The title alone makes this book appealing to middle graders. In fact, they might just buy it because of the title and the picture of the toilet seat on the front cover. Kind of like I did.
It turns out Flush is a very creative and original story that is set in the Florida Keys. At the crux of the problem is a casino boat docked at a marina that is dumping raw sewage into the ocean. The poop then floats towards Thunder Beach where people enjoy fishing and swimming. Seriously gross. You would think the Coast Guard would be quick to shut down the casino, but not when the head of the local Coast Guard has a gambling problem and owes money to the casino. Awesome plot twist.
Another problem is that Noah and his sister Abbey are surrounded by adults who make bad decisions – although some of them with the best intensions. Noah’s dad is somewhat of an environmental activist, however, he acts first and thinks later. After Noah’s dad attempts to sink the casino boat, he ends up in jail. The newspapers and locals then portray him as a crazy loon. But, Noah and Abbey know their father is right and set out to prove it. With the help of sassy lady and old pirate, they go up against some big bullies and ultimately risk their lives for the sake of their father’s reputation. Their plan is creatively called, Operation Royal Flush.
Flush has humor, adventure, mystery, danger and even environmental activism. There’s a lot of action packed into this fast-paced story. The reader finds themselves cheering for the good guys to save the beach, the turtles and ultimately their father’s job and reputation.