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Hoot
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About the Author

CARL HIAASEN was born and raised in Florida. He writes a column for the Miami Herald and is the author of many bestselling novels including Bad Monkey, Star Island, and Nautre Girl.

His books for younger readers include the Newbery Honor winner Hoot, as well as Flush, Scat, and Chomp. Skink--No Surrender was Hiaasen's first book for teens and features one of his most iconic characters, the reclusive ex-governor of Florida now known as Skink.

You can read more about Hiaasen's work at carlhiaasen.com.

From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews

Gr 5-8-At his Florida middle school, newcomer Roy Eberhardt must outwit his nemesis, the class bully. Outside school, Roy investigates the activities of a mysterious boy determined to halt construction of a restaurant above burrowing owls' nests. Plotlines converge as Roy's involvement to stop the construction deepens. Hiaasen infuses his eco-fiction with humor. Audio version available from Listening Library. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

With a Florida setting and proenvironment, antidevelopment message, Hiaasen (Sick Puppy) returns to familiar turf for his first novel for young readers. Characteristically quirky characters and comic twists will surely gain the author new fans, though their attention may wander during his narrative's intermittently protracted focus on several adults, among them a policeman and the manager of a construction site for a new franchise of a pancake restaurant chain. Both men are on a quest to discover who is sabotaging the site at night, including such pranks as uprooting survey stakes, spray-painting the police cruiser's windows while the officer sleeps within and filling the portable potties with alligators. The story's most intriguing character is the boy behind the mischief, a runaway on a mission to protect the miniature owls that live in burrows underneath the site. Roy, who has recently moved to Florida from Montana, befriends the homeless boy (nicknamed Mullet Fingers) and takes up his cause, as does the runaway's stepsister. Though readers will have few doubts about the success of the kids' campaign, several suspenseful scenes build to the denouement involving the sitcom-like unraveling of a muckity-muck at the pancake house. These, along with dollops of humor, help make the novel quite a hoot indeed. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"It seems unlikely that the master of noir-tinged, surrealistic black humor would write a novel for young readers. And yet, there has always been something delightfully juvenile about Hiaasen's imagination; beneath the bent cynicism lurks a distinctly 12-year-old cackle. In this thoroughly engaging tale of how middle schooler Roy Eberhardt, new kid in Coconut Cove, learns to love South Florida, Hiaasen lets his inner kid run rampant, both the subversive side that loves to see grown-ups make fools of themselves and the righteously indignant side, appalled at the mess being made of our planet. The story is full of offbeat humor, buffoonish yet charming supporting characters, and genuinely touching scenes of children enjoying the wildness of nature. He deserves a warm welcome into children's publishing."--Booklist

"A wonderful tour-de-force."--The Boston Globe

"A rollicking, righteous story."--The Miami Herald

"You don't have to be a young adult to enjoy it."--The New York Times Book Review

"Yes, it is a hoot."--The Washington Post Book World

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