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Flush - A Book By Carl Hiaasen For Young Readers

November 20, 2007 By SoBeKristi in  | 58 Comments

ABOVE: New York Times Best Seller, FLUSH by Carl Hiaasen; 272 pages.

Flush is everything a long-time Carl Hiaasen reader would expect, perfectly toned-down for a younger audience. It has all the mystery, suspense, and subterfuge of Hiaasen’s other novels, with a little more of what teens might like.

The protagonist, Noah Underwood, is a young teenager living with his family in the Florida Keys. Although the novel focuses on that area, there are many references to Miami throughout, like when Noah’s parents meet at the Dade county courthouse and marry 6 weeks later. Noah’s father, Paine Underwood, is an adamant environmentalist with impulse-control problems. When he suspects a casino boat is pouring sewage directly into the pristine local waters, Paine sneaks in and sinks the vessel. He is taken to jail, leaving Noah, and his sister Abbey, to try and prove that the casino boat owner is the one polluting beaches and killing wildlife.

As usual, there are some shady characters, like Lice Peeking, so named because of his aversion to showers. He turns out to be a pretty good guy, helping the kids get on the boat and get information with the help of his bartender girlfriend Shelly.

There is also the casino boat muscle, a scar-faced man named Luno, who attempts repeatedly to kidnap Noah and Abbey, and a bully, Jasper Jr. Jasper’s dad owns The Coral Queen casino boat and he has a personal grudge against Noah after it sinks. He ambushes and beats on Noah every chance he gets. Although he has personal reasons for beating on Noah, Jasper Jr. represents what many teens face, and readers will be able to identify with Noah’s situation and his reactions.

Hiassen frequently showcases South Florida wildlife, as in scenes where Noah saves a scum-covered sea turtle, or bumps straight into a manatee. He fishes constantly throughout the book and the reader hears about snapper, tarpon, needlefish, blue crab, and many others which, of course, he usually throws back.

Young readers will quickly come to like Noah and his spunky sister Abbey. The two deal with bullying, school, and the possibility of their parents’ divorce, all while solving an important mystery. This is a clever, well-written young adult novel that will encourage a new generation of Florida environmentalists.

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Kristi is a lifelong Floridian new to Miami Beach. She graduated from the University of Florida where she studied Photojournalism and English. She is now a middle school teacher who enjoys exploring Miami, photographing the sights, and reading in her spare time.

See more articles by SoBeKristi.

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58 Comments on

"Flush - A Book By Carl Hiaasen For Young Readers"

Michelle says:

Great review, Kristi. I didn’t know Carl Hiaasen wrote kids books.

One question: Did you find it at all a contridication that the kids father sinks the boat? That doesn’t sound so environmently friendly.

Posted on 11/20/2007 at 12:39 PM

SoBeKristi says:

They talk about his contradictions throughout the book. The father never thinks his actions through. He was so angry about the boat that he did the first thing that popped into his head.

Posted on 11/23/2007 at 1:52 PM

Polly says:

It sounds like it teaches some good lessons while it entertains. smile thanks for the interesting review, K!

Posted on 11/27/2007 at 8:33 AM

john doe says:

i am doing a book report on this book and what intersting topics should i explain?

Posted on 03/09/2008 at 10:51 PM

KAZA says:

i thought flush was a fabulous book with a great plot. also a round of applause to Hiaasen who does it again and has won a gold medal from me for such excellent work!

Posted on 03/10/2008 at 1:34 PM

SoBeKristi says:

I would focus on environmentalism or maybe bullying. They talk alot about fishing and South Florida wildlife, too.

Posted on 03/10/2008 at 7:21 PM

Amanda says:

yes i am doing a book report on this book and i need to know what genre this book is

Posted on 04/28/2008 at 3:28 PM

SoBeKristi says:

I would call it an environmental mystery. You could also put it in a suspense or comedy category. A review I read called in “genre-spanning.”

Posted on 04/28/2008 at 4:32 PM

Doug says:

Very well-written and informative, Kristi! I’ve yet to read Hiassen, but after your interesting review, I’m more motivated to check him out!

Posted on 04/30/2008 at 8:05 PM

SoBeKristi says:


Posted on 04/30/2008 at 9:13 PM

Jon says:

I read this book and I absolutely loved it!  Hiaasen wrote this very well and I hope he will write other interesting books like these for kids.

Posted on 05/18/2008 at 3:28 PM

mazzers says:

i didn’t read the book but i read this discription of it and i should have read it!!!!! great book! you’ve done it again carl hiaasen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on 06/01/2008 at 10:50 AM

Ddog says:

a loved the book because it has a lot of action

Posted on 07/22/2008 at 3:04 PM

zipzaphottie says:

I thought the book was good except for the bad word when 2nd graders can read and learn the bad words!!!

Posted on 07/24/2008 at 8:38 AM

Jo Do says:

Im doing a report on this book and i need to know genre. theese r the genres it is alloud 2 be under: Biography, Auto biography, memoir historicle fiction, science fiction,mystery,fantasy, imformational, realistic fiction, and adventure.

Posted on 07/28/2008 at 7:06 PM

SoBeKristi says:

I would put it in the Realistic Fiction category. Good luck!

Posted on 07/29/2008 at 1:33 PM

queen of drawing says:

it was a great book. it was funny and mysterios. i loved it. i usually don’t read books but i actually like this one. Hope you love it!!!!! Good luck!!!! oh ya, after reading it tell me how it was, ok. Bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on 09/03/2008 at 8:59 PM

amy deleon says:

This was a good book. I like it a lot it was fun book too….....



and this is my 4time readin the book…..

Posted on 09/29/2008 at 4:05 PM

me:] rach says:

I thought flush was an interesting book with a lot of details.  I also did a book report on the book and i got a 100%!! Thank you Carl Hiaasen for writing a great book!!

Posted on 10/21/2008 at 5:46 PM

skittlez says:

I am reading this book right now. It is SO good so far. I hope I end up liking it all the way through. But I liked his other book called Hoot, so I guess I will end up liking this one too.

Posted on 11/15/2008 at 8:25 PM

animal lover says:

I read this book too and i loved it i have always been a nature lover so i thought this was great i am glad people are becomeing more interested in nature especially people who can sread the word.

Posted on 11/20/2008 at 6:21 PM

nwonknu says:

hey im doing a book report for my teacher Ms. bauducco ( dony ask pronounciation) but she sadi to write 2 pages not thats alot of work. Gotta go and finish em before thanksgiving break is over

Posted on 11/28/2008 at 5:37 PM

nwonknu says:

oh and im almost done with the book im on pg # 215. Nice book btw

Posted on 11/28/2008 at 5:39 PM

Allison says:

I fell in love with this book. I also hate reading. And I am also doing a book report, and I left my book at home. How do you spell Dusty Muleman’s last name. Is Muleman correct? Please hurry and try to answer me! Thanks! Wonderful rewiew by the way. :D

Posted on 12/13/2008 at 3:49 PM

SoBeKristi says:

Hi! It’s Muleman, just like you thought. Good luck with your report!

Posted on 12/13/2008 at 8:05 PM

chelsea says:

i am doing a book report on this book “flush”. my project says to print out pictures on what this book is about. i simply loved this book. it was really exiting to read consitering i hate reading. but this changed that and i love Carl Hiaasen’s books, but i think flush was better than Hoot. but for my project, besides the coral queen, and jail pictures, what other pictures can i print out? my project is due in 2 days and i need help. please answer me?

Posted on 12/15/2008 at 10:51 AM

Gus says:

Hi chelsea,

I also didn’t like reading until I found Carl Hiaasen and another author named Anne Rice.

Creating a collage of pictures sounds like a fun way to do a book report.

What grade are you in?

Since “Flush” is also about Florida environmentalism, you could also use pictures of the Florida Keys, wildlife, fish and manatees.

Posted on 12/15/2008 at 11:51 AM


In these Facts Flush has some very sensitive ways.I love how you described the facts so clearly Kristi I got to owe you. So Good job on the facts, and keep on the good work!

Posted on 12/29/2008 at 9:15 AM

Carl Hiaasen says:

This book stinks…

Posted on 01/09/2009 at 8:52 PM

Hi says:

How old are the kids?

Posted on 01/28/2009 at 5:42 PM

SoBeKristi says:

They are around 10 and 13, I don’t remember exactly!

Posted on 02/01/2009 at 8:46 PM

err says:

13 and 16years old!

Posted on 02/03/2009 at 8:51 PM

courtney says:

I really enjoyed reading this book.In these books you have writen,you have given such good details.I enjoyed this book so much,Im doing a book report on it.I would like to read the book “Hoot” when I get the chance.

Posted on 02/16/2009 at 3:08 PM

sarah says:

this book is really confusing and i have to take a quiz on it tomorrow and i read the summary it helps a little. Anyways i read two of carl’s books,flush and hoot. wow you should read Hoot it’s awsome.

Posted on 02/17/2009 at 5:54 PM

jh says:

yeah didn’t help me @ all!

Posted on 02/23/2009 at 6:49 PM

abc says:

where id noah head off to on his bike?
who was home?

Posted on 03/03/2009 at 5:47 PM

Why do you want to know stalker!! says:

You have to love this book I know I do I would recommend this book to any type of reader it is kid friendly and adult friendly in my opinion!! : 0

Posted on 03/09/2009 at 12:38 PM

treekiller says:

good book but to suportive of the enviornmentalists

Posted on 03/15/2009 at 8:26 PM

pizzazzzz says:

horriable book i would never waste my time reading this scum

Posted on 03/18/2009 at 1:41 PM

kade says:

wow I feel bad 4 noah and abbey!But the book seems so interesting!Like wats going to happen 2 noah and abbey!

Posted on 03/22/2009 at 11:15 AM

anonymous says:

great book!

Posted on 04/05/2009 at 8:03 PM

Carl Hiaasen#1 fan says:

this book is outstanding i just finished readin git and im in 5th grade an di hav eto do 3paragraph letters every 2 days of what we read and i used this book for alot of them you did a awesome job writting this book your my new favorite auther you write the best books and i absulutly hate reading but you inspired me now i want to write books like you even know i hate writting to i just like typeing lol well you write the best books

Posted on 04/06/2009 at 5:37 PM

aLexis says:

This book is very good to read for book reports if you are a kid i recommed this book 100%

Posted on 04/07/2009 at 6:57 PM

Carl Hiaasen#1 fan says:

i agree with the 100% recomended for using this book for book reports i did it was soooooooooooo easy everyone should do it even if its just for extra credit

Posted on 04/10/2009 at 7:04 AM

nieves says:

i’m a kid telling other kids this book is 100% awsome!! i as a kid recomend it. this novel kept me on the edge of my chair wondering what was going to happen next!!:)

Posted on 04/10/2009 at 12:17 PM

Courtney Tate says:

I had to read this book over the summer for school. Last year we had to read “Hoot” by Mr. Carl. I loved “Hoot” so I knew I would at least like “Flush” and I did. We had to write a review for it to prove that we read it in the summer. The neat part was that we had to take 10 scenes from the book and give a reaction or connection to ourselves. There were so many parts of it that I could see myself. I loved the environmental part about “Flush”. We live very close to the Chesapeake Bay.  We have learned that our river “The Nanticoke” is connected to the bay. If we pollute here then eventually the bay will be polluted. So one think connects to another. When we go boating, my Dad always tells us about pollution and how it affects the water quality and the fish. Even something as simple as a plastic soda holder.

Posted on 08/29/2009 at 4:32 PM

the thing says:


Posted on 09/30/2009 at 8:32 PM

roza says:

i like the part when his grandpa leavves

Posted on 10/20/2009 at 3:27 AM

parker says:

im doin a book report for this book 2 its fun OMG its the best book ever

Posted on 10/27/2009 at 4:33 PM

alex says:

this book is great and i think i might read it to my little sister.also for all of you young adluts have fun with this book

Posted on 01/25/2010 at 4:40 PM

ccna voice says:

i agree with the 100% recommended for using this book for book reports and all the stuff described in it i have read it and recommend to other people too, its really awesome

Posted on 02/17/2010 at 2:35 AM

Zoro says:

This book was awesome!

Posted on 02/18/2010 at 4:53 PM

Mr. Sauerkraut says:

Izzit good? I’m reading hoot and I <3 it!!

Posted on 03/06/2010 at 11:31 PM

lopo says:

i looooooooooooooooooove this book what a great job carl:) i think i’ve a greart way of giving kids plesure”“”“”“______________!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 you rok

Posted on 08/25/2010 at 9:07 PM

jenickalove24 says:

i love this book it is so awesome i read this book more then 1 time like others cause it is so great.

Posted on 01/06/2013 at 7:52 PM

Paul the boss says:

Mr. Carl, you did a great job with the book flush. It was even better than your previous book, Hoot, which was great also. But, you really showed some good examples of things that happen in life from the book Flush. And pizzazzz, you spelled horrible wrong.

Posted on 02/07/2013 at 8:16 PM

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