4.4 861
by Carl Hiaasen

View All Available Formats & Editions

Unfortunately, Roy's first acquaintance in Florida is Dana Matherson, a well-known bully. Then again, if Dana hadn't been sinking his thumbs into Roy's temples and mashing his face against the school-bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is intriguing: he was running away from the school bus, carried no books, and -- here…  See more details below


Unfortunately, Roy's first acquaintance in Florida is Dana Matherson, a well-known bully. Then again, if Dana hadn't been sinking his thumbs into Roy's temples and mashing his face against the school-bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is intriguing: he was running away from the school bus, carried no books, and -- here's the odd part -- wore no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy's trail. The chase introduces him to potty-trained alligators, a fake-fart champion, some burrowing owls, a renegade eco-avenger, and several extremely poisonous snakes with unnaturally sparkling tails.

Roy has most definitely arrived in Carl Hiaasen's Florida.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Carl Hiaasen, bestselling author of Basket Case and other hilarious Floridian capers, serves up a high-spirited fight for the environment in his first work aimed at younger audiences.

The site of Coconut Cove's future Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House is experiencing a slight problem: survey stakes removed, alligators in the port-a-potties, and painted-over patrol cars. But who's behind the clever vandalism and pranks? New Florida resident Roy Eberhardt isn't aware of these goings-on, but he has often noticed a barefoot boy running down the street faster than anything. His curiosity piqued, Roy starts to inquire around and even follows the boy once, only to be told by Beatrice Leep, a.k.a. Beatrice the Bear, to mind his own business. Despite Beatrice's warning and plenty of bullying from the lunkheaded Dana Matherson, Roy follows the boy, whose name is Mullet Fingers, one day and winds up in the middle of an ecological mission to save a parliament of burrowing owls from being bulldozed.

Full of colorful, well-developed characters, Hoot is a quick-witted adventure that will keep readers hooked. With down-to-earth Roy, dumbfounded Officer Delinko, and construction site manager Curly -- along with other head-shaking morons and uplifting heroes -- the author delivers an appealing cast of characters that keep the plot twisting and turning until the highly charged ending. Another zany trip to the Sunshine State for Hiaasen fans, this rewarding ecological adventure should keep readers young and old hooting with laughter. Matt Warner

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Movie Tie-In Edition/Age Range 9-12
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.65(h) x 0.78(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt


By Carl Hiaasen

Random House

Carl Hiaasen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0739331752

Chapter One

Roy would not have noticed the strange boy if it weren't for Dana Matherson, because Roy ordinarily didn't look out the window of the school bus. He preferred to read comics and mystery books on the morning ride to Trace Middle.

But on this day, a Monday (Roy would never forget), Dana Matherson grabbed Roy's head from behind and pressed his thumbs into Roy's temple, as if he were squeezing a soccer ball. The older kids were supposed to stay in the back of the bus, but Dana had snuck up behind Roy's seat and ambushed him. When Roy tried to wriggle free, Dana mushed his face against the window.

It was then, squinting through the smudged glass, that Roy spotted the strange boy running along the sidewalk. It appeared as if he was hurrying to catch the school bus, which had stopped at a corner to pick up more kids.

The boy was straw-blond and wiry, and his skin was nutbrown from the sun. The expression on his face was intent and serious. He wore a faded Miami Heat basketball jersey and dirty khaki shorts, and here was the odd part: no shoes. The soles of his bare feet looked as black as barbecue coals.

Trace Middle School didn't have the world's strictest dress code, but Roy was pretty sure that some sort of footwear was required. The boy might have been carrying sneakers in his backpack, if only he'd been wearing a backpack. No shoes, no backpack, no books-strange, indeed, on a school day.

Roy was sure that the barefoot boy would catch all kinds of grief from Dana and the other big kids once he boarded the bus, but that didn't happen....

Because the boy kept running-past the corner, past the line of students waiting to get on the bus; past the bus itself. Roy wanted to shout, "Hey, look at that guy!" but his mouth wasn't working so well. Dana Matherson still had him from behind, pushing his face against the window.

As the bus pulled away from the intersection, Roy hoped to catch another glimpse of the boy farther up the street. However, he had turned off the sidewalk and was now cutting across a private yard-running very fast, much faster than Roy could run and maybe even faster than Richard, Roy's best friend back in Montana. Richard was so fast that he got to work out with the high school track squad when he was only in seventh grade.

Dana Matherson was digging his fingernails into Roy's scalp, trying to make him squeal, but Roy barely felt a thing. He was gripped with curiosity as the running boy dashed through one neat green yard after another, getting smaller in Roy's vision as he put a wider distance between himself and the school bus.

Roy saw a big pointy-eared dog, probably a German shepherd, bound off somebody's porch and go for the boy. Incredibly, the boy didn't change his course. He vaulted over the dog, crashed through a cherry hedge, and then disappeared from view.

Roy gasped.

"Whassamatter, cowgirl? Had enough?"

This was Dana, hissing in Roy's right ear. Being the new kid on the bus, Roy didn't expect any help from the others. The "cowgirl" remark was so lame, it wasn't worth getting mad about. Dana was a well-known idiot, on top of which he outweighed Roy by at least fifty pounds. Fighting back would have been a complete waste of energy.

"Had enough yet? We can't hear you, Tex." Dana's breath smelled like stale cigarettes. Smoking and beating up smaller kids were his two main hobbies.

"Yeah, okay," Roy said impatiently. "I've had enough."

As soon as he was freed, Roy lowered the window and stuck out his head. The strange boy was gone.

Who was he? What was he running from?

Roy wondered if any of the other kids on the bus had seen what he'd seen. For a moment he wondered if he'd really seen it himself.

That same morning, a police officer named David Delinko was sent to the future site of another Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House. It was a vacant lot at the corner of East Oriole and Woodbury, on the eastern edge of town.

Officer Delinko was met by a man in a dark blue pickup truck. The man, who was as bald as a beach ball, introduced himself as Curly. Officer Delinko thought the bald man must have a good sense of humor to go by such a nickname, but he was wrong. Curly was cranky and unsmiling.

"You should see what they done," he said to the policeman.


"Follow me," the man called Curly said.

Officer Delinko got in step behind him. "The dispatcher said you wanted to report some vandalism."

"That's right," Curly grunted over his shoulder.

The policeman couldn't see what there was to be vandalized on the property, which was basically a few acres of scraggly weeds. Curly stopped walking and pointed at a short piece of lumber on the ground. A ribbon of bright pink plastic was tied to one end of the stick. The other end was sharpened and caked with gray dirt.

Curly said, "They pulled 'em out."

"That's a survey stake?" asked Officer Delinko.

"Yep. They yanked 'em out of the ground, every damn one.

"Probably just kids."

"And then they threw'em every which way," Curly said, waving a beefy arm, "and then they filled in the holes."

"That's a little weird," the policeman remarked. "When did this happen?"

"Last night or early this morning," Curly said. "Maybe it don't look like a big deal, but it's gonna take a while to get the site marked out again. Meantime, we can't start clearin' or gradin' or nuthin'. We got backhoes and dozers already leased, and now they gotta sit. I know it don't look like the crime of the century, but still-"

"I understand," said Officer Delinko. "What's your estimate of the monetary damage?"


"Yes. So I can put it in my report." The policeman picked up the survey stake and examined it. "It's not really broken, is it?"

"Well, no-"

"Were any of them destroyed?" asked Officer Delinko. "How much does one of these things cost-a buck or two?"

The man called Curly was losing his patience. "They didn't break none of the stakes," he said gruffly.

"Not even one?" The policeman frowned. He was trying to figure out what to put in his report. You can't have vandalism without monetary damages, and if nothing on the property was broken or defaced....

"What I'm tryin' to explain," Curly said irritably, "it's not that they messed up the survey stakes, it's them screwing up our whole construction schedule. That's where it'll cost some serious bucks."

From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpted from Hoot by Carl Hiaasen Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“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

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Hoot 4.4 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 861 reviews.
tchrreader More than 1 year ago
This is a great book and a fun story to read. It should be in every classroom and children should read this one snuggled up in bed at night. There are great characters and a fun story line. It shows you that even children can have opinions and make a difference! The baby owls will be killed because of the construction that is moving in to make a pancake house. How will the community, specifically the kids help these small helpless creatures. This is a book that you don't want to miss. The movie is good, the book is better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Hoot because it tells the story of a boy who moves a lot and is bullied on the bus because he has come from Montana, and I guess it's just that nobody wants to hang out with the new kid. I get that. I move a lot too, so this story is easy to relate to. I think most people can relate to it, and I recomend it highly. P.S. Hit Yes below if this was helpful to you (I hope it was)
Drummer101 More than 1 year ago
Mother Paula's pancake house owners want to build a new pancake house the only problem is the owls are in the ground where they want to build it! The Owls are going to get killed. Who and how will they save them? In Carl Hiaasen's book Hoot these are all primary questions. Roy is a curious, interesting, and brave character, but when he has to risk his freedom and break the law its going to take more than being brave. There is also a strange, mysterious, and environment loving character named Mullet. Now Roy and Mullet are on a mission to save the owls but how? It would be hard to prove the owls exist but what if they can delay the pancake houses start of the building process. So Roy and Mullet thought of a brilliant idea, what if they vandalized the construction site, risky but saving the owls is definitely more important. Readers will be craving for more Hoot a heartwarming, bittersweat story that any young reader will love. Hiaasen did a great job on this book winning the Newberry Honor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hoot is such a classic book. I recomend it for all ages. Just saying listen to a ten year old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing i wish the ending......i wish there was no ending. I loved this book and scat it is amazing read this book and don't listen to HHAATTEERRRSSS (HATERS) i loved it!! Reviwed by: Paige
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever! Loved the hillarious houmor, and the details! Wish it never ended! Definitly recommand it to all readers! Amazing! I LOVE Carl Hiassen! His books are the very best! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hoot is really good.When you first start reading it , you get pulled in. You should REALLLLLYYYYYYYY GET IT!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What i think about the book is that it is a very touching book it understands me somtimes it reaches out and make me apart of the story i rwally reslly recomrnd it to any one at all
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great for all kids including many reading programs. I think many people would enjoy the book Hoot?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my favorites. It is so great that I read it all in two days. You must read it. If ypi loke animals than you will love lots of his books such as Scat, Flush, and Chomp. Press buy it well worth your money!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It sounds like a great book!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like this book alot everyone should check it out. [?]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This books a great read for any age. Each charecter is different and complex. Couldn't stop reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a great book (:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love hoot it made me get the whole book i cant wait to see the movie.
Susan Yellin More than 1 year ago
I'm scanning through the reviews and there are so many spelling errors by both negative and supportive critics. Time to go back to dictionary and spelling tests.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.  Being a Newbery Honor Award book, right off the bat I could tell that it was going to be a great book.  I was not disappointed.  The main character in this story was a young boy named Roy Eberhardt.  His father’s job made his family move quite often, so he felt like he never really fit in.  That was until he moved to Coconut Cove, Florida, and became close friends with a tomboy named Beatrice Leep and her carefree, uneducated stepbrother nicknamed Mullet Fingers.  Roy discovered that Mullet Fingers was trying to stop a new pancake restaurant from being built within a burrowing owl habitat.  The three friends collaborated together to try and halt this construction in order to save the helpless owls.  Their stealth-like methods of sabotaging the start of the construction were creative and entertaining and kept the story interesting.   I enjoyed this book because the colorful personalities of the characters made the story more believable, thus keeping my interest peaked.   The author’s style of detailed writing made it easy for the reader to develop connections to the characters as well as accurately visualize the various settings.   I highly recommend this book to any animal lovers out there ages 10-15, or anyone who just enjoys an inspirational story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE IT! Great read. Save the owls!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She sat boredly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay I liked this book and all but why of all reasons a pancake house seriously. Couldn't they chosen a better opponet like a library or a hospitol. So that brings down one star. And second this book is exactly like scat but with owls, and like flush instead of the owls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good book , you should read it :) :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much.(as you can probably tell from the title.) This book is hilarious.Everyone should read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and so did my daughter please make more even after Chomp please please please make more I love them!