Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers on July 23rd 2013
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Meet Bingo and J’miah, raccoon brothers on a mission to save Sugar Man Swamp in this tale 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 National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt presents a story of care and conservation, funny as all get out and ripe for reading aloud.
I have to say, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp is one of the most enjoyable books I've read for a couple of different reasons. I love the diverse characters, ranging from a pair of raccoon brothers, to a very tall 12 year old boy with a heavy weight on his shoulders and even to the alligator wrestling woman who wants to build over the swamp. The chapters are short and switch points of view often and make for an easy read and giving you plenty of places to pause when reading.
Most of all I love the atmosphere of the book, the swamp itself breeds quite it's own character with all of the different interesting creatures residing within. I love how parts of the story start to connect throughout the book, giving some mystery and suspense as to what will happen next. And most of all, I really felt for Chap, the boy who is just getting over the loss of his grandfather to find that his home may be in danger of becoming a theme park. Jaeger Stitch was another memorable character with her crazy gator wrestling abilities.
There's so much to the different characters of this book, that I felt overjoyed, even at meeting the somewhat villians of the book. I found them to be interesting and entertaining and could not wait to see the way they interacted.
Final Verdict: An entertaining and adventure-filled read that will satisfy the reader with it's colorful characters and setting.