Flush by Carl Hiaasen (Alfred A. Knopf, 272 pages, $16.95). Ages 10 and up. Hiassen's best-selling novel, "Hoot," featured outraged kids targeting a Florida developer for disrupting an owl habitat. In his second novel for young readers, Hiaasen targets a casino boat dumping raw sewage into the ocean in the Florida Keys. After Noah's hot-tempered father gets thrown in jail for sinking the offending boat, the boy takes up the cause with the ingenious use of some vegetable dye dumped in the boat's toilets. As he did in "Hoot," Hiaasen offers a colorful portrait gallery of detestable villains (Dusty Muleman and his thuggish son), thick-headed cops and other over-the-top characters including a big-hearted big-bosomed bartender, a grandfather on the lam and a dad badly in need of anger management. This is not great literature but it's a lot of fun.
-- Jean Westmoore