By: Carl Hiaasen

“People say there are small owls living in those holes, but I’ve never seen them before. Anyways, we’ll be bulldozing the place,” the construction site worker said. “What about the owls?” the police officer asked. The worker chuckled and replied, “What owls?” How strange.

Hoot is a mystery novel that takes place in modern times in Florida, USA. Roy, a seventh grader, rides the bus to school like many of us. He is a new kid, and since his father works for the government in different places, he has to switch schools frequently. Therefore, he faces something that some new kids face: a bully. Roy really wants to go back to his older home, because things are not fun here in Florida. But one day, when he gets on the bus, through the window, he could see a kid running BAREFOOT. The kid wasn’t wearing a backpack and was definitely not ready for school. Roy started to go after him, but he didn’t reach the boy. The boy was running towards a construction site. Little did he know, the mystery unravels from here on. At a construction site not far away, some people are trying to build a pancake place, but mysterious pranks are delaying the opening. For example, someone pulled out construction posts out of the ground, and doing so, leaving holes just enough for a small animal to live in. Maybe even an owl. Will these two mysteries be related somehow, and form a huge conspiracy?

Roy is a boy who really wants to be clear about everything. For example, if he didn’t care, he wouldn’t have wanted to chase the barefoot boy, and the whole story would just collapse. I think I am similar to Roy. I can relate when Roy got an answer from his friend that the barefoot boy was maybe just playing a running game. Roy refused to believe that. I can relate because when I was confused about a word problem in math and my friend just told me the answer, I became quite stubborn. Like Roy, I was determined to find out why. Roy and I were like detectives, and we used every tiny clue there was to find. Just like Roy, I got to prove my friend wrong. 

I would recommend this book to all the mystery book lovers. You would have to guess answers along the way, and you would find a surprise at the end. I would also recommend this book to animal lovers, because it talks about animals and it teaches a few life lessons about animals, too. I would rate this book a 10/10 because I loved the cliffhangers at the end of each chapter and I also love to make inferences. This was also a mystery book that I found the most enjoyable to read, and I hope you feel the same if you read it, too!

By: Amy T.

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