Clara Recommends FLUSH

Eighth grader Clara Dunlop from Hillsboro, Oregon recommends. . .

Flush by  Carl Hiassen

How would you feel if your dad was in jail and everyone thought he was crazy?

That is how Noah Underwood feels in Flush. This amazing book has a terrific theme, strong characters, and an exciting storyline.

It starts out with Noah going to visit his father in jail.  He had sunk a 73 foot casino boat that he believed was dumping waste into the harbor illegally.  Since no one would believe him he thought that he had to take action.  Noah then feels responsible for proving to his small town in Florida that his dad is not crazy, just an over passionate environmentalist.

As he goes about doing this he encounters many adventures.  He gets in fight with Jasper Muleman, Jr. and is saved by a mysterious pirate. Noah also covers for his dad who breaks out of jail, and later house arrest to search for his sister Abbey.  His largest adventure results in people shooting at him after his final attempt to prove his dads sanity.  Flush left me wondering what was going to happen the whole way through.

The author Carl Hiaasen is a great writer because he made all of his characters seem real and believable. He did that by using humor and dialog to get his point across.  For example, one character named Shelley said, “That’s why the world is so messed up, Noah.  That’s why history books are full of so much heartache and tragedy.    Politicians, dictators, kings, phony-baloney preachers-most of ‘em are men, and most of ‘em lie like rugs.”  That is something Shelley really would say and I felt like I really knew her for reasons like what she said.

The first strong character is Paine Underwood, Noah’s dad.  He loves nature and will do anything to protect it.  He said, “I’m not a common criminal.  I know right from wrong.  Good from bad.  Sometimes I just get carried away.” The author did an amazing job developing this character because all of his actions are consistent.  He loves nature and his family and will do anything to protect them, even if it lands him in trouble.

Another character is Abbey, Noah’s younger sister.  She is very opinionated and is never afraid to tell people what she thinks.  She is also really tough.  When Noah got bullied by Jasper Jr. she bit his ear until it bled so he would back off.  She may be small, but she isn’t afraid of anything.  Not even sneaking out at night alone with the risk of getting caught by the enemy just to prove her dad right.  My favorite thing about Abbey is her personality.  She is funny in a sarcastic way.  Abbey is my favorite character.

Flush also has a strong theme; stand up for what you believe in and never give up.  Noah and his family believed in protecting the environment.  Even when people tried to persuade them to give up, they never did.  It taught me that you may just be one person, but you can make a huge difference in the world. Flush is a fantastic book.  It is exciting, inspiring, fun and funny. I would recommend to anyone, any day.


Several of Clara’s classmates have also allowed us to publish reviews of what they’re currently reading.  And for recommendations from kids of all ages, check out our Kids Recommend section.


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