FTC Disclosure: I received an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book from the Amazon Vine Program in exchange for an honest review.
Chomp by Carl Hiassen
Summary provided by Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12081467-chomp)
“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”. . . .”
Chomp is a quirky, mostly humorous read that will appeal to younger and older readers alike. The wild life adventure aspect of the story may have special appeal for guys. It is a well written, fast paced book – great for the summer reading list. Readers who enjoyed Hiassen’s Hoot and/or Flush will enjoy this book as well.
Though it is a humorous read it also includes a serious topic – child abuse. Tuna’s dad is an abusive gun toting, beer swilling unpredictable character. His behavior provides much of the action/conflict for the later part of the story.
Readers will laugh at Derek Badger’s ridiculous antics, admire Wahoo and Tuna as they somehow manage to remain calm amidst all the craziness, and cheer at the ending.
Recommended for 5th grade and up.