Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen


I recommend this book for: grade 5 and up, adults too!

I guess I'm a backward Carl Hiaasen reader - I read his adult books in about 8th or 9th grade, and now I'm reading his YA novels! I was not disappointed - Hoot has the quirky characters, beautiful Florida setting, and the hilarious elements of mild eco-terrorism that I've come to expect from Hiaasen.

Roy has been depressed ever since his family moved from Montana, which he loved, to Florida. Nothing about Florida interests him - until he sees the barefoot running boy. Where is he going? Why isn't he in school? These questions intrigue Roy so much that he decides to find the boy, and his search leads him to joining the boy's quest - preventing a pancake house from being built over a nesting ground for threatened owls. Can a few middle schoolers really make a difference against a big, determined corporation? Of course they can - and with style.

Roy has other battles to fight as well, namely with the school bully, and he definitely proves that using your brains is definitely better than using force against bullies of all ages. Sure, Mullet Fingers resorts to some fairly hilarious/dangerous tactics to halt the construction (including alligators in the portapotties), but in the end it is Roy's more legal approach that saves the day on more than one front. No worries though, this isn't just a tale about being a good citizen - there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and a great story that make this a fantastic read.

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