Book Review: Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen

hoot_coverThis book review is part of series of reviews written by students at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School for their 7th grade English classes.

Should helpless owls die just because nobody knows about them? In the book Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen, the author took me to Florida where the main character has moved. This is a story about a boy and his friends trying to save owls and their dens that will be destroyed if construction is not stopped. These kids are determined to be the ones who stop it.

Roy Eberhart has moved to Florida because of his father’s job. Prior to this move, Roy became the new kid at his school. Naturally, a bully named Dana Matherson starts to pick on him. Roy hates everything about Florida, the bullies, and the fact that it is so flat. However, this makes biking easier than in the mountains. Roy later befriends Beatrice Leep who helps him with his bully problem. Beatrice is a strong girl that no one dares to get in her way. Mullet Fingers is fixed on saving the owls. He is so steadfast about saving the owls, that he will do anything. The last important character is Officer Delinko. He is an officer that is trying to figure out the person that is vandalizing the construction site.  Officer Delinko is determined to find the vandal in order to clear his name.

Mullet Fingers is the reason that I loved this book. His dedication to the saving the owls is so touching. I thought it was good the way that the author made him so selfless. He doesn’t care what condition he is in; he will do anything in his power to save the owls. He is the reason that there is so much suspense in the book. You will just want to keep on reading the book because of him. “There’s only one way to find out.” (179) Mullet Fingers leaves you hanging so you just have to continue on.

The idea of owls being killed is absurd. However, that is what is going to happen if Roy, Mullet Fingers, and Beatrice don’t stop the people from proceeding with construction. Roy is struggling to find ways that he can save the owls while struggling with Dana Matherson.

One of the major themes in this book is never give up. Don’t let someone tell you that you can’t do it. Mullet Fingers never let anyone stop him when they thought that it was dangerous.  The last obvious theme was curiosity could get you involved with things. Roy’s life would have been normal if he hadn’t been curious. “The running boy was way ahead of him, but Roy figured he could stay close enough to keep him in sight.” (15) If Roy doesn’t continue on being curious, who knows what might happen to those owls.

Hoot made me sympathize with characters. It made me feel like I should make a difference. Anyone can make a difference. Even students in middle school can change the outcome of something. In this way it inspired me. Not only did it make you feel like you can make a difference, it showed me that bullying is a real problem. It made me feel sad for Roy because he is being bullied. I think that this was a good way to capture the reader’s attention a little more.

One thing that I did not like about this book was the word choice. I think in some places of the book, the author shouldn’t have used some words. Also, one thing that I think this book lacked of was suspense. Mullet Fingers was the only character that I felt added suspense to the book. Other than him, the book was very straightforward.

Innocent owls shouldn’t be killed just because they can’t fend for themselves. If you want to know what the fate of these owls are and what Roy did about Dana Matherson, you’ll just have to read the book.

-Grace M., 7th grade

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