2013 National Book Award Finalist, Young People's Literature

Kathi Appelt

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt Kathi Appelt

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2105-9

Photo credit: Chandler Arden


With traditional storytelling cadences and exquisite pacing, Kathi Appelt lures readers into a Southern swamp. Weaving seemingly disparate storylines, Appelt gives us two recently appointed raccoon scouts, J’miah and Bingo, who embark on a quest for the Sugar Man, while a twelve-year-old boy desperately seeks to save his family’s home and business. This operatic drama lightened with jolts of humor and embedded with natural history reveals the transformative power of perseverance, loyalty, and courage.

About the Book

Raccoon brothers Bingo and J’miah are the newest recruits of the Official Sugar Man Swamp Scouts. The opportunity to serve the Sugar Man—the massive creature who delights in delicious sugar cane and magnanimously rules over the swamp—is an honor, and also a big responsibility, since the rest of the swamp critters rely heavily on the intel of these hardworking Scouts.

Twelve-year-old Chap Brayburn is not a member of any such organization. But he loves the swamp something fierce, and he’ll do anything to help protect it.

And help is surely needed, because world-class alligator wrestler Jaeger Stitch wants to turn Sugar Man swamp into an Alligator World Wrestling Arena and Theme Park, and the troubles don’t end there. There is also a gang of wild feral hogs on the march, headed straight toward them all.

The Scouts are ready. All they have to do is wake up the Sugar Man. Problem is, no one’s been able to wake that fellow up in a decade or four…

Newbery Honoree and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt presents a story of care and conservation, funny as all get out and ripe for reading aloud.

About the Author

Kathi Appelt is the author of the Newbery Honor-winning, National Book Award finalist, PEN USA Literary Award-winning, and bestselling The Underneath as well as the National Book Award Long Listed Novel The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, and many picture books. She is a member of the faculty at Vermont College’s Master of Fine Arts program. She has two grown children, lives in Texas with her husband, and once helped her grandma raise a baby raccoon.


> Appelt's website: kathiappelt.com

> Twitter: @kappelt

> Appelt's 2008 National Book Award Young People’s Literature Finalist page for The Underneath.

Appelt's appreciation from the NBF's Up All Night Young People's Literature Online Exihibition
> upallnightreading.com