Wahoo Cray has grown up with a zoo in his backyard - alligators, snakes, rats, monkeys, parrots, but it's his dad who's the unpredictable critter. When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called 'Expedition Survival', Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself to keep his dad from killing the show's inept star Derek Badger, ...
Wahoo Cray has grown up with a zoo in his backyard - alligators, snakes, rats, monkeys, parrots, but it's his dad who's the unpredictable critter. When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called 'Expedition Survival', Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself to keep his dad from killing the show's inept star Derek Badger, who insists on using real wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna, a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out. They've only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties promptly get lost themselves. And Tuna's dad shows up with a gun...It's anyone's guess who will actually survive 'Expedition Survival!'
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I do love Carl Hiaasen, whether he is writing for adults or young people (not always children!), and this book is no disappointment. I thought about giving it to my neighbor's child, age 11, and decided I would need to run it by her mother first, because it is a wee bit over-the-top. But it is a fine piece of writing, and I recommend it unreservedly to anyone over the age of 12.
Publishers Weekly, 2012-05-28 An animal wrangler named Mickey Cray and his son, Wahoo, whose Florida home and yard house alligators, snakes, and other wildlife, reluctantly take on the job of supplying animals for a reality television show called Expedition Survival!-the host of which, Derek Badger, is actually a dimwitted fraud. Contrasting with amusing scenes of Badger's less-than-successful tangles with wildlife is a tense plot about Jared-the abusive father of Wahoo's friend Tuna-who comes to the Everglades with a gun looking for his daughter. But it all has a happy ending, thanks to some heroics from an unlikely source. Narrator James Van Der Beek strikes exactly the right note in his narration: a dry, ironic delivery that lets both the humorous and tense moments play out effectively. He also creates distinctive character voices, particularly memorable are his renditions of Derek (who switches from a petulant American accent to a cheery, fake-Australian accent for the television camera) and the gravelly, menacing Jared. This is an entertaining audio romp with an enjoyable mix of comedy and action. Ages 10-up. A Knopf hardcover. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2012-01-09 Hiaasen extends his brand of Florida eco-adventures with this loopy foray into reality TV. Derek Badger, star of Expedition Survival!, arrives to film an Everglades episode, enlisting the services of animal wrangler Mickey Cray, a sort of Dr. Doolittle who specializes in snakes and keeps a 12-foot-long gator named Alice as a pet. Mickey holds his nose but takes the job, assisted by his son, Wahoo, a goodhearted teenager who's able to handle his father as well as his father handles pythons. Badger, naturally, is a complete fraud, who choppers off to a hotel each evening while mosquitoes dine on his crew. After filming starts, Badger gets lost in the swamp with only his (dim) wits to help him survive. There are no cute owls or endangered panthers to save-tension derives from wondering whether Badger will get himself killed before Mickey does it for him, and a subplot about Wahoo's friend Tuna, who's on the run from her abusive father. Not as tightly constructed as Hoot and tamer than Flush, but still pretty hilarious. Ages 10-up. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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