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Knock About with the Fitzgerald-Trouts: 08/12/17

Knock About with the Fitzgerald-Trouts  by Esta Spalding

Knock About with the Fitzgerald-Trouts by Esta Spalding is the second of the Fitzgerald-Trout books. The children are once again living in the old beat-up car and they are desperate to find a home of their own.

Meanwhile their island has gotten restless, shaking regularly with "knock-abouts" and having more frequent and worse storms. They believe the restlessness of the island stems from the importation of carnivorous plants.

Although the series has well established that the Fitzgerald-Trouts live on a fictional Pacific island, the layout of the island and the characters that the children meet this time remind me of Beach City (the east coast town that Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems call home). There's the carnival and the man who runs it who reminds me of Mr. Smiley. There is the biologist who reminds me of Rose. There is just the island-wide acceptance of the weird.

While the big plot of this book is still the search for a home, and the chance of finding one in the form of a yacht, this one also has an environmental message. It's not a global warming one — though the excessive rains and flooding might give the impression. Instead, it's all about the plants and the way that non-native species can destroy an island's ecosystem.

Five stars

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