Wrecker (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

It never takes Carl Hiaasen long to drop us head first into a mystery. By the end of a single chapter, Wrecker (a nickname he got from a line of paternal ancestors who salvaged shipwrecks) has two mysteries on his hands. One involves a group of men who give him a lot of money just to forget they foolishly grounded their fancy purple speedboat. The other has to do with a girl weeping in the Key West cemetery at night. It’s a place where Wrecker earns big money keeping iguana scat cleaned off a grave that has a mind-bending epitaph. We’re already in deep, and it just keeps getting deeper. Hiaasen uses real environmental issues and disturbing history to create grand and twisted characters, awkward relationships, odd settings, belly laughs, and strong kids who see the world more clearly than most so called grown-ups. He writes with a confidence that translates into my pure enjoyment, whether I’m reading one of his books about fifteen-year-old kids like Wrecker or one that’s meant for warped adults like me.

— Tim McCarthy


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Wrecker needs to deal with smugglers, grave robbers, and pooping iguanas—just as soon as he finishes Zoom school. Welcome to another wild adventure in Carl Hiaasen's Florida!

Valdez Jones VIII calls himself Wrecker because his great-great-great-great-great-grandfather salvaged shipwrecks for a living. 

So is it destiny, irony, or just bad luck when Wrecker comes across a speedboat that has run hard aground on a sand flat? The men in the boat don't want Wrecker to call for help—in fact, they'll pay him to forget he ever saw them. 

Wrecker would be happy to forget, but he keeps seeing these men all over Key West—at the marina, in the cemetery, even right outside his own door. And now they want more than his silence—they want a lookout.

He'll have to dive deep into their shady dealings to figure out a way to escape this tangled net. . . .

About the Author

CARL HIAASEN was born and raised in Florida, where he still lives. He is the author of many bestselling novels, including Squeeze Me and Nature Girl, as well as Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You'll Never Hear. His books for younger readers include the Newbery Honor winner Hoot, as well as Flush, Scat, Chomp, Skink—No Surrender, and Squirm.

Praise For…

★ "Hiaasen packs his tale with rich character details, local history, and present-day concerns, all while carefully spinning a layered mystery that gets more serious with every turn. One heck of a ride."—Booklist, starred review

"A batten-down-the-hatches thriller anchored by critical real-life themes." —Kirkus Reviews

"Action-packed and endlessly funny." Shelf Awareness

"A beautifully told mystery with plenty of action and heart." The Horn Book

"Hiaasen blends ecological conservation, family drama, and Key West history. Multilayered, with all the hallmarks of a thrilling heist." —Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593376287
ISBN-10: 0593376285
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 26th, 2023
Pages: 336
Language: English