Reviews for Hoot

School Library Journal Reviews 2003 January
Gr 6-9-This is novelist Carl Hiassen's first book for young readers (Knopf, 2002). Set in Florida, an intriguing barefoot runner reminiscent in his innocence of Maniac Magee leads middle school student Roy Eberhardt on an eco-adventure that includes snakes, fish, alligators, a student protest movement, and encounters with big business and law enforcement-all in defense of a nesting site for burrowing owls. This barefoot runner remains fairly enigmatic throughout the story, never truly becoming part of the ordinary world of home, school, and community that newcomer Roy finds so limited after having experienced the majestic Montana mountains. But Roy grows to appreciate Florida by experiencing it through contact with this elusive friend whom he helps to accomplish the seemingly impossible. An interesting cast of adult and student characters is brought to life by actor Chad Lowe who uses his voice deftly to express each in clearly discernible ways. His reading is especially well-paced to assist in following and understanding the changes of setting and characters as the plot moves along in two different sequences for quite some time. It's an appealing story focusing on ecological values, giving it nice classroom potential for science tie-ins. It would also make a great book for family listening because of its timely story line, interesting animal details, lots of local color, and effective message.-Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, NY Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.