dumb businessman who hopes to outsmart the state, an eco-avenger who is going to stop him, a crusty old grandmother who does not give up on her family, an injured Iraqi War vet, and three high school students who are brave enough to stand up for what is right. Best of all the characters are not just good and bad guys, they are more complex than that as they are revealed in a story that never talks down, but takes one surprising turn after another. Scat hooks the reader and holds fast from the first scene to last. Another solid read from the author of the award winning book, Hoot. 10 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Review Published: Click here to purchase the product on

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