Hoot book cover

Hoot

Hoot is a 2002 mystery/suspense novel, recommended for ages 9–12, by Carl Hiaasen. The setting takes place in Florida, where new arrival Roy makes two oddball friends and a bad enemy, and joins an effort to stop construction of a pancake house which would destroy a colony of burrowing owls who live on the site. The book won a Newbery Honor award in 2003.

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Novel
Year:
2002
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The main character Roy Eberhardt moves from Montana to Florida and into the fictional town of Coconut Cove, where a 7th grader, Dana Matherson, starts to bully him. On the bus to school, Roy sees a boy running barefoot outside. Roy tries to leave the bus, but Dana viciously chokes and strangles him. He escapes after punching Dana in the face, breaking his nose, and then exiting the bus. However, Roy can't catch the running boy because a golf ball hits Roy in the head. Vice-Principal Viola Hennepin suspends Roy from the bus for two weeks and orders him to write an apology to Dana. Roy calls for a truce, but Dana refuses to accept. A restaurant called Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House decides to build a franchise in Coconut Cove, but vandalism delays the work. Roy learns the running boy is the vandal known as "Mullet Fingers" and they become friends. Mullet Fingers vandalizes and delays construction overseen by Chuck Muckle to save the endangered burrowing owls that live on the site. The construction foreman Leroy "Curly" Branitt denies the owls' existence. Roy helps Mullet Fingers prove otherwise and tells his class including Beatrice Leep about the owls, how construction will kill the endangered species, and encourages them to join him in protests. Roy and his classmates attend the groundbreaking and expose the truth. This includes the company's illegal removal of an environmental impact statement from their files. This revelation saves the owls and their habitat. Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House blames former employees and promises to preserve the property as an owl sanctuary. Muckle is sent to anger management for attacking a reporter. Dana is later arrested and sentenced to a detention camp. Mullet Fingers's mother sees him protesting with Roy and his classmates and goes in front of all the cameras and attempts to hog all the attention. Two days later, Mullet Fingers climbs out his home's bathroom window and is mistaken for a burglar. Mullet Fingers's mother lies to the police and says he stole a very valuable toe ring. They believe her and he's sent to a juvenile detention center where he escapes. In the last chapter, Roy discovers that Mullet Fingers's real name is Napoleon Bridger Leep.
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Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen is an American journalist and novelist. He began his career as a newspaper reporter and by the late 1970s had begun writing novels in his spare time, both for adults and for young-adult readers. The two of his novels had been made into feature films. more…

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