Book review: ‘Skink No Surrender’

April 4, 2015

SkinkBy Kay Brennan. Hesperia Community Library Director.

Earth Day is April 22, so it might be time to read something that helps us remember how our actions affect our ecosystem. Carl Hiaasen writes adult and teen novels set in Florida, and this is one of his recent books for teens. His work gives readers an interesting perspective on Florida wildlife.

Richard is a teen with a troubled cousin, Malley, and they live in Florida. Richard feels responsible for Malley, most of the time. She has a tendency to do exactly as she wants, which can be very scary for her parents and Richard. She has been known to run away for just a couple of days, but she has always returned.

Her parents decided to send her to boarding school up North. Just when everyone thinks Malley is at school, Richard

Kay Brennan

Kay Brennan

gets a call from her. She tells him that she is having an adventure with Talbo Chock, a DJ she met online. Richard believes that Malley is in serious trouble, and her parents don’t know that she didn’t make it to the school.

After hearing this news, Richard goes to the beach to think things over. This is where he meets Skink, an old guy who looks like he has been living outside for a long time with no access to personal hygiene products. Skink is watching for someone he thinks is robbing turtle nests of their eggs. He tells Skink about Malley and how concerned he is about her safety. Skink decides to help Richard, and they set off on their own adventure to rescue Malley.

This is a great teen novel for kids interested in ecology. Hiaasen uses the ecosystem of Florida to move his characters through this story. Readers will learn a lot but also be entertained by Richard, Skink and Malley.


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