By Carl Hiaasen
Random House Children's Books, 2011
Audience: All Teens, Tweens
Source: NetGalley (Thank you for the ARC!)
Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one.
When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called "Expedition Survival!", Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show's boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out.
They've only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna's dad shows up with a gun . . .
It's anyone's guess who will actually survive "Expedition Survival". . .
I had a lot of fun reading this. It had adventure, and it was HILARIOUS! That Derek Badger, what an IDIOT! Boneheaded, indeed. I read this book because I liked the movie Hoot, honestly. I enjoyed this book just as much as that movie, and I intend to read Carl Hiaasen's other teen books. They make especially good summer reads, I think. If I had a beach near me, that's where I would read his books. And boy, can he write an action scene! I can't wait to see this movie -- someone should get on that.