Thursday, November 27, 2008
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Fans of enviro themed fiction will enjoy Carl Hiaasen's Hoot, a chapter book styled for your juvenile reader. Roy is a middle schooler that recently relocated to Florida from Montana, a move that left him missing mountains and woods. He develops a new circle of friends including one tough chick named Beatrice and a mysterious running boy.
Roy discovers tiny land burrowing owls will soon have their habitat threatened by a stack of flapjacks, AKA Mother Paula's Pancake House. We follow Roy through an ecological mystery as he works to save the tiny homes of the owls and convinces us to give a hoot. It is a rough go as he works against adult conspiracy, apathy and a twist of legalistics that could drive most growns ups nuts.
I'm thankful for writers that are exploring contemporary themes of conservation, justice and sustainability as they mesh real world plots and characters for a read that grips us. This is a book that I've often recommended to parent and child to read together, and even more exciting if you piggyback other non-fiction materials to study upon while you progress through the novel.
If you like Hoot, try Flush, another ecological mystery book Hiaasen writes with the same sense of style and humor for kids. Hoot has indeed been made into a film version, a fun followup you may enjoy after working through the book.