Sunday, February 4, 2018

MMGM (2/5/2018): The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt

For MMGM, I am recommending The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt.




Here's the publisher's description:

“Librarians often say that every book is not for every child, but The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp is” (The New York Times). Meet Bingo and J’miah, raccoon brothers on a mission to save Sugar Man Swamp in this rollicking tale and National Book Award Finalist from Newbery Honoree Kathi Appelt.

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 Kathi Appelt’s story of care and conservation has received five starred reviews, was selected as a National Book Award finalist, and is funny as all get out and ripe for reading aloud.

When I first discovered this book at Half Price Books, I was unsure of whether or not I would actually enjoy it. Luckily, I did, enough so that, several years later, I remembered it and decided to review it today! Despite some sad topics, this novel ends up being absolute fun from beginning to end (providing a break from the many relentlessly-sad MG books currently being published). Even during points of the plot holding sadness or fear, the humorous, just-colloquial-enough narration will hold any reader's attention. The book switches between events involving adventurous Bingo and nervous J'miah, which add in bits of action and suspense as they find out new information and try to fight against the swamp's issues, and those involving Chap, his anxiety about Jaeger Stitch's plans, and just enough grief about the recent loss of his grandfather, who dearly enjoyed the swamp. The plot of the book will suck readers in, while the writing will make them want to savor each word. The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, its characters, and its ideas will make it a favorite of any reader!

10 comments:

  1. This sounds delightful! My granddaughter would love this. Thanks!

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  2. Sounds like the plot suspense and humor balances the sadness. Sounds like a great story. I've always read great things about this author but never read anything by her. Glad you enjoyed this one.

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  3. I'm looking forward to reading this one. I love the title and plot. Thanks for the background and your enthusiastic review.

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  4. I have this book! But, like you, I wasn't sure if I would like it or not and hadn't read it yet. Your review convinced me to read it. I love humor in a book.

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  5. I love finding treasures at Half Price books. This looks like a good one.

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  6. The publisher's description does not entice me, but the National Book Award finalist sticker and your positive review intrigue me. I feel a bit torn. :)

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  7. What a great find. I'm glad you shared it today. Love your enthusiasm.

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  8. I'm a swam-lover myself, so this sounds right up my...inlet. ;) Love the cover, too. Thanks for the recommend, and happy MMGM!

    --Suzanne
    www.suzannewarr.com

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  9. Both the title and cover are so enticing, and, of course, Kathy Appelt's name helps as well. I will try to check this one out. Thanks for the post.

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