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Chomp

Cover of Chomp

Chomp

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The hysterical #1 New York Times bestseller from Newbery honoree Carl Hiaasen featuring gators, snakes, bats that bite, and reality show hosts gone wild!

When Wahoo Cray's dad—a professional animal wrangler—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 father from killing Derek Badger, the show's inept and egotistical star. But the job keeps getting more complicated: Derek Badger 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. . .

"Only in Florida—and in the fiction of its native son Carl Hiaasen—does a dead iguana fall from a palm tree and kill somebody." —New York Post

"Chomp is a delightful laugh-out-loud sendup of the surreality of TV that will be enjoyed by readers of all ages." —Los Angeles Times

"Chomp shines in its humorous, subtle tweaks on pop culture. . . . The real satisfaction, however, is not so much in the book's humor but in its truth." —Time Out Chicago Kids
From the Hardcover edition.
The hysterical #1 New York Times bestseller from Newbery honoree Carl Hiaasen featuring gators, snakes, bats that bite, and reality show hosts gone wild!

When Wahoo Cray's dad—a professional animal wrangler—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 father from killing Derek Badger, the show's inept and egotistical star. But the job keeps getting more complicated: Derek Badger 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. . .

"Only in Florida—and in the fiction of its native son Carl Hiaasen—does a dead iguana fall from a palm tree and kill somebody." —New York Post

"Chomp is a delightful laugh-out-loud sendup of the surreality of TV that will be enjoyed by readers of all ages." —Los Angeles Times

"Chomp shines in its humorous, subtle tweaks on pop culture. . . . The real satisfaction, however, is not so much in the book's humor but in its truth." —Time Out Chicago Kids
From the Hardcover edition.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Listen
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    3
  • Library copies:
    5
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.2
  • Lexile:
    800
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 6

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Awards-
Excerpts-
  • From the book

    ONE

    Mickey Cray had been out of work ever since a dead iguana fell from a palm tree and hit him on the head.

    The iguana, which had died during a hard freeze, was stiff as a board and weighed seven and a half pounds. Mickey's son had measured the lifeless lizard on a fishing scale, then packed it on ice with the turtle veggies, in the cooler behind the garage.

    This was after the ambulance had hauled Mickey off to the hospital, where the doctors said he had a serious concussion and ordered him to take it easy.

    And to everyone's surprise, Mickey did take it easy. That's because the injury left him with double vision and terrible headaches. He lost his appetite and dropped nineteen pounds and lay around on the couch all day, watching nature programs on television.

    "I'll never be the same," he told his son.

    "Knock it off, Pop," said Wahoo, Mickey's boy.

    Mickey had named him after Wahoo McDaniel, a professional wrestler who'd once played linebacker for the Dolphins. Mickey's son often wished he'd been called Mickey Jr. or Joe or even Rupert--anything but Wahoo, which was also a species of saltwater fish.

    It was a name that was hard to live up to. People naturally expected somebody called Wahoo to act loud and crazy, but that wasn't Wahoo's style. Apparently nothing could be done about the name until he was all grown up, at which point he intended to go to the Cutler Ridge courthouse and tell a judge he wanted to be called something normal.

    "Pop, you're gonna be okay," Wahoo would tell his father every morning. "Just hang in there."

    Looking up with hound-dog eyes from the couch, Mickey Cray would say, "Whatever happens, I'm glad we ate that bleeping lizard."

    On the day his dad had come home from the hospital, Wahoo had defrosted the dead iguana and made a peppercorn stew, which his mom had wisely refused to touch. Mickey had insisted that eating the critter that had dented his skull would be a spiritual remedy. "Big medicine," he'd predicted.

    But the iguana had tasted awful, and Mickey Cray's headaches only got worse. Wahoo's mother was so concerned that she wanted Mickey to see a brain specialist in Miami, but Mickey refused to go.

    Meanwhile, people kept calling up with new jobs, and Wahoo was forced to send them to other wranglers. His father was in no condition to work.

    After school, Wahoo would feed the animals and clean out the pens and cages. The backyard was literally a zoo--gators, snakes, parrots, mynah birds, rats, mice, monkeys, raccoons, tortoises and even a bald eagle, which Mickey had raised from a fledgling after its mother was killed.

    "Treat 'em like royalty," Mickey would instruct Wahoo, because the animals were quite valuable. Without them, Mickey would be unemployed.

    It disturbed Wahoo to see his father so ill because Mickey was the toughest guy he'd ever known.

    One morning, with summer approaching, Wahoo's mother took him aside and told him that the family's savings account was almost drained. "I'm going to China," she said.

    Wahoo nodded, like it was no big deal.

    "For two months," she said.

    "That's a long time," said Wahoo.

    "Sorry, big guy, but we really need the money."

    Wahoo's mother taught Mandarin Chinese, an extremely difficult language. Big American companies that had offices in China would hire Mrs. Cray to tutor their top executives, but usually these companies flew their employees to South Florida for Mrs. Cray's lessons.

    "This time they want me to go to Shanghai," she explained to her son. "They have, like, fifty people over there who learned Mandarin from some cheap audiotape. The other day,...

About the Author-
  • Carl Hiaasen writes a column for the Miami Herald and is the author of many bestselling novels, including Nature Girl and Star Island. Hoot, Flush, and Scat, Hiaasen's novels for young readers, have all been bestsellers and are all available on audio from Listening Library.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Chomp is what happens when an animal takes a hunk out of its "owner." Wahoo and his dad, Mickey, have had many such chomps because they're animal wranglers--guys who loan their menagerie to TV and movie producers. Narrator James Van Der Beek delightfully captures the unique Cray family; Derek Badger, star of "Expedition Survivor"; and the people involved in so-called reality television. This behind-the-scenes look at reality TV includes the terrific Hiaasen trademarks: humor and ecological education, including attempts to preserve Florida for future generations. Along the way, listeners are treated meet an array of Florida denizens, Hollywood types, and the Aussie pretender Badger--who's anything but a nature lover. Adults will also enjoy and learn from one of Hiaasen's best novels yet. S.G.B. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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Digital Rights Information+
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Burn to CD: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to device: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to Apple® device: 
    Permitted
    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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