May 22, 12
Read in May, 2012
Hiaasen returns with another fun read for younger reader with this novel, which explores the interesting hypocrisy of reality television. Wahoo (he is named after a fish) Cray and his father Mickey find themselves being hired as animal specialists to help with Expedition Survival!, a quirky television show that is clearly modeled after The Crocodille Hunter. The main difference is that the star, one Derek Badger, is a major fake.
Wahoo's father owns a nature preserve, where they care for a number of injured wild animals. Mickey has worked as an adviser before and usually, enjoyed it, but he also hates liars and cheats ... you can only imagine what he thinks of Derek Beaver, as he calls him. Mickey and Wahoo have to take the job despite their unwillingness because the family has fallen on hard economic times since Mickey got a nasty concussion on another jub months earlier. Simply put, they just need the money.
Wahoo is also joined by a new friend, a female classmate named Tuna. She is also into animals, particularly their scientific names. After Wahoo and his dad run into her at Wal-Mart, where Tuna and her drunken dad have settled in the parking lot with their camper, Wahoo and Mickey realize that Tuna has taken some hits from her dad. They offer to bring her along on the fun outing during the shows filming.
As with all of Hiassen's works, there is no shortage of humor. As the story progresses, it gets more and more outrageous, but that only makes the reader want to turn the pages more quickly. His characters are always unique and quirky, adding even more fun to the story. This tale is not quite as strong as his previous books for young people (Hoot, Flush, and Scat,/i>, but it is still worth a go.
I will leave the mystery of the cover to those of you who get around to reading it.