Mystery writer Carl Hiassen brings his trademark humor and invention to this novel for children ages ten and up. Hoot is the story of Roy Eberhardt, a victim of bullying at his new school in Florida. On the bus ride, avoiding the schoolyard bully, Roy spots a boy who runs past with neither shoes nor backpack, discovering him to be the stepbrother of the tough, athletic Beatrice. She warns Roy away from the boy, nicknamed Mullet Fingers, who lives in solitude, away from his family. Meanwhile, vandalism is a growing epidemic at the future site of Mother Paula’s Pancake House, where investigating Officer Delinko trips over an owl hole, later finding his own car vandalized. When Roy, Mullet Fingers, and eventually the other kids at school, discover the holes are home to an endangered species of owl, they step in to intervene in the groundbreaking ceremony being held to begin construction on Mother Paula’s. In amongst the chaos that erupts, new friendships are built, and the conservationists end up winning the day, with Roy beginning to feel that he can now begin to call the town home. Hiassen’s novel is his first for a younger audience, and he does not disappoint with this Newbery Honor winner, whose quirky characters and their ultimate triumph are a “hoot” and delight in itself.