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CHOMPBy Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he’s grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, and snappers in his backyard. The critters, he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one.

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 Derek Badger, the show’s inept and egotistical star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger foolishly believes his own PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo’s acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who’s sporting a shiner courtesy of her father 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 head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna’s dad shows up with a gun . . .

It’s anyone’s guess who will actually survive Expedition Survival. . . .

Service Learning Ideas: Safe and Strong Communities  Again, Carl Hiassen offers his quirky blend of laugh-out-loud storytelling, this time in the world of “reality” television, with a deep-rooted social issue, child abuse. His success can be found on every page. For service learning, this book can help us become more media literate and less likely to believe all that’s put on a screen (and use what we know to teach others), and also to become more sensitized about the issues surrounding abusive relationships and what we can do to ensure we are all safe and protected, especially our children.

Fiction Grades 6-9, 304 pages

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