CHOMP by Carl Hiaasen
Kirkus Star

CHOMP

Age Range: 10 - 15
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Lots of kids think they live in a zoo; Wahoo Cray actually does.

Wahoo’s dad, Mickey, was the best wild-animal wrangler in south Florida until an iguana, frozen solid in a flash freeze, fell from a tree and conked him on the head. Now, Mickey has migraines and double vision, and the family’s in such dire financial straits that Wahoo’s mother has taken a temporary job teaching Mandarin to American businessmen in China. When offered good money for the use of Mickey’s tame animals, there’s no saying no to the production company of Expedition Survival!, a “reality” show starring Derek Badger (actually a former stepdancer named Lee Bluepenny with a fake Steve Irwin Australian accent). The Crays, however, draw the line at harming any animal; and Derek doesn’t think the scenes are “real” enough. The production company hires Mickey and Wahoo as guides on an Everglades location shoot, which is complicated in true Hiaasen fashion by an abused, runaway girl from Wahoo’s class, a toothy encounter with a jazzed-out snake, a disastrously unsuccessful live-bat brunch…and a vanishing star. Hiaasen’s best for a young audience since Newbery Honor Hoot (2002) features a shy, deep-feeling protagonist who’s also a pragmatist and plenty of nature info and age-appropriate cultural commentary.

Humorous adventure tales just don’t get any more wacked…or fun to read than this. (Fiction. 10-15)

Pub Date: March 27th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-86842-9
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2011




NEW & NOTABLE BOOKS FOR CHILDREN: MARCH 2012:

ChildrenTHE WILD BOOK by Margarita Engle
by Margarita Engle
ChildrenBLUE SKY by Audrey Wood
by Audrey Wood
ChildrenSTEP GENTLY OUT by Helen Frost
by Helen Frost
ChildrenLIFE IN THE OCEAN by Claire A. Nivola
by Claire A. Nivola
ChildrenZ IS FOR MOOSE by Kelly Bingham
by Kelly Bingham

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for SETTLE FOR MORE
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for SWING TIME
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for ODESSA SEA
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for THE DIABOLIC
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Kirkus Interview
Carl Hiaasen
author of RAZOR GIRL
November 7, 2016

In Razor Girl, Carl Hiaasen’s new novel, when Lane Coolman's car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but. Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield—the eponymous Razor Girl—and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose on the page. There's Trebeaux, the owner of Sedimental Journeys--a company that steals sand from one beach to restore erosion on another…Dominick "Big Noogie" Aeola, a NYC mafia capo with a taste for tropic-wear…Buck Nance, a Wisconsin accordionist who has rebranded himself as the star of a redneck reality show called Bayou Brethren…and Andrew Yancy—formerly Detective Yancy, busted down to the Key West roach patrol after accosting his then-lover's husband with a Dust Buster. Yancy believes that if he can singlehandedly solve a high-profile murder, he'll get his detective badge back. That the Razor Girl may be the key to Yancy's future will be as surprising as anything else he encounters along the way—including the giant Gambian rats that are livening up his restaurant inspections. “How can Hiaasen possibly tie together all this monkey business in the end?” our reviewer asks in a starred review. “His delirious plotting is so fine-tuned that preposterous complications that would strain lesser novelists fit right into his antic world. Relax, enjoy, and marvel anew at the power of unbridled fictional invention.” View video >

MORE BY CARL HIAASEN

ChildrenSKINK—NO SURRENDER by Carl Hiaasen
by Carl Hiaasen
ChildrenSCAT by Carl Hiaasen
by Carl Hiaasen
ChildrenFLUSH by Carl Hiaasen
by Carl Hiaasen

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE CALL OF THE BULLY by Scott Starkey
by Scott Starkey
ChildrenROCK GOD by Barnabas Miller
by Barnabas Miller
ChildrenTHE MISSING GRIZZLY CUBS by Judy Young
by Judy Young
ChildrenTHE BEST MISTAKE MYSTERY by Sylvia McNicoll
by Sylvia McNicoll