Hoot is a wonderful book written by Carl Hiaasen. The story is about an intelligent and curious middle-school student named Roy Eberhardt. He feels a little of out place when he moves to Florida from Montana. At school, he falls prey to the bully Dana Matherson. When he sees a strange boy running along the sidewalk with no backpack and no shoes he sets off to find him. Instead, he becomes involved in saving a particular street corner from becoming another Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake outlet.
No one cares that the bulldozers will bury the burrows of the tiny owls living there except a few of his friends such as Mullet Fingers and Beatrice. His parents although care about the owls but are not willing to do much to stop the construction. In an effort to save the site they manage to outsmart Officer Delinko, the cop responsible for protecting the site and Curly, the foreman who’s responsible for getting the job started. Mullet Fingers the homeless boy even tries to stop construction by removing the bulldozer seat.
Roy is smart enough to realize that someone should be told about the owl situation. So they call the mayor and the local media. Roy also asks records office for the paper work on the Mother Paula’s construction but finds the environmental assessment record missing. The Mother Paula’s representative Mr. Muckle tries to kill the owls by spraying a fire extinguisher into the burrows but Mullet Fingers is able to catch him in a fishing net and tie him just in time.
Just when the mayor is about to make a speech Roy jumps onto the stage and tells everyone about the Mother Paula’s company destroying the owl’s burrows. Mr. Muckle is taken under arrest and the land is donated by Mother Paula as an animal sanctuary. It ends happily with Roy’s parents deciding to stay permanently in Florida. I liked Roy Eberhardt because I could relate to him. Twelve year old Roy is willing to take a stand for anything he believes in. He is a simple kid from Montana who has had a hard time moving around the country six times before because of his father’s job with the Department of Justice.
He feels lonely in the new town Coconut Cove in Florida. His daring nature leads him to take on Dana the Bully. He is funny and witty especially when faced with the school principal. As an only child he must fulfill all their expectations. This is because his parents decided not to have any more children when his baby sister died early in his mother’s pregnancy. There are several reasons why this book is a must read. First, the suspense of the storyline, will hook the person reading from the first page till the end.
It will also teach readers about taking a stand, growing up, making big decisions and facing many obstacles. Humorous situations within the book will also not let the reader get bored. Some of the pranks played by the three friends like baby alligators in the portable potties and spraying the police car windows black while the officer is asleep in it made me laugh a lot. At the end of the book one will get attached to all three friends Roy, Mullet Finger and Beatrice and will be cheering for them when they save the owls.