Tonight, Tony and I took the boys and met a couple of friends for bagels and books. The folks who own the independent book store, Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC, were hosting a book signing for Carl Hiaasen, a wonderful author from Florida who incorporates the invisible people and environmental issues in all of his books.
His newest book is his third children's book called Scat. It is about the nearly extinct Florida Panther. I haven't read it yet, but can't wait to get my hands on it. I have to wait for my boys to read it first! Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue...
His first kid's book, Hoot, was about a species of endangered owls that were being killed for the sake of the construction of a waffle restaurant. With the help of Jimmy Buffet, the book was made into a movie. Since the rewriting of the book for film was so stressful, Mr. Hiaasen is not in a hurry to have any of his other books turned into movies. His second book for kids is Flush. A brother and sister team set out to prove that a casino boat is "flushing" it's waste into the ocean.
He has written quite a few books for adults, too, including Double Whammy, Strip Tease, and Nature Girl. A homeless ex-governor, a stripper, and a crappy plastic surgeon are a few of his memorable characters. You will laugh out loud.
In person, Carl's sense of humor is unique. To make sure he used the correct dialogue in his children's books, he road on school buses to hear how kids talked to each other. He says they are brutal, crude, and funny. As a newspaper reporter, he got a thrill out of writing about adults' bad behaviors. He even wished the Illinois governor, Rob Blagojevich, was from Florida so he could write about him.
For my boys who were a little ambivalent about going, they were entertained and impressed with Mr. Hiaasen's frank discussion with the kids who attended the reading, including his response to the comment from one kid that his teacher did not like any Hiaasen books because of the language in them. He addressed this by saying that he didn't use any words that others didn't use. On his behalf, I don't recall any f-bombs in Hoot or Flush. I'm sure he didn't use any words my children haven't heard come from my own mouth! As for the bus language, my children plead the fifth!