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  • Hoot

Hoot

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Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen

In this humorous ecological mystery, three unlikely middle-school kids lead a protest to save endangered burrowing owls that live on the property where a Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House is about to be built.

Roy Eberhardt is accustomed to being the new kid in school, so when his father’s job moves the family to Coconut Cove, Florida, Roy enters Trace Middle School with the full knowledge of what it feels like to have no real friends. What he doesn’t expect is an immediate encounter with the school bully. Dana Matherson is everyone’s fear, but at the very moment he mashes Roy’s face against the school-bus window, Roy notices a barefoot boy running away from the school bus and across a field. His curiosity about the boy leads him to Beatrice, the boy’s stepsister, and Beatrice leads him to the burrowing owls that are about to become homeless because a Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House is about to be built on the land where the owls live. The three unlikely allies take on the construction guys, the corporate PR honchos, and the police—all for the sake of the owls.

Ages 10 and up

Carl Hiaasen, a columnist for the Miami Herald, is the author of many bestselling novels for adults, including Sick Puppy and Basket Case. He says that he has been writing about Florida since he was six when his father gave him a typewriter. Hoot, a 2003 Newbery Honor Book, is Mr. Hiaasen’s first novel for young readers.