I can now officially add "racoons" to animals that I like reading about, though I never would have guessed it. As much as I love Where the Red Fern Grows, I will forevermore cringe when Old Dan and Little Ann tree a coon. You can blame Bingo and J'miah of The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp.
Here is the publisher's description:
Raccoon brothers Bingo and J’miah are the newest recruits of the Official Sugar Man Swamp Scouts. The opportunity to serve the Sugar Man—the massive creature who delights in delicious sugar cane and magnanimously rules over the swamp—is an honor, and also a big responsibility, since the rest of the swamp critters rely heavily on the intel of these hardworking Scouts.
Twelve-year-old Chap Brayburn is not a member of any such organization. But he loves the swamp something fierce, and he’ll do anything to help protect it.
And help is surely needed, because world-class alligator wrestler Jaeger Stitch wants to turn Sugar Man swamp into an Alligator World Wrestling Arena and Theme Park, and the troubles don’t end there. There is also a gang of wild feral hogs on the march, headed straight toward them all.
The Scouts are ready. All they have to do is wake up the Sugar Man. Problem is, no one’s been able to wake that fellow up in a decade or four…
Newbery Honoree and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt presents a story of care and conservation, funny as all get out and ripe for reading aloud.
I enjoyed Kathi Appelt's two previous novels; the lyricism of her voice is stunning--and impressive. But I think this book is her best. The plot shoots up to the level of the gorgeous writing, so that every moment spent reading it is a treat. And when I say gorgeous I'm not talking about purply prose or sheerly elegant lines. The writing is...funny. And beautiful. Like listening to an expert storyteller spin a yarn that'll have you howling one moment and holding your breath the next.
To read more reviews of Middle Grade, check out the blog of Shannon Messenger, the mastermind behind Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays.