by Carl Hiaasen
reviewed by Gusty Russel Scattergood
If youíre a Carl Hiaasen fan, you've probably read Sick Puppy, Skin Tight and most of his quirky, twisted stories. But there may be one youíve missed.
Hoot, published in 2002, and recently named a Newbery Honor book by the American Library Association, is recommended for ages 10-15. If you live with, teach, or just happen to know someone in that age group, rush right out, buy the book, and make that kidís day!
But before you give the book to your favorite youngster, you just may want to read it yourself.
Itís no surprise that a book written by Carl Hiaasen takes place in South Florida. Or that it features snakes, fish, alligators swimming in Porta Potties, as well as a wacky cop or two. Hoot is a thoroughly engaging story, full of Hiassenís typical offbeat humor, suspense, and adults making fools of themselves.
The plot centers around the plight of an endangered owl and the kids who do their best to save it, including one recent transplant from Montana, a homeless boy, his sister, and the bullies who torment them.
This ecological mystery set in Mother Paulaís All-American Pancake House, Trace Middle School, and the wilds of South Florida is funny and well written. And even though you know all will end well, Carl Hiassenís newest book will keep you reading and make you hope itís not his last book written for a younger audience.
Gusty Russel Scattergood, a native of the Mississippi Delta, is a retired librarian, so she knows some book stuff! USADEEPSOUTH is delighted to have her join us as official USADS book review person, even though Tom Givens is trying to give her a run for her money. [See Givensís Bad Times.]
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Rick Braggís ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTINí
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