Review by George Long III
 Hoot, a Newbery Honor book by Carl Hiaasen, is about a boy named Roy Eberhardt trying to discover a reason why a boy is running across town with no shoes, backpack, or books.  The story is set in Coconut Cove, Florida, where Roy and his family moved to.  Important characters include Roy Eberhardt, Beatrice Leep, foreman Leroy "Curly" Branitt, police officer David Delinko, and Dana Matherson.  As curious as people are, I will try not to reveal too much of the book.  Read on!

     Roy would not have known about the running boy if it weren't for Dana Matherson smooshing his face against the school bus window that morning.  While he was against the window, he noticed a boy running toward the bus stop.  The boy had no books, backpack, or weirdest of all, shoes.  A strange event then occurred. The boy didn't get on the bus, but instead started running away from the bus.  Roy was intrigued as to why the boy was running away from the bus.  For the next few days he ponders where the boy is running to. Roy comes to a decision that he will follow this boy. 

     Friday morning, while Roy was reading his X-Man comic, he notices the running boy.  At the bus stop, Roy runs off the bus to catch him.  He chases the boy, but doesn't catch him at first.  The second time he tries, the boy captures Roy.  Roy finds out that the boy goes by the name Mullet Fingers.  Mullet Fingers lets Roy go, but with a warning.  Later, Beatrice Leep brings Roy to a trailer and notifies him that Mullet Fingers is her stepbrother.  The boy is trying to stop Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House from creating a building on the place where there are owls' burrows.  
     Roy decides to join Mullet Fingers and Beatrice with the fight to save the owls.  They come up with a plan to try to convince Mother Paula's to not build at their gala groundbreaking ceremony.  The group tries inventive ways to get some evidence so more people will be on their side.  In this process they are faced with obstacles from the police and site foreman.  Will they manage to get enough evidence to convince Mother Paula's or will the owls' homes be destroyed?  You'll have to read the book to find out!

     I would recommend this book.  Readers will like the twists and turns of Roy's adventure to find out who the running boy is and the group's adventures to save the owls.  I especially liked the part where Mullet Fingers captures Roy because it was suspenseful.  I think the book was fun to read and had a good theme.  Thinking about animals and not being selfish or greedy is something that everyone should do.  I would rate this book five stars out of five.  Carl Hiaasen has also written a few other books to read if you like this one titled Scat, Chomp, and Flush.
IL: MG - BL: 5.2 - AR Pts: 9.0

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