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Penn Yan Public Library (Polaris)
Swamplandia!
    Russell, Karen, 1981-
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf,
Pub date: 2011.
Pages: 315 p. ;
ISBN: 9780307263995
Item info: 4 copies available at Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library, Dundee Library, Horseheads Branch, and Wellsville - David A. Howe Public Library.
Holdings
Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library Copies Material Location
FIC RUS 1 Adult Fiction Book Standard shelving location
Dundee Library Copies Material Location
FIC R 1 Adult Fiction Book Standard shelving location
Horseheads Branch Copies Material Location
FICTION 1 Adult Fiction Book Standard shelving location
Wellsville - David A. Howe Public Library Copies Material Location
FIC 1 Adult Fiction Book Adult Stacks
Summary
From the celebrated twenty-nine-year-old author of the everywhere-heralded short-story collection St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves ("How I wish these were my own words, instead of the breakneck demon writer Karen Russell's . . . Run for your life. This girl is on fire"-- Los Angeles Times Book Review ) comes a blazingly original debut novel that takes us back to the swamps of the Florida Everglades, and introduces us to Ava Bigtree, an unforgettable young heroine.

The Bigtree alligator-wrestling dynasty is in decline, and Swamplandia!, their island home and gator-wrestling theme park, formerly #1 in the region, is swiftly being encroached upon by a fearsome and sophisticated competitor called the World of Darkness. Ava's mother, the park's indomitable headliner, has just died; her sister, Ossie, has fallen in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, who may or may not be an actual ghost; and her brilliant big brother, Kiwi, who dreams of becoming a scholar, has just defected to the World of Darkness in a last-ditch effort to keep their family business from going under. Ava's father, affectionately known as Chief Bigtree, is AWOL; and that leaves Ava, a resourceful but terrified thirteen, to manage ninety-eight gators and the vast, inscrutable landscape of her own grief.

Against a backdrop of hauntingly fecund plant life animated by ancient lizards and lawless hungers, Karen Russell has written an utterly singular novel about a family's struggle to stay afloat in a world that is inexorably sinking. An arrestingly beautiful and inventive work from a vibrant new voice in fiction. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
Publishers Weekly Review
Few novelists debut with as much hearty recommendation as Russell, a New Yorker 20-under-40 whose cunning first novel germinates a seed planted in her much-loved collection, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. We return to Swamplandia!, the once-thriving Florida tourist attraction where the Bigtree clan-Ava, Ossie, Kiwi, and the Chief-wrestles alligators. After the death of mother Hilola-the park's star alligator wrestler-Ava, the youngest Bigtree, takes her place in the spotlight while her sister, Ossie, elopes with a ghostly man named Louis Thanksgiving, and brother Kiwi winds up sweeping floors at Swamplandia!'s competition. Worst of all is the disappearance of the Chief, spurring Ava to embark upon a rescue mission that will take her from the Gulf of Mexico to the gates of hell, occasionally assisted by an unlikely extended family that includes the geriatric Grandpa Sawtooth, the Bird Man, and a tiny red alligator with the potential to save the park. Russell's willingness to lend flesh and blood to her fanciful, fantastical creations gives this spry novel a potent punch and announces an enthralling new beginning for a quickly evolving young author. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. From: Reed Elsevier Inc. Copyright Reed Business Information
Library Journal Review
The Tamiami Trail, a two-lane road connecting the wealthy city of Naples with bustling, multicultural Miami, cuts through a river of grass known as the Florida Everglades. This wonderfully unique combination of wildwood hammock and cypress slough has been home to the mound-building Calusa, then the Seminoles, and now the quirkiest, most delightful group of all, the fictitious Bigtrees. A once-thriving destination for blue-haired tourists from the Midwest, Swamplandia boasted airboat rides and alligator wrestling until the death of the feature performer, matriarch Hilola Bigtree. The grieving chief fails to recognize that his kids are suffering, too. Osceola, the oldest daughter, communes with the dead. Kiwi, her brother, makes a pact with the devil, the Disney-esque attraction, World of Darkness, and precocious Ava secretly nurtures a rare red alligator, hoping to revive the family business. Like a kinder, gentler Carl Hiaasen, Russell manages to skewer all the Florida bad guys-Big Sugar, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Casino Gaming Commission-while writing a love song to paradise and innocence lost. Verdict This wildly imaginative debut novel, coming on the heels of the short story collection St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, delivers on Russell's status as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists. A phantasmagorical tale of teens left on their own to battle their demons, mixed with a brief history of the Sunshine State, Russell's book will appeal to young adults as well as their folks. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/10.]-Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Myers, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. From: Reed Elsevier Inc. Copyright Reed Business Information
School Library Journal Review
Mere months after their mother dies, the Bigtree family's alligator-wrestling theme park and cafe, Swamplandia!, goes out of business, sending the abandoned siblings on individual perilous journeys away from home in this dazzling, affecting, funny novel. (Feb.) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. From: Reed Elsevier Inc. Copyright Reed Business Information
Author Biography
Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

Chapter Childrens Literature Comprehensive Database Review

Full View From Catalog
Leader am8a
key ocn613432205
Data source OCoLC
Fixed field data 100902s2011 nyu 000 1 eng
LCCN 2010036708
ISBN 9780307263995 : $24.95
ISBN 0307263991
Cataloging Source DLC DLC BTCTA YDXCP NSB IEB
Geographic Area Code n-us-fl
LC Call Number PS3618.U755 S93 2011
Dewey Decimal Classification Number 813/.6 22
Personal Author Russell, Karen, 1981-
Title Swamplandia! / Karen Russell.
Publication info New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
Projected pub date 1102
Physical description 315 p. ; 25 cm.
Summary Twelve year old Ava must travel into the Underworld part of the smamp in order to save her family's dynasty of Bigtree alligator wresting. This novel takes us to the swamps of the Florida Everglades, and introduces us to Ava Bigtree, an unforgettable young heroine. The Bigtree alligator wrestling dynasty is in decline, and Swamplandia!, their island home and gator wrestling theme park, formerly no. 1 in the region, is swiftly being encroached upon by a fearsome and sophisticated competitor called the World of Darkness. Ava's mother, the park's indomitable headliner, has just died; her sister, Ossie, has fallen in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, who may or may not be an actual ghost; and her brilliant big brother, Kiwi, who dreams of becoming a scholar, has just defected to the World of Darkness in a last ditch effort to keep their family business from going under. Ava's father, affectionately known as Chief Bigtree, is AWOL; and that leaves Ava, a resourceful but terrified thirteen, to manage ninety eight gators as well as her own grief. Against a backdrop of hauntingly fecund plant life animated by ancient lizards and lawless hungers, the author has written a novel about a family's struggle to stay afloat in a world that is inexorably sinking.
Held by CORNING DUNDEE HORSEHEADS WELLSVILLE
Subject term Girls--Fiction.
Subject term Mothers--Death--Fiction.
Subject term Motherless families--Fiction.
Subject term Amusement parks--Fiction.
Subject term Alligators--Fiction.
Geographic term Everglades (Fla.)--Fiction.
Geographic term Ten Thousand Islands (Fla.)--Fiction.
Genre index term Fantasy.