Scat (novel)

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Scat cover.jpg
AuthorCarl Hiaasen
CountryUnited States
GenreRealistic fiction
Publication date
13 Jan 2009
Media typePrint (Hardcover or paperback)

Scat is a teenage novel by Carl Hiaasen, published in 2009. Scat, Hiaassen's third young adult novel, tells the mystery of a missing teacher named Mrs. Bunny Starch, and how two of her students, Nick Waters and Marta Gonzalez, will do everything they can to find her. The book is available in over 1,000 libraries[1] and was well-received when it came out, with a positive review in the New York Times.[2]

Carl Hiaasen is the author of other notable children's fiction novels, including Flush, in over 2,500 libraries.[3] and Hoot, in over 3,200 libraries.[4] He received the Newbery Honor for Hoot in 2003.[5] Like Hoot and Flush, Scat takes place in Florida.


The main plot of the book features the endangered Florida Panther.

The book starts in a 3rd period biology class. The teacher, Mrs. Starch, asks a question about the Calvin cycle, which no one except a girl named Libby is able to answer. Mrs. Starch is known to be extremely strict and harsh. She calls upon Duane "Smoke" Scrod Jr. to answer the question, who nonchalantly eats part he students on a field trip to Black Vine Swamp. While there, two students, Nick and Marta, take a recording on a video camera after hearing a sound. In the video, they see a man with a thick belt on. A wildfire starts, and Mrs. Starch goes in to get Libby's asthma medicine/ inhaler. No one sees Mrs. Starch the next day, and some detectives interview the students. The detectives think that Duane is behind the arson, as he has a record of pyromania. But Duane, who is usually messy, rude and otherwise not academically devoted, suddenly changes in attitude, turning himself into a well-dressed, polite, academically prepared student always keeping up with his schoolwork. Meanwhile, Mrs. Starch leaves notes saying that she has a family emergency, even though in her file it says she has no family.

Nick and Marta go to Mrs. Starch's house only to find Twilly, a so-called eco-avenger and he also claims to be her nephew. They figure out that there are panthers in the swamp, and that the Red Diamond Energy Company has been skirting oil drilling regulations by drilling in an illegal area owned by the state of Florida. Nick and Marta eventually end up teaming with Smoke, Twilly, and Mrs. Starch, saving the panthers and getting the director of the Red Diamond Energy Company, Drake McBride, arrested.


  1. ^ Guild, Graphics. "Results for 'scat'". Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  2. ^ Pogue, David. "Where the Wild Things Are Victims". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Flush (Book, 2005)". []. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  4. ^ "Hoot (Book, 2002)". []. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  5. ^ MacPherson, Karen. "Children's Corner: Carl Hiaasen's 'Scat'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 18 November 2015.