Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen
Orion Children's Books, 2014. ISBN 9781780622194
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Themes: Internet dangers; Environmental issues; Adventure. A young teen meets an unusual environmental warrior while waiting on the beach for his cousin who is due to go away to boarding school. This girl does not show up and eventually it is revealed that she has run away with someone she met on the internet. The environmental warrior who lives as a virtual hermit, but who is also a returned soldier and former governor and is also apparently 'dead', decides to help Richard find his cousin. They embark on an amazingly risky search through the alligator populated swamps and rivers of Florida.
This is an exciting rescue and although it stretches believability on many occasions, is still an engaging adventure story. Hiaasen introduces environmental themes that are linked loosely through the story, with references to a presumed extinct woodpecker and the protection of loggerhead turtles laying their eggs on the beach.