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Skink—No Surrender
Cover of Skink—No Surrender
Skink—No Surrender
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Richard's cousin is missing, and his best hope of finding her rests with the wily, one-eyed, ex-governor of Florida. Carl Hiaasen introduces his iconic character Skink to a younger audience in...
Richard's cousin is missing, and his best hope of finding her rests with the wily, one-eyed, ex-governor of Florida. Carl Hiaasen introduces his iconic character Skink to a younger audience in...
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Description-

  • Richard's cousin is missing, and his best hope of finding her rests with the wily, one-eyed, ex-governor of Florida. Carl Hiaasen introduces his iconic character Skink to a younger audience in this nail-biting adventure!
     
    A National Book Award Longlist Selection
     
    Classic Malley: her parents are about to ship her off to boarding school, so she takes off with some guy she met online... Poor Richard: he's less of a rebel than Malley, and a lot less trusting. He knows his cousin is in trouble before she does. Wild Skink: he's a ragged, one-eyed, ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, this unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.    

    In Carl Hiaasen's outrageous, hilarious, and wildly dangerous state of Florida, there are a million places an outlaw might stash a teenage girl. A...

Excerpts-

  • From the book ONE


    I walked down to the beach and waited for Malley, but she didn't show up.

    The moon was full and the ocean breeze felt warm. Two hours I sat there on the sand—no Malley. In the beginning it was just annoying, but after a while I began to worry that something was wrong.

    My cousin, in spite of her issues, is a punctual person.

    I kept calling her cell phone but it went straight to her voice mail, which was Malley chortling in a British accent: "I'm in the loo. Ring you back later!" I didn't leave a message, and I didn't text, either.

    In case somebody else had her phone.

    Somebody like her dad, who's my uncle. He takes away Malley's cell like twice a week as punishment for acting up, acting out, whatever. Still, even when she's in trouble at home, she always finds a way to sneak out to the beach.

    A few turtle people were scouting the shoreline, waggling their flashlights. I walked north, as Malley and I usu- ally did. We'd never seen a turtle actually laying her eggs, but we'd found several nests. The first thing you notice is the flipper tracks leading up from the water's edge. Loggerheads, hawksbills and green turtles leave trenches like a mini–dune buggy when they drag their heavy shells across the sand.



    After the mother turtle finishes depositing her eggs, she covers them with a loose, churned mound. Every time that Malley and I came across one, we'd call the state wildlife office and they would send an officer to mark it.

    First, wooden stakes are tapped into the sand to create a rectangular perimeter outside the mound; then hot-pink ribbons are strung from one stake to the next. You can go to jail for messing with a turtle nest, so the officers put up a warning sign. Still, every so often some random idiot gets caught stealing the eggs, which are sold as a romantic ingredient in certain places.

    Pathetic but true.


    The phone chirped, but it wasn't a text from Malley; it was my mom asking where the heck I was. I texted her that I was still down by the water, and that no savage criminals had tried to snatch me. Afterwards I tried Malley's number once more, but she didn't pick up.

    So I walked on alone until I came to a marked nest that I didn't remember seeing the last time Malley and I were there. The dig was new and soft. I picked a spot outside the warning ribbon and sat down holding my baseball bat, which Mom makes me carry for protection whenever I go to the beach after dark. It's an Easton aluminum model left over from when I played Little League. I feel dorky carrying it, but Mom won't let me out of the house if I don't. Too many creeps in the world, she says.

    The slanted moonlight made the waves look like curls of pink gold. I lay back, folded my arms behind my head and closed my eyes. The wind was easing, and I heard a train blow its horn to the west, on the mainland.

    That wasn't all. I heard the sound of breathing, too, and it wasn't my own.

    At first I thought: Turtle. The breaths were damp and shallow, like air being forced through a broken whistle.

    I sat up and looked around: No sign of tracks. Maybe it was an old bobcat, watching me from the dunes. Or a raccoon—they like to dig up loggerhead nests and chow down the eggs. I slapped the Easton in the palm of my left hand, which stung. The noise was sharp enough to scare off most critters, but it didn't frighten whatever was breathing nearby.

    Leaving seemed like a smart idea, but I got only fifty yards before I turned and went back. Whatever I'd heard couldn't be very large because otherwise I would have...

About the Author-

  • CARL HIAASEN was born and raised in Florida. He writes a column for the Miami Herald and is the author of many bestselling novels including Bad Monkey, Razor Girl, and Squeeze Me

    His books for younger readers include the Newbery Honor winner Hoot, as well as Flush, Scat, Squirm, and ChompSkink—No Surrender was Hiaasen's first book for teens and features one of his most iconic characters, the reclusive ex-governor of Florida now known as Skink. 

    You can read more about Hiaasen's work at carlhiaasen.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 23, 2014
    Rather than be shipped off to boarding school, Richard Sloan’s cousin Malley runs away with a questionable acquaintance she met online. Richard shares his worry over her fate with a strange, one-eyed man he stumbles across on a Florida beach. Hiaasen’s adult readers will immediately recognize Skink, the former governor turned eco-warrior, who first appeared 25 years ago in Double Whammy. Skink commandeers Richard’s mission to find Malley and tutors his young new friend on carnivorous gators, wild pigs, driving (Richard is still a year away from a learner’s permit but no matter), and how to prepare roadkill for human consumption. What happens to Malley during her abduction is never explicitly stated, but the implication of what a criminal is doing with a handcuffed 14-year-old girl rides uneasily alongside the kookier elements of the story. Still, there is much to enjoy. Hiaasen’s concern for the environment and its most vulnerable denizens is again on full display, and Richard has a memorable epiphany when he loses his phone in Choctawhatchee Bay: “Pursuing a desperate criminal through the wilderness drastically rearranges your priorities.” Ages 12–up. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2014
    If you were pursuing your cousin's kidnapper across Florida, you would want a man like Skink at your side. Maybe.Skink, as readers of Hiaasen's novels for adults know, was once governor of Florida and is now a genially lawless reprobate who takes "eco-terrorism" to a whole new level. Richard first meets him completely buried in the sand on a beach lying in wait for a sea turtle-egg thief. That one extraordinary encounter turns into an unlikely partnership when Richard's spirited cousin, Malley, runs off with a guy she met on the Internet in order to avoid boarding school, a joy ride that quickly goes sour. On the road with Skink, Richard develops a taste for roadkill (Skink won't eat any other kind of meat), learns how to drive (Skink injures his foot saving a baby skunk from a semi) and reads Silent Spring (Skink is horrified Richard hasn't encountered it in school). They follow Malley's cryptic cellphone clues into a swamp that just may be ivory-billed-woodpecker habitat for a classic Hiaasen showdown. While this confrontation goes on a bit too long, that doesn't diminish the pleasure of the developing relationship between Skink and the fatherless Richard, as trusty a protagonist as ever was.Hiaasen's fierce love for the wilds of Florida, his fundamental commitment to decency and his penchant for the bizarre are all on full display in this, a read as agreeable as his hero is. (Fiction. 10-15)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-Richard and his cousin Malley are best friends. But while Richard is pretty levelheaded, Malley tends to get into trouble. So Richard is only mildly surprised to discover that she's run off with a guy she met on the Internet in order to avoid being sent to boarding school in New Hampshire. Richard wants to go find her, and luckily he runs into what may be the perfect person to help him do just that: a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida named Skink. With Skink at the helm, the two set off across Florida in search of Richard's cousin. While Malley's character is not as fully developed as the others and the story seems highly improbable, Skink, a favorite character from Hiaasen's adult novels, is incredibly memorable. Whether it's diving in to a gator-infested river after a rogue canoe, getting his foot run over by a semi while trying to save a baby turtle, or hiding out in the sand to save the next turtle, Skink is always full of surprises. And like a cat with nine lives, one never knows how he'll make it out or what will happen next. One thing's for sure: readers will want to be along for the ride. Although the ending meanders, fans of Hiaasen's novels won't mind the detours one bit.-Necia Blundy, formerly at Marlborough Public Library, MA

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from July 1, 2014
    Grades 7-10 *Starred Review* In his first novel aimed at teens, Hiaasen leaves behind middle-school bullying and veers this ecological mystery into the territory of online predators, with inimitable Hiaasen style. Richard's cousin Malley is missing, and he fears that she's in danger, despite her eventual calm phone calls and e-mails. When she drops a clue about having spotted the possibly extinct ivory-billed woodpecker, Richard knows she needs help and is giving him a clue. His sidekick on this sleuthing adventure is Skink, from Hiaasen's adult fictiona Vietnam vet, an ex-governor, and an ecological-crusading, road-kill-eating hermit. Eccentric doesn't begin to describe him or the variety of objects he inserts in his empty eye socket. Skink and Richard make quite a dangerous and entertaining duo in a story that careens perfectly from one crazy situation to the next. The predator details are not described in intimate detail, leaving readers to imagine the realities for themselves, but the dangers of online relationships are clearly illuminated. Reluctant readers (especially guys) will surrender themselves to this page-turner. Cross your fingers that we haven't seen the last of Skink! HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With Skink showing up in teen territory, this YA debut from the number-one New York Times best-selling author has crossover potential. Stock up!(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

  • Booklist, starred "Skink and Richard make quite a dangerous and entertaining duo in a story that careens perfectly from one crazy situation to the next. Reluctant readers (especially guys) will surrender themselves to this page turner. Cross your fingers that we haven't seen the last of Skink!"
  • Kirkus Reviews "If you were pursuing your cousin's kidnapper across Florida, you would want a man like Skink at your side. Maybe."
  • The Horn Book "Skink is larger than life.... A presence to be reckoned with."
  • VOYA "A high stakes, action-packed comedy with a lot of heart."

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    Random House Children's Books
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