New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2012
290 p. ; 22 cm ISBN/ISSN:
9780375868429 (trade hardcover), 0375868429 (trade hardcover), 9780375968426 (hardcover library binding), 0375968423 (hardcover library binding), 9780375868276 (trade pbk.), 0375868275 (trade pbk.), 0375868429, Language:
"A Borzoi Book."
When the difficult star of the reality television show "Expedition Survival" disappears while filming an episode in the Florida Everglades using animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane's family, Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him while avoiding Tuna's gun-happy father
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Carl Hiaasen once again writes a book that a reader can really sink their teeth into. The question is why has it been categorized a Kid's Book? It must be because it carries a PG rating. This is textbook Hiaasen: characters that are a tad off-center, witty dialog galore, and the setting in the Florida everglades.
Mickey Cray is a loving husband and father, a professional animal wrangler, and a certifiable nutcase. His doting son, Wahoo, loves giving his father a hand around their animal farm. One of Wahoo's hands is sans thumb thanks to Alice, the alligator, who one day was a little more eager to get fed by Wahoo than he anticipated. Mrs. Cray has to take a short-term interpreter's job in China to help pay the bills. Times are hard.
Hard-pressed for income, Mickey signs a contract with a network studio that produces the extremely popular TV series: Expedition Survival! The star of this television show, Derek Badger, is battier than one of the bats that nearly bites off Derek's tongue while filming footage for an upcoming everglades' episode.
Mickey and Derek are not a match made in heaven. Derek, the supposed environmentalist, has total disregard for anything living. His only concerns are having a massage each night in a posh motel that sports a hot tub in his suite and an abundance of chocolate éclairs at his bidding. So totally out of control is Derek that he has to have his own personal wrangler....Raven Stark. She has the undesirable job of being his production assistant and full-time baby sitter.
Before packing up and traveling to the proposed filming location, Mickey and Wahoo sort of adopt Tuna, a runaway abused classmate of Wahoo's. Tuna's mother is in Chicago. She has escaped her drunken husband's beatings by leaving to care for her sick mother. After receiving her latest black-eye from daddy dearest, Tuna decides that swimming solo upstream would be better for her health than remaining home. Home is a trailer parked in the local Wal-Mart lot.
As expected, there are production problems a-plenty betwixt Derek and Mickey that must be wrangled by Raven and Wahoo. When Tuna's dad discovers her current whereabouts, the collision course among the three mental midgets is more dangerous than entering the Bermuda Triangle.
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