Reviews for Scat : Library Edition

AudioFile Web Reviews
Hearing Ed Asner's narration is a bit like hearing a great tall tale told by a favorite grandfather. His gruff tone and quirky interpretations of Hiaasen's usual over-the-top oddballs make for a ruckus. Sticking with the author's recurring theme of the environmental exploitation of Florida's remaining wilderness, the story starts off with the disappearance of a much-feared and despised biology teacher who is on a field trip to Black Vine Swamp. Together, three students become unlikely sleuths trying to unravel a mystery that has at its heart one of Florida's most endangered species. Hiaasen knows better than any writer since Edward Abbey how to mix serious content with laugh-out-loud humor, and Asner delivers it all with rib-tickling hilarity. D.G. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 May

Gr 5-8--Nick and Marta live in dread of Bunny Starch, the biology teacher. When Smoke, the class loner, gets on her bad side, Mrs. Starch makes him write "five hundred words on the history of the pimple." During a field trip to Black Vine Swamp, where illegal oil-drilling is taking place, the teachers disappears and all fingers point to Smoke. Although an unsigned note is found explaining that the teacher had a family emergency, Nick and Marta suspect foul play and work with Smoke to solve the mystery. Along the way they encounter crooked oilmen, an eccentric millionaire ecologist, and get a glimpse of an endangered panther and her cub. This eco-mystery (Knopf, 2009), set in Florida, is permeated with Carl Hiaasen's wonderfully quirky characters, and Ed Asner's raspy narration plays each of them to the hilt. He voices the crisp harshness of Mrs. Starch, the lazy drawl of the adults, and the voices of the youngsters with ease. His performance is marvelous and his perfect pacing plays up the story's humor while the ecological message is incorporated as a subtle part of the tale. A real gem.--Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK

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