by Carl Hiaasen
Roy Eberhardt is used to the new-kid drill. His family has lived all over, and Florida bullies are pretty much like bullies everywhere. But Roy finds himself oddly indebted to the hulking Dana Matherson. If Dana hadn't been mashing his face against the school bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is the first interesting thing Roy's seen in Florida. He was running away from the school bus. He had no books, no backpack, and no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy's trail. The chase will introduce him to some other intriguing Floridian creatures: potty-trained alligators, a sinister pancake PR man, some burrowing owls, a fake-fart champion, a renegade eco-avenger, and several poisonous snakes with unnaturally sparkling tails.