When rogue feral hogs and a greedy developer threaten to wipe out Sugar Man Swamp, two raccoons know it’s time to rouse the legendary Sugar Man.
Mythic Sugar Man has reigned over Sugar Man Swamp for a “gazillion yesterdays.” Raccoons Bingo and J’miah descend from a line of Official Scouts Sugar Man designated to watch over the swamp and alert him in an emergency. Twelve-year-old Chap has also grown up along the swamp, where his mother operates Paradise Pies Café. Like his recently deceased grandfather, Chap cherishes the swamp. When the swamp’s sleazy owner, Sunny Boy Beaucoup, threatens to evict them to convert the swamp into Gator World Wrestling Arena and Theme Park, Chap takes his grandfather’s place to preserve what he loves. When Bingo and J’miah discover feral hogs descending on the swamp to pulverize the native sugarcane, they risk Sugar Man’s wrath and wake him. Set in the east Texas bayou, like The Underneath (2008) and Keeper (2010), this playful tale teems with bayou flora, fauna and folklore. In a honeyed dialect, the omnipresent narrator directly engages readers, ricocheting between the hilarious human and critter dramas to a riotous finale.
A rollicking, ripping tall tale with ecological subtext. (art not seen) (Fantasy. 10-14)