The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

written by Kathi Applet


Ages: 8 years+ (approximately grade 3 and up)
The raccoons of Sugar Man Swamp have always been the eyes
and ears of Bayou Toutourelle.  This
honorable duty has been passed down generation to generation.  Bingo and J'miah are heading up their very
first scouting mission and couldn’t be more excited.  They settle into Headquarters, an abandoned
DeSoto, and vigilantly keep watch (in between forays into the swamp for food as
raccoons are notoriously hungry all the time). 
Bingo and J’miah discover an incoming threat (a destructive family of feral
hogs!) and must launch the emergency plan: wake the Sugar Man from his decades-long
hibernation.  The Sugar Man is a mythical
figure who protects the swamp and has huge palmetto leaf arms, tree trunk legs,
a pet python and most importantly, a very short temper (especially when his
sleep is interrupted).  Although the
prospect of waking the Sugar Man from his oh-so-sweet slumber seems daunting,
Bingo and J’miah know it is the only way to save the swamp.  On their quest they cross paths with twelve
year old Chap, a boy whose family pie café has been a staple in Sugar Man Swamp
for years.  He’s on a mission to save the
business from a greedy land developer and his feisty, alligator-wrestling partner.  Bingo, J’miah and Chap must learn to face
their fears and stand up for what they believe in order to save their beloved
home.  
This National
Book Award finalist
is an adventure filled with humor, quirky characters
and fast-paced action.  It delivers an
entertaining message of courage, family and conservation that will appeal to
anyone who has ever felt like an underdog.  The folksy narrative is
charming, distinctive, and vividly paints the picture of the marshy Sugar Man
Swamp and its animal inhabitants.  Readers
will enjoy how the different characters and plotlines intersect throughout the
story and wrap up in the end.  This title is recommended for grades 3 and
up.   

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