Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Flush, by Carl Hiassen, 2005

When Noah's dad gets into trouble, as he frequently does, he tends to go a bit overboard, even if his heart is in the right place. This time he sunk Dusty Muleman's casino boat, the "Coral Queen," for dumping its sewage into the ocean. But the Coast Guard has no proof, and Noah's mom's had it with her husband's antics. Noah and his sister Abby have more to save than loggerhead turtles -- their home and livelihood's at stake if they don't find a way to bust Dusty's foul-smelling operation. Environmentally conscious middle-grade fiction, lyrical Florida Keys setting, villians, and humor. Recommended.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling, 2007

Harry sets out to finish the task Dumbledore has left him, against impossible odds and despite the tourniquet-like surveillance of the Ministry, now overrun by Voldemort and his Death Eaters. But finding and eliminating the remaining Horcruxes is a nearly impossible mission, and is it even the right mission? Posthumous revelations of Dumbledore's history show a less than pristine past, and an obsession with obtaining objects of power that would establish wizard supremacy over Muggles forever. Rowling's masterful resolution of Harry's complex epic shows an expert hand at story with exceptional thematic control. Most strongly recommended.