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|13 Jan 2009|
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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 and was well-received when it came out, with a positive review in the New York Times.
Carl Hiaasen is the author of other notable children's fiction novels, including Flush, in over 2,500 libraries. and Hoot, in over 3,200 libraries. He received the Newbery Honor for Hoot in 2003. Like Hoot and Flush, Scat takes place in Florida.
A main plot of the book features the endangered Florida Panther.
The book starts in a 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 very strict and harsh. She calls upon Duane "Smoke" Scrod Jr. to answer the question, who nonchalantly eats part of the pencil Mrs. Starch holds in her hand. (As a result, he is assigned a 500 word essay on acne.) The next day, the students go 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. A wildfire starts, and Mrs. Starch goes in to get Libby's asthma medicine. 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. Meanwhile, Mrs. Starch leaves notes saying that she has a family emergency, odd since she did not list any family members in any of her paperwork.
Nick and Marta go to Mrs. Starch's house only to find Twilly, a so-called eco-avenger. 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 the area. Nick and Marta eventually end up teaming with Smoke, Twilly, and Mrs. Starch, saving the panthers and getting the Red Diamond Energy Company arrested.
- Guild, Graphics. "Results for 'scat'". Worldcat.org. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
- Pogue, David. "Where the Wild Things Are Victims". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- "Flush (Book, 2005)". [WorldCat.org]. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
- "Hoot (Book, 2002)". [WorldCat.org]. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
- MacPherson, Karen. "Children’s Corner: Carl Hiassen’s ‘Scat’". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 18 November 2015.