Author: Carl Hiaasen
Published: 2002, Knopf
Category: Young Adult
Carl Hiaasen is a funny, funny man. And he can write. I've read several of his adult novels and they've all been good. My favorites so far are Skinny Dip and Basket Case. Some of his antagonists are sometimes a little too gritty and disgusting, and just plain evil (have you noticed I like to see the world a bit rose-tinted?) but, though they can make me uncomfortable, they are fantastic characters, drawn in razor sharp detail. And they are at least balanced by generally very admirable protags.
Hoot is Hiaasen's first young adult book. Like all his novels, it is set in Florida. Roy is a 10-year-old who has just moved from Montana. He is dealing with adjusting to a new home, and battling the thuggish school bully. Soon he joins forces with two local children who are trying to stop the construction of a new chain restaurant on a vacant lot, which is home to a few families of burrowing owls. The cute little owls are a protected species.
Good lessons for the kiddies, and adults too. Ecological preservation, of course, and also the importance of newspapers. A lesson I myself didn't need, as I have long had my own Clark Kent-ish role model. A brave man who battles injustice with questions and a pen, or, nowadays a laptop. :)
Hoot has been made into a movie that is coming out very soon. I hope it's good.