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SKINK NO SURRENDER

Author: Carl Hiaasen

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2014

Material: hard cover

Summary: Malley has run away before, but this time is different. Her cousin Richard (14) can sense it. He's shocked when Clinton Tyree (aka 'Skink') - former Florida Governor turned one-man crime fighter - wants to help. This unlikely pair sets off to rescue Malley, and in the process launches a journey of self-discovery and friendship. Hiaasen's famous adult character takes on a new adventure with teens Malley and Richard. This is a High Interest / Low Readability option.

Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 10 and Up; read yourself: 11 and up

Interest Level: 12 and Up

Reading Level: 5.2

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: Quirky and poignant are the first words that come to mind. The story - told in Richard's voice - grabs you quickly and pulls you along. I was unfamiliar with the character "Skink" before I read No Surrender. I'm glad I met him. He's a great character, but I loved Richard, too, and would like to read about the next chapter in HIS life.

There is an unspoken irony in Malley running away with someone she just "met" and Richard going on this rescue mission with someone HE just met.

Pros: Even while being a bit unbelievable, the story is thrilling, touching, and laugh-out-loud funny. With references from the 1960s through the 2000s, preteens and adults can enjoy reading this together.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow.

If You Liked This Book, Try: HOW LAMAR'S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY   THE COASTWATCHER   PROJECT SWEET LIFE

Educational Themes: Although this is largely Richard's story, the plot - a girl who runs away with someone she met online - is a serious topic that warrants discussion. There are lots of pop references, particularly music from the 1960s and 1970s. You might listen to some of the music to get a sense of the times ... and let your kids play the current music references so you get a sense of theirs.

Skink No Surrender is an excellent selection for father-son book club.

Notes: The Reading Tub picked up an Advance Review Copy (ARC) of this book at Book Expo America. There are no expectations of review associated with this book.

Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, family, young adult series, middle grade, contemporary

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2014

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.




                 

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