Friday, February 28, 2014

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt

...this isn't my usual taste in books.

However, I was completely ready to read it when I heard a discussion about it and how much everyone laughed while talking about the characters in the book. Then people kept mentioning "The voice of intelligence" and I was sold.

So, an amazon summary, "“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 and 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." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

A very short summary: a lot of different creatures are all involved with the Sugar Man Swamp and this book tells most of them.

A better summary would be there are two raccoon brothers who are scouts of Sugar Man Swamp and wait in an old Desato car for the voice of intelligence.

There is a twelve year old Chap who lives with his mom and helps out at their restaurant which sells fried sugar pies. Chap's grandfather also passed away recently, so Chap is dealing with that loss while also fighting to save the restaurant and the swamp from Jaeger Stitch.

The swamp is not only under the danger of Jaeger Stitch, but also a herd of wild hogs that are determined to get the rare tasty sugar that resides in Sugar Man Swamp.

There's also the rumored Sugar Man who hasn't been since in a very long time.

Now, the story is very intricate because it jumps around between a lot of different perspectives as the book goes on. The chapters are short and efficient, but maintain the voice of an unseen narrator; the narrator reminded me of a nice old fellow that you would find telling stories around a campfire about an age long past.

The story had great characters and a great capture for tone, world building, and seemed to have a natural cadence.

I enjoyed it. There really isn't much else I can say without giving anything away.

Happy reading!

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