Flush

I know it's not Earth Day or Arbor Day, but environmental awareness really shouldn't be limited to those holidays so I thought I'd share an eco-friendly book that I recently read and really enjoyed.

Carl Hiaasen returns to writing for young readers in Flush, a follow-up to 2003's Newberry winning Hoot. Flush is similar in scope, also set in rural Florida, but with a fresh story that appeals to kids and adults.

Twelve-year-old Noah Underwood and his sister Abbey are both embarrassed and dismayed when their father is sent to jail for purposely sinking a casino boat. The aptly named Paine Underwood tells his children that the vandalism was an act of civil disobedience and insists that the boat's owner has been dumping sewage into the water, making their beaches unsafe for humans and local wildlife. Noah and Abbey take it upon themselves to believe their father's claim and catch the polluters in the act, exonerating their dad and helping the environment too.

Hiaasen tells a great story in Flush. He mixes a sweet family novel with action and adventure and adds in subtle but effective messages about family ties, bullying, and his signature theme of environmental activism. Young readers will likely relate to Noah and Abbey and even adult readers will appreciate the clever resolutions Hiaasen uses to wrap up the book. Overall, this was an enjoyable and interesting book that will make everyone think a little bit more about preventing pollution and helping the environment.
This book was a  timely read in light of this year's tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  I think Flush would be a great way to engage younger readers in dialog about efforts to help wildlife and small steps that each of us can take to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.  I'm nowhere near as green as I'd like to be in my lifestyle, but I do try to take small steps towards being earth-friendly in my day-to-day life.  I'm pretty proud of the fact that I take public transportation for 90% of my travels and I keep reusable shopping bags in my purse and car trunk to taking avoid plastic bags from stores when possible.  I recycle regularly but I know that there are still many more ways I can improve in helping the environment.  Do you have a favorite book about environmental issues?  What's your favorite tip for living a greener life?


(And I know at least one fellow blogger will have plenty of tips to share on this subject! Check out my friend Ellen's blog posts labeled "a wee bit o' greening")

2 Response to "Flush"

  1. Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e) says:
    August 18, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    You're so sweet! Always working to be a wee bit greener...

    I love Carl Hiassen's kids' books, and I enjoy them much more than his adult books. Same style, good content, but less tawdry (I guess is how I'd quantify it).

  2. Kerian says:
    August 26, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    I think "The Lorax" is an important children's book as well.

    I recycle, too. We actually have three trash cans in our kitchen! One for food waste/scraps; another for glass, cardboard, paper, recyclable plastic, etc; and a third one for everything else. It's something my city adopted a few years ago.

    I completely agree with you that there is always more we can do than merely recycle, though. It's one of the reasons I often choose public transportation. Being a reader does have its advantages with that, too. ;)

    Whenever others have told me what I do doesn't make a difference, I tell them that so long as I believe and do something a certain way, surely somewhere else in the world is at least one other person who feels and does exactly the same. I strongly believe it, too.

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