by Carl Hiaasen

Alfred A Knopf Books for Young Readers


I'll be honest, I picked this book up at a thrift store. I had heard a lot about Hoot and it was a Newberry Honor Book, so I had high expectations.

Once I was trying to see how many Newberry winners I could read. I told the librarian it would be nice if they would be shelved separate from the others so they could be found easier. The librarian told me that if they did that the kids wouldn't pick those to check out. Hmmmm

Well, this book was okay, but it took me a while to get into it. I could tell the author was used to writing adult novels, by the way he wrote this book. 

It was a fairly slow start with a lot of telling - the very thing I try not to do when I write. I even considered stopping, but I continued.

I had to get used to the way it was written - kids' scenes stopping and turning into adult scenes in the middle of the chapters. I would be engrossed in what was happening with the kids and then he would suddenly stop and go to what was happening with the adults.

Then there was this thing with the bad words. I think they could have been left out.
And, although many people describe Hoot as a laugh-out-loud book, and I love humor in a book, I was disappointed. I never once laughed out loud while reading it.

For those of you who may not have read it. Roy, the main character, just moved to Florida from Montana and he isn't very happy with the change. A bully has targeted him to pick on all the time. And I can't believe the bus driver is oblivious to all of this. And very few of the adult characters in the book could be considered good role models.

The premise of the story is that Roy, a soccer player girl and her step brother join to save cute little burrowing owls where a Pancake House is scheduled to be built. I'll let you read it to find out what happened.

I am glad I continued. After I got used to the way he was writing it, the story had me wanting to see what would happen next. To me this was an okay book, but I have read better. 

But, according to reviews online, many people really like it and you may, too.

Happy reading!

Join others reviewing middle grade books over on Always in the Middle.


  1. I read his 2005's FLUSH and enjoyed the story but haven't read any of the other titles. I believe he's up to six now for young readers. Thanks for your insights into this first one.
    I'll slide you in the MMGM lineup when time allows later today.

  2. Thanks for this honest review. I never have enough time to read, so it's always nice to know what to prioritize.

  3. I never read anything by this author. I'm like Rosi. Too much to read so appreciate your review.

  4. I appreciate your honesty. It sounds like it came together at the end.
    Our two libraries shelve the Newbery award books on a separate shelf, but close to the MG and YA books. Makes it so much easier!

  5. Sounds like this one picked up speed as you read. I appreciate your honest review. :)

    Interesting that the library doesn't want to put the award books together.

  6. I enjoyed your candor in your review. I've not yet read this author's work, but I hear a lot about his books. Thanks for posting this for MMGM.


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