Thursday, November 3, 2011

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!)

Memorable characters
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.

And I'm going to help you do that by giving away a copy of this book!

Here are the rules to enter:

1. You have to be between 11-15 to win.
2. You have to follow this blog.
3. You have to leave a comment with your email address AND Facebook, Twitter, or email this post to one friend (or have a significant adult in your life post it on Facebook or Twitter. That works too.)

If you're already a follower--get going! If you're not a follower, sign up now! Contest is up November 7th.

If you don't fall into that age category you can:

1. Tell your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or student(s) to enter.
2. Hop over to Joyce Hostetter's and my latest issue of Talking Story where we have 3 other giveaways going on right now. No age restrictions apply! 

Happy Reading...and oh yes, don't forget to FLUSH!


Mrs. Duff said...

I would love to read this book! I will share on Twitter using my mom's @teacher6th account. Thanks for the opportunity and the fun review!
BTW: I am 11- my mom is not

Mrs. Duff said...

Forgot to share

Carol Baldwin said...

COngrats-- you are my first entry in this contest! Thanks for following my blog and I'm glad you liked the review!

Anonymous said...

HI Carol! My kbug read this book and earlier this year (Or was it later last year?). Either way, she loved it. She's read several of Mr. H's books.

I'll share your contest with her. She'll be very interested in signing up! :) I might have to let her on the 'net just long enough to enter!


Carol Baldwin said...

I hope you let her enter--although I understand about a parent's restrictions, Donna! It would be a nice book for your family to have in your library. Carol

Deborah said...

Catching up on reading your blogs. Great review...I'm hooked. Would love to read the book. But don't enter me in the drawing, That way someone who is 11 might have better chances of winning.

Carol Baldwin said...

Deborah, Thanks for reading my blog and for your comment. Why don't you recommend it to a young person you know--then he or she could enter the contest! Carol

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