Wahoo lives in south Florida and works for his father, a wildlife handler, helping to take care of animals that have found a haven on their property. But times are tight; Wahoo’s mother must take a job in China to earn enough money to keep the family solvent while the father recovers from an injury caused by an iguana falling out of a tree and giving him a concussion. Rashly, Wahoo agrees to a job working for an inept TV survivalist who is more of a buffoon than an adventurer, helping him to film his latest show in Florida’s Everglades. But even the lure of high pay may not be enough to Wahoo and his father on the job.
Just to complicate matters they attract a classmate of Wahoo’s who is escaping her abusive, alcoholic father. Ultimately, things come to a head in a mid swamp confrontation between the abusive father, an hallucinogenic TV host, a wounded air boat driver, Wahoo & the girl.
This story is fast paced, very funny, and creates the most amazing mental images. It makes a great summer read; this is pure escapist literature that is pure fun. I can easily see this being made into a movie that people would enjoy. I especially think this would be a good audiobook to hear read in the car on a long trip.
Age Range: 11 years on up. This is good for the entire family.
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen. Knopf Books for young readers, 2012. 304pp.