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“Hiaasen's newest book for young readers continues the themes of his previous novels, with another ecological mystery, and Scat is my favorite so far. The story centers around an evil teacher, a crazy classmate (who may or may not be an arsonist), and two best friends who are committed to saving the Florida Panther.”
— Laura Emden, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL
Bestselling author and columnist Carl Hiaasen returns with another hysterical mystery for kids set in Florida's Everglades.
Bunny Starch, the most feared biology teacher ever, is missing. She disappeared after a school field trip to Black Vine Swamp. And, to be honest, the kids in her class are relieved.
But when the principal tries to tell the students that Mrs. Starch has been called away on a "family emergency," Nick and Marta just don't buy it. No, they figure the class delinquent, Smoke, has something to do with her disappearance.
And he does But not in the way they think. There's a lot more going on in Black Vine Swamp than any one player in this twisted tale can see. And Nick and Marta will have to reckon with an eccentric eco-avenger, a stuffed rat named Chelsea, a wannabe Texas oilman, a singing substitute teacher, and a ticked-off Florida panther before they "really" begin to see the big picture.
That's life in the swamp, kids.
Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 2009:
“This well-written and smoothly plotted story, with fully realized characters, will certainly appeal to mystery lovers.”
Review, The New York Times Book Review, February 15, 2009:
"Not many authors are equally successful at writing books for adults and children, but Carl Hiaasen seems to have made an effortless transition ... The ingenious plotting makes SCAT more engrossing than either of its predecessors."