Carl Hiaasen’s latest young adult publication– Chomp, which debutes today – has already received much praise, including a Kirkus starred review. Hiaasen is no stranger to the book world, having written many bestselling books including the Newberry Award winner Hoot. And now with Chomp, he’s done it yet again – an excellent and fun book! This is a great story for both the young-at-heart adult reader and kids ages 10 and up.
Wahoo and his father’s backyard is a zoo… literally. Monkeys, alligators, snakes, raccoons and other exotic animals all live in his backyard. Often times Wahoo’s father, Mickey, a professional animal wrangler, rents out his animals and expertise to TV shows and movies. Mickey is approached to have his animals featured in a popular reality TV show called Expedition Survival! starring the clumsy and narcissistic Derek Badger. Derek can’t seem to do anything right. He’s constantly getting into embarrassing tussles with the animals and getting hurt. After seeing what an asset Mickey is as an animal wrangler, Derek’s staff offers him a new job: follow Derek and his crew out into wild and get Derek out of any sticky situations. Mickey and Wahoo agree to the job, and on their way out into the wild they pick up a girl named Tuna, who needs a place to hide from her abusive father. After only a day out in the wild, everything falls apart. Derek goes missing and Tuna’s father finds them out in the wild. No spoilers here — Read the book to find out what happens next!
Wahoo is a smart kid who has a great heart and love for animals. Hiaasen does an excellent job of showing us truly who the characters are. While staying as funny and light-hearted as possible, Chomp has great themes for both children and even adults, including being kind to animals, loving your family no matter how crazy they are, and the fact that parental abuse of a child is not okay on any level.
If you’re looking for a good laugh and a fun read, grab a copy of Chomp.
And, check out Hiaasen’s other work like these titles.
— Kristen B.