booktalkjuvenile fictionFlush by Carl Hiaasen [pdf : 225k]

Subjects: Environmental protection—Juvenile fiction; River boats—Juvenile fiction; Fathers—Juvenile fiction; Florida—Juvenile fiction
Awards: Best Books for Young Adults, Edgar Allan Poe Winner
Book Lists: Florida, Middle School, Reluctant Readers

Props: Sea turtle puppet

(Sea turtle puppet) My dad did it for the sea turtles that lay their eggs there and for my sister, Abbey, and I who learned to swim there. He did it for Thunder Beach. (Put down turtle) He did it cause now I have to be careful if I swim there. And it’s all because of Dusty Muleman. According to my dad, Dusty Muleman won’t pay to have the sewage from his gambling boat, the Coral Queen, hauled away. Instead his crew has standing orders to flush the waste into the basin. Basically, every time Dusty empties the Coral Queen’s holding tank, it’s like flushing a hundred filthy toilets into God’s ocean! And, when the wind and the current are right, the poop from the gambling boat floats out of the basin and down the shoreline straight to Thunder Beach. Where kids swim and turtles nest. Where I swim. That’s not good. That stuff from the Coral Queen will make you sick, hospital sick.

So I kinda understand why my dad did it. Why he sank the Coral Queen. My dad had tried to get the police to do something about the sewage. But they hadn’t listened, mostly because he didn’t really have proof. So he waited until the gambling boat was empty, snuck onboard, started the engines, idled out to the mouth of the basin, cut the hoses, disconnected the bilge pumps and dove overboard. The Coral Queen went down. In twelve feet of water, she sank. It was like a big ugly apartment building had fallen out of the sky and landed in the basin. Course my dad didn’t do it for vandalism. He was making a point. He wants an investigation. He wants the police to look more closely at the gambling boat. So, after he sank the Coral Queen, he calmly waited on shore in a deck chair for the police to arrest him. And that’s where he is now, in jail. The big hero.

Lucky for him, it is summertime and school is out. That means that Abbey and I have time to help my dad. And he needs us. Someone’s got to figure out how to stop Dusty Muleman and I think it may have to be us.

Dusty Muleman is a wealthy, influential man. Can he be brought down by a couple of kids? Can they flush out the truth? Find out, (Hold up book) read Flush by Carol Hiaasen.

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