Hiaasen, Carl. Chomp. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. Print.
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Reviewed by: Jayna Knott
Age group: young teens
Chomp is a gripping book about an animal wrangler and his son working for a snobby television star out in their backyard. In the beginning, an animal wrangler named Mickey Cray and his son Wahoo live in a house full of animals. When Mickey Cray suddenly gets a horrible head injury, it’s up to Wahoo to keep the wrangling business going. So while his father rests on the couch, Wahoo is out caring for their many exotic animals. One day, the Crays get a call from a television producer who was wondering if they could use the Cray’s animals in their survival show called Expedition Survival. The job offered a great pay, just enough to keep the business going, so they took the job. The next day, the TV producers came out to set up the TV set, right in their backyard. The star of the whole thing, Derek Badger, was very interested on using the alligator, Alice, in a scene of the show. Mickey Cray doesn’t think Derek is the right man for the job. But Derek doesn’t care.
Derek wants to wrestle the alligator, but everyone thinks it’s a horrible idea. The thing that really bothers Mickey and Wahoo is that Derek only cares about how good the shot will turn out and not about everyone’s safety. The first time Derek tries too wrestle the alligator, it nearly takes his leg off, but Derek insists they keep filming until they get the shot. The second time, Derek gets on Alice, but
only for a short while. Alice shakes like crazy until Derek falls off, but with a little bit of editing, the crew gets a nice shot of Derek on Alice. Mickey does not like Derek at all and wants to quit the job, but when the crew offers them another job in the woods, Wahoo convinces his father to take the job.
On the way to the job, the Crays run into one of Wahoo’s friends from school, Tuna. Tuna is running away from her father so the Crays take her with them to the job. The new job is in the Florida Everglades. Derek is going to work with one of Mickey’s snakes. Once Derek wrangles the snake, the job is over. When its about time to leave Florida, Derek goes missing. To add into the chaos, Tuna’s crazy father comes to Florida to take Tuna away. When Tuna’s father holds Mickey Cray hostage, it’s up to Tuna and Wahoo to save the day.
Link to book trailer from Random House Kids:
Link to author’s website: http://www.carlhiaasen.com/
sound cloud clip: https://soundcloud.com/jaynaknott/chomp