A hilarious, high-stakes adventure involving crooked casino boats, floating fish, toxic beaches, and one kid determined to get justice. T his is Carl Hiaasen's Florida—where the creatures are wild and the people are wilder!
You know it's going to be a rough summer when you spend Father's Day visiting your dad in the local lockup.
Noah's dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor–which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He can't prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noah's dad is stuck in the clink.
Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. He will prove that the Coral Queen is dumping illegally . . . somehow. His allies may not add up to much–his sister Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a greedy sot with poor hygiene; Shelly, a bartender and a woman scorned; and a mysterious pirate–but Noah's got a plan to flush this crook out into the open. A plan that should sink the crooked little casino, once and for all.
Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida, he joined the Miami Herald as a general assignment reporter and went on to work for the newspaper’s weekly magazine and prize-winning investigations team. As a journalist and author, Carl has spent most of his life advocating for the protection of the Florida Everglades. He and his family live in southern Florida.
This is one of Carl Hiaasen's middle-grade books. Like the author's adult novels, it tells an amusing story while addressing the topic of environmentalism and conservation in south Florida.🌴🌺🐠
Eleven-year-old Noah Underwood's dad, Paine Underwood, is an environmentalist who's very protective of the Florida Keys - where the family lives.
So when Paine learns that Dusty Muleman - crooked owner of the casino-boat Coral Queen - regularly (and illegally) dumps the ship's toilet waste into the ocean.....
….. Paine sinks the ship. This lands Paine in jail but doesn't do much to stop Dusty, who resurrects the boat and goes on with his business.
Unfortunately, Paine can't prove his charges against Dusty, since the shipowner flushes the waste at night, when no one is around. Moreover, Paine refuses to be bailed out of jail until something's done about the poop pollution, which causes financial problems for the Underwood family.....and aggravates Noah's mom. So Noah and his younger sister Abbey decide they'll expose Dusty's filthy deeds. 😫
At his father's suggestion, Noah tries to enlist the help of Lice Peeking, who used to work on the Coral Queen. Lice, a skeevy guy who hates to bathe, knows about the illegal dumping - and agrees to help for a steep price.
But Lice is an untrustworthy drinker who's scared of Dusty, and he doesn't come through.
Hence Abbey - in a true 'don't try this at home' maneuver - sneaks out of her bedroom window after midnight, video camera in hand. Abbey gets a good vantage point and films Dusty's unlawful dumping, but the video is blurry and can't be used as evidence.
As Noah and Abbey try to hatch a better plan, they score an ally. Lice Peeking's girlfriend Shelly, a brassy blonde with a heart of gold, agrees to help take Dusty down. So Shelly takes a bartender job on the Coral Queen, to scope out the boat's layout.....
…..and the three conspirators come up with a genius plan to expose Dusty's wrongdoing. (I can't describe the plan because of spoilers, but it's a good one!)😊
While all this going on, Noah is repeatedly harassed by Dusty's son Jasper Jr. and his cohort Bull - who knock Noah off his bike, hit him, spit on him, and so on.
Noah and Abbey are also in the sights of Dusty's strongman Luno, who might even stoop to killing children. Luckily, a swashbuckling stranger appears out of nowhere to help the siblings. Who is that masked man? (Just joking.....he doesn't wear a mask.)😎
In the end, the accomplices carry out their scheme, which is more dangerous than they anticipated.
The story is clever and fun, but also makes a serious point about preserving the ecosystem. I think many readers of all ages would enjoy this book.
You might come to ‘Flush’ with two preconceptions.
Carl Hiaasen writes adult thrillers with a satirical tenor, often featuring characters from the trailer trash end of the social spectrum. So it’s likely that his children’s books will retain a bit of that edge.
Those adult thrillers, and Hiaasen’s books for younger readers, focus on environmentalism, so it’s likely that ‘Flush’ centers on that kind of issue.
Your preconceptions would be proven true.
The tone of ‘Flush’ is sardonic. It features a bartender who saves the day named Shelly, who has a ‘barbed-wire tattoo around one of her biceps,’ wears ‘stockings that look like they were made from a mullet net,’ and actually lives in a trailer park. Not your run-of-the-mill children’s book character.
It’s all about a kid’s battle to help his father stop a casino boat owner from dumping raw sewage in Florida’s coastal waters. Sometimes the message is close to heavy-handed. The bad guys have zero complexity, no redeeming social value.
There is more going on in ‘Flush,’ however. Wthout making a big deal of it, Hiaasen makes his personable 14-year-old protagonist an accomplished naturalist. Noah knows the names of plants and animals that live where he does—in the Florida Keys. And I mean he really knows them, not just as names he can rattle off. Noah really looks at where he is when he’s outdoors, and notices what he sees.
In our culture, where kids often suffer from what Richard Louv in his ‘Last Child in the Woods’ called ‘nature-deficit disorder,’ Noah makes a nice role model.
Although Noah is not afraid of risks, he’s an eminently practical kind of guy, unlike his dad, who is a hothead. Noah gets that practicality from his mother. She married because she loved her impulsive husband, but he goes a little far in his fight to keep the ocean clean. ‘Flush’ has a lovely subplot—Noah and his stubbornly righteous little sister, Abbey, working together to save their parents’ marriage.
That subplot and Noah’s eye for nature combine with colorful characters and a good dose of action and suspense to endear readers of ‘Flush.’ I haven’t met a middle schooler who’s read it who wasn’t enthusiastic about the experience. Now I am, too. It’s a sweet little chapter book.
Flush is a very good book it shows what people could risk for animals and nature. The boy in this book has a Dad that has been in jail many times when he was trying to protect wildlife. Wach him take a step while his dad is in jail and to prove that his dad is right.
FLUSH: An Example of What Every Book Should Include
I can't help myself. Whenever I read a book I'm always analyzing how the author pulls it off. How does he or she weave together the different elements needed to produce an engaging book for young readers?
My recent read, FLUSH by Carl Hiaasen, is a great example of this type of book. It has:
A great beginning that hooks the reader
The deputy told me to empty my pockets: two quarters, a penny, a stick of bubble gum, and a roll of grip tape for my skateboard. It was pitiful. "Go on inside. He's waiting for you," the deputy said. My dad was sitting alone at a bare metal table. He looked pretty good, all things considered. He wasn't even handcuffed. "Happy Father's Day," I said. (I dare you not to want to read more after that!)
Paine Underwood- who is jailed for trying to prevent a floating casino from dumping raw sewage into the Florida Keys. Noah Underwood- his son who supports his dad's crusade--even when his father gives up on it himself. (his name really fits him!) Abbey Underwood- Noah's tough younger sister who has a very mean bite. Donna Underwood- who is tired of her husband Paine's crusades. She vacillates between understanding him and thinking he is a selfish jerk who she should divorce.
Antagonists that readers love to hate
Dusty Muleman- the greedy, scrupulous casino operator (his name fits him too). Jasper Jr. Muleman- Dusty's bully son and Noah's #1 enemy.
Interesting Minor Characters
Shelley- a bartender with an attitude, guts, and her own axe to grind against Dusty. Grandpa Bobby- a mistaken pirate with a wild past.
You name it, this book has it. Man vs. nature; man vs. man; man vs. self; man vs. a machine. It's all here.
A great ending where the main character solves the problem For that you'll have to read the book.
Happy Reading...and oh yes, don't forget to FLUSH!
A tenacious book which addresses to one of the global issues nowadays - pollution. The rate of pollution in every country is so alarming and despite of the support of the goverment to alleviate or rather eradicate the pollution cases, still there are individuals who would not participate. This book is best fit in educating children upon the effects of pollution. Such an effective way in conveying moral lessons to the young readers.
If your father was put in jail because he tried to save the environment, how would you react? What if it was hard to prove that it was done for the appropriate reason? What if you were the only person in your family that believed him? A hard situation.
Carl Hiaasen gives us a story about a boy trying to prove his fathers right doing. Instead of going fishing or spending quality time, Noah Underwood spends Father’s Day with his father Paine in the county jail. Paine is put in jail for sinking the gambling boat, the Coral Queen, because Dusty Muleman has been ordering his crew to dispose of the waste into the Florida waters. Ever since the Coral Queen opened, the beaches were constantly closed for the contamination. Paine tried to alert the Coast Guard about the pollution coming from the Coral Queen, but every time they checked out the gambling boat, Muleman knew so he disposed of the waste where it is supposed to go. Paine relies on Noah to help him prove that Muleman was dumping the sewage into the water, but he is stumped. He finds a way to prove the contamination through a legal way with the help of Shelly who works on the gambling boat.
Operation Royal Flush. After witnessing the dumping of the waste, Noah comes up with a plan. With the help of his sister, they get as much color dye their money can buy them. Thirty-four one ounce bottles of fushia dye for fifty-seven dollars and sixteen cents. It began. That night, him and his sister will borrow Rado’s family boat as an escape vehicle. With the help of Shelly, Noah will board the gambling boat, hide in the bathroom, and empty all the dye into the toilet. After someone needs to go to the bathroom really bad, Noah runs out. He notices that the security guards are following him so yells “geronimo,” which is the sign for his sister Abbey to come get him out of the water. Well, after yelling “geronimo” and hitting the hard surface, his sister is having trouble with the boat, so Noah has to swim. He eventually hits a sea cow, but then hears the boat. Abbey saved him! They sleep on the boat over night. In the morning, they look at the horizon and see a boat. It is their father and a guy who has been following them around, their grandfather. Noah calls the Coast Guard to report the spilling of the sewage, but under his father’s name. He is a hero.
Hiassen displays that environment is important. Noah interest in saving the water, and his fathers reputation, shows that anything can happen in a legal way if they use their heads, not like the way his father tried. Noah is a smart, passionate, caring seventh grader who deals with situations with his head, not with his actions. He cares for his family especially his dad. People in the world don’t realize how important nature and the environment is to one another. If one realized that by working together, one can make a difference, then many would be happier and acknowledge nature.
This book is not like any other book. Carl Hiaasen is a great author who tends to write about nature and environment directed to the younger ages. Flush is a book that everyone will enjoy whether or not you love nature. So if you are stumped about what book you want to read next, pick up a copy of Flush, and begin reading. You will not be let down.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Flush is a page-turner middle grade novel. It's an adventure on saving the environment, facing family struggles, and overcoming your bullies. It's an enjoyable read for an adult like me. But, I agree, with some of the reviews I've read that sometimes the book is too crass for children.
After reading Hoot, I couldn't resist reading all of Carl Hiassen's young adult fiction for myself. I blew through this book in two nights. Absolutely fantastic! Another tale of environmental activism by young people and how it changes the world around them. I want to read this to my son before he loses that "I can do ANYTHING!" feeling that only the young and unscarred possess.
The book starts with Noah visiting his father in jail. He's there because he sank a casino boat after finding out that, instead of properly disposing of the boat's wastewater, the owner was dumping the untreated sewage into the ocean, destroying the nesting areas on endangered turtles and befouling the beaches for weeks on end. The main character, Noah, and his sister, Abbey, believe in their father and, when it becomes clear that his crusade is endangering his marriage to their mother, the kids set off on a crusade of their own: to find proof that their father is right about the illegal dumping. Throw in some corrupt local officials, and a few other complications, and you get a story that it taut with intrigue all the way through. The kids find an ally in an unlikely place, and with her help, come up with an ingenious way to prove without a doubt that the boat is the source of the sewage.
I have yet to read Scat which is the latest of Hiassen's books for kids, but his storytelling is so brilliant and engaging that I headed to Barnes and Noble yesterday to pick up some of his fiction for grownups.
No offense to you guys in Florida, but y'all weird. I have a theory that the weirdness is caused by not participating in winter and residents having an excess amount of vitamin D. Cohabitating with dinosaurs in the form of alligators, various snakes and lizards, and manatees might also play a factor. Carl Hiaasen does a great job of capturing that weird essence.
Flush is a fun story about sinking a casino boat because human waste was being dumped into protected water. If you have ever worked on a casino boat or know someone who has, there's a damn good chance that they have thought to destroy the boat as well. There is a local one that I would love to sink because the company is criminal. They rake in tons of money everyday, pay employees peanuts, eliminated all full time positions except paper pushers, and contribute nothing to the local economy. This company grew so large that they needed to split into smaller companies to avoid problems with the IRS. Flush is typical Carl Hiassen for young readers; silly characters, a mystery, and an important lesson to not be dickheads to the environment.
I recently finished, "Flush" by: Carl Hiaasen. It starts out kind of slow, but the more you read, the more you want to know! "Flush" is about a curious, determined boy, Noah Underwood, his tough, persistent sister Abbey, and their peculiar father who will stand up for anything that he thinks is right. Noah's dad gets put in jail for sinking skinflint Dusty Muleman's casino boat, The Coral Queen. Noah's dad didn't do this for no good reason at all, the truthful reason is that he thinks Dusty is flushing the sewage out into the ocean where children swim and where the sea life lives. It's a little disturbing, but true! The Coast Guard and the police don't believe it so they stick Mr. Underwood behind bars. The weird thing is, Noah's dad isn't sorry for what he did! When Noah's mom attempts to bail him out he refuses! Now Noah and Abbey must figure out how to bust Dusty, by themselves! I really enjoyed this book because of the small bit of humor, exciting mystery, and of course, the adventure. The characters and setting are well described, they seem to be popping right out of the pages (especially the sewage in the water, I kind of wish Hiaasen didn't describe it that well)! The plot is also wonderfully written, the story is almost always staying on track and not wandering off. I can partly connect to Noah, when he attempts to help is father get out of jail, his mom says, "No Noah, this is grown up stuff." That has happened to me countless times, when do I get to do "the grown up stuff"? I really loved this book and I hope you will too!
The Carl Hiaasen juvenile books are dream reads. Dream reads are those special books where you open the pages and fall into a story so convincingly real it's like you're standing next to the characters, smelling what they smell, seeing what they see, and feeling what they feel. Thank you, Mr. Hiaasen, for taking me to Florida and showing me a place I haven't been to since I was a boy.
Noah Underwood's father has ended up in jail for sinking a casino boat that he swears is dumping raw sewage into the harbor. But Paine Underwood failed to obtain proof beforehand and before they know it the boat is repaired and back in working condition. Knowing their father is telling the truth, Noah and his little sister, Abby, attempt to catch Dusty Muleman and his goons in the act but end up learning that the truth rarely comes easily and acquiring it may take many risks and one ingenious plan.
This is my second Hiaasen novel and I'm really starting to like him as an author. His settings are all in my little unique corner of the world so I felt really nostalgic reading this. Likewise, it was written in 'my' time; when kids rode bicycles or walked all over town and found tons to do outside with their friends and siblings rather than sit inside alone. I will admit this is a little outdated for that reason. Kids these days would wonder why Noah and Abby didn't just use technology to bust the crooks. We have handy-dandy smartphones these days.
I enjoy that Hiaasen's books always seem to center around conservation and environmental issues, which makes so much sense to me as a fellow Floridian and is still pretty relevant today. These were the books I needed as a teen growing up here. They're written for middle-grade readers so they're the perfect kind of book to teach budding young adults about the world around them and some of the more 'adult' workings within it.
I already have 'Hoot' and 'Nature Girl' on my tbr pile and plan to read them soon so look forward to more reviews!
I needed a piece of light fluff to read after the last novel I tackled, which erred somewhat on the worthwhile'n'earnest side. In Flush I found exactly what I sought . . . with the added bonus of a worthwhile'n'earnest subtext to assuage my conscience.
On the Florida Keys, teenager Noah Underwood's dad has the bad/good habit of going ballistic when crass, greedy people destroy the environment. His latest escapade, scuttling a casino ship whose owner has, to save money, been pumping the craft's raw sewage straight into the water, has landed him in jail; even on release, he's hogbound by restrictions designed to stymie any efforts he might make to bring the criminal to justice. So it's up to Noah and his kid sister Abbey -- aided by some unlikely allies -- to take up the slack . . .
Quite a few years ago I read this novel's precursor, Hoot, and enjoyed it more than somewhat (although I see that for some forgotten reason I failed to make notes on it here); soon after, I picked up Flush, which has been lurking on my shelves ever since, waiting for its Right Moment. Well, the Right Moment arrived, and very welcome it was. As you'd expect from Hiaasen, the tale's a tremendous page-turner while often being laugh-out-loud funny.
Recommended to all except those who, on reading about the destruction of the environment by raw sewage, object not to the destruction but to the mention of the sewage.
If this is his first into the kids genre then I understand it's flaws, I do not forgive them but I understand. If this is not his first kids book then he totally messed up on this one. His crassness is unnecessary, and his approach to things like murder and alcoholism was ham handed. His other two that I've read were better and if you are a kid and you have a super love for Hiaasen then I guess go ahead and read this, but don't make this your first.
A boy and his sister are trying to prove that a casino boat is dumping sewage into the bay. Their father is in jail because he sank the boat to stop them but they are up and running fast. Like all Hiaasen kids books, the boy is being beat up and has to stand up to his bully. This beer drinking tattooed woman helps them even though she thinks her boyfriend who is an alcoholic was murdered, she has a grudge against men and kinda says weird things to the boy about it.
This whole book had me squinting my eyes like why are you doing this?
For boys and girls who are third and fourth grade and want a realistic mystery set in Florida and is about poo.
Ahoy there me mateys! A while back I was introduced to this author because of a cat on the cover of scat. I enjoyed that book so much that I decided to listen to all of Hiaasen’s other juvenile books. This be a review of the other four books: hoot, flush, chomp, squirm. These books have some common themes. All of them involve a young boy who lives in Florida, gets bullied, loves animals, has a quirky sense of humor, makes new friends, and saves the day. Weird names also seem to be a trend. While the bad guys are very two-dimensional, the good guys are quirky and fun. Also there tends to be loving, if odd, parents involved which is nice.
hoot: This was apparently a best novel nominee for the Newbery medal. I also think at some point I watched some of the movie with me nephews. In this one, Roy Eberhardt moves to Florida. He is chosen to be the school bully, Dana Matherson’s, new punching bag. It is while being smashed into the school bus window that Roy first sees “the running boy” who is running away from the school bus and appears to be wearing no shoes. Roy is pulled into a mystery to find out who the boy is and what he is doing. The running boy is called “Mullet Fingers” and is on a quest to fight a pancake house and save the owls. I loved Roy and the girl Beatrice. I loved the pancake house actress.
flush: In this one a boy named Noah is determined to help his dad stop the local casino boat from dumping sewage into the water. His sister Abbey joins in. Me favourite character was Shelley. There are side plots about the kids trying to save their parents marriage. Also this is one of those books where the dad actually acknowledges faults and takes steps to improve. I particularly loved the family dynamics in this one.
chomp: This was me other favourite. This book follows a boy named Wahoo (worst name ever) as he works with his dad as an animal wrangler for a wildlife reality tv show. His friend Tuna (second worse name ever) joins him on location. This was a tongue-in-cheek look at reality television and made me laugh. The reality star, Derek Badger, is something else. It is over-the-top and ridiculous and I loved it.
squirm: This book was slightly different in that part of it takes place in Montana and there is an absent dad who certainly doesn’t win any awards for best parent. In this book, Billy is determined to meet his father and gets answers to his questions. Like in hoot, snakes are a major theme. For me this plot was the strangest. There is supposed to be a mystery in terms of what the exactly Billy’s father does for a living. The answer was not that interesting to me and the dad seemed to be an idiot in general. I did like Billy though.
I was very glad to read these books. They are rather lighthearted and silly but I can see the appeal for younger readers. They certainly appealed to this older one too. Me personal preference of reading order be scat, chomp, flush, hoot, then squirm. Scat and chomp in particular had some laugh out loud moments. I highly recommend. Arrr!
While “Flush” nearly has the same premise as “Hoot” but instead centering on illegal dumping in public waters and a jailbird dad, it’s still a wildly exciting read for anyone who likes a “good guys vs bad buys” story. A (100%/Outstanding)
This book really gives insight to readers on what is wrong with the real world. The characters show emotion and really tie everything together with each character having a certain role. There are character you will love and characters you will loathe. You love to hate Dusty and his son. You feel bad for the father and realize that he is perfectly sane.
Noah's dad tries to get back at Dusty, for putting the holding tank in the ocean, by sinking his casino ship, Coral Queen. He has to go to jail on fathers’ day. Noah and Abbey try to prove that there dad is right by making up this crazy plan that includes sneaking into the Coral Queen. Read the book to find out what happens next. The main characters in the book are Dad and Noah. Dad, Paine, he has some anger issues. When he gets something on his mind he will do whatever it takes to get them to stop. He has been in jail multiple times for this. Noah is a teenage boy who is a lot like his dad. He tries to prove that his dad is right. When he knows that he is right he goes through a plan to tell the coast guard it is true. The conflict of the story is when Dusty puts the septic tank in the ocean and nobody believes that he did. Then all kinds of problems start from there. The resolution of the story is when Noah and Abbey prove that he did put it in there. The main idea of the story is how Noah tries to prove his dad is right and never gives up. Some of the details include how he always believed his dad and how he made two plans to prove him right. My opinion of the book is that it is really good. I liked the detail in it. I would recommend this book to someone.
I think the book Flush is a good book, because it teaches you not to dump waste in the ocean. It teaches you that human waste can cause our beaches to be unclean, the water to be polluted, the underwater life to die, and many other problems. This book teaches you to stick up for what is right. No matter what the situation is, always do what you think is right, and don’t let anyone else get in your way. One thing that bothered me about this book is that it kind of got boring during some parts of the book. I felt like there need to be less detail, because sometimes the author described a scene in way too much detail to where it got boring. During most of the book though I was very entertained, and I also thought the characters were well developed throughout the whole book. I recommend this book to people who like reading a mystery, or environmental book. This book really does teach you a valuable lesson. Carl Hiaasen writes this book very well, and it really grabs the reader’s attention when you start reading it! I really enjoyed reading this book, and it really did get me aware of the environmental changes and events that could be happening in this world!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I really appreciate how Hiaasen builds a fun, readable story filled with action and mystery around important environmental issues. I also really love the characters he writes to populate the story. He breathes such life into them. My one quibble is that the bad guys are almost always cartoonishly bad, and Dusty Muleman is no exception (neither is his bully, oafish son).
Flush is a book by Carl Hiaasen. It is about two children, Abbey and Noah, whose father was put in jail because he sunk a casino boat that was dumping human waste into the water at Thunder Beach. The reason that he sunk the boat was because he was worried about the children swimming at the beach and also the sea creatures safety. Their father his a person who cares about what is right and is always honest. He just sometimes thinks before he acts.
With the the children's father being in jail, they have no choice but to try and figure out a way to get him out of there. Noah decides, after a jail visit with his father, to go visit a drunk man named Lice Peeking. Lice used to work on the Coral Queen (casino boat), and could be a reliable witness to prove that his father's accusations were correct. But, some trouble comes along the way, with many high tides and low tides. I'll let you do the reading to find out the rest. :)
This is an incredible book that leaves you on the edge of your seat. Hiaasen includes intricate details and descriptions. Not only does this book include jail time and crime, it also shows a sense of family and doing what is needed to help one another out. This book was probably one of my favorite books I have ever read! I absolutely love this book! I recommend this book 100%!