Hoot
by Carl Hiaasen
Roy Eberhardt has just moved to Coconut Cove, Florida.  When Roy sees the running boy go by his bus, he is
intrigued.  It is not long before he finds he has been mixed up in a mysterious adventure.  As a result, Roy’s
adventures lead him to make new friends in his new town to help save the endangered Burrowing Owl.  In this
story, we learn that Roy is brave, smart and caring.

Roy shows he is brave in many instances.  He is quick to confront bullies, as he does when he approaches
Beatrice in the cafeteria.  Her aggressiveness and physical strength, along with stories he has heard about her,
make Beatrice seem to be a bully.  But by courageously talking with her, Roy ends up becoming her friend.  In
this confrontation, Roy says “’Whatever!’ Roy made a point of smiling again.  ‘I’m glad we had a chance to get
to know each other a little better.’”(p. 45)  Roy also continues to pursue the mystery of the running boy even
after he is threatened by cottonmouth moccasins.  He is also courageous in joining the fight to stop Mother Paula’
s Pancake House from killing the Burrowing Owls.

Roy demonstrates his intelligence by investigating his mysteries, consulting his father when he needs help and
coming up with creative ways to deal with his problems.  He researches the Burrowing Owls in which Mullet
Fingers is so interested, and he tries to discover how Mother Paula’s can build their new restaurant on the
nesting site of a protected species.  When Roy seems to be getting into a sticky situation, he “told his father
everything – well, almost everything ... Roy told what he knew about ‘the running boy.’” (p. 155).  He
demonstrates is good sense by asking his father for help.  Constantly threatened and harassed by Dana
Matherson, Roy concocts a plot to trick the bully into breaking the law, landing him in juvenile detention and
effectively getting him out of the way.

Giving the running boy shoes, assuring Mullet Fingers gets medical care and saving the owls are ways Roy
shows his caring nature.  He sets out to give Mullet Fingers some shoes, but Beatrice stops him and takes him to
the junkyard to talk.  “...she snatched the box from his hands and flipped it open, aiming the flashlight at its
contents ... ‘those shoes aren’t for me,’ Roy said.  They were almost new; he’d only worn them a couple of
times. ‘Then who are they for?’ ‘Just a kid I met.’”(p. 73)  Roy also takes Mullet Fingers to the hospital, giving
his own name and information so the injured boy won’t be found out by the authorities, and he shows his
compassion when he convinces some of the kids in his Current Events class to join him in demonstrating at the
Mother Paula’s groundbreaking, ultimately saving the Burrowing Owls.

Roy’s courage, intelligence and compassion make him an interesting and likeable character.  Author Carl Hiaason
paints a vivid picture of this flat, green coastal Florida town, as well as the mountainous Montana community
from which Roy has just moved.  I also enjoy some of the wacky characters he includes, such as an unhappy
police officer, a fumbling construction foreman and an arrogant corporate vice-president ... plus a few strange
kids.  If you like mysteries and adventures, you’ll love Hoot!
BOOK REPORT
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a book report