Reference: Hiaasen, C. (2002). Hoot (1st ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Brief Annotation: This story features a young boy who notices another boy running away from the bus stop- barefoot. He follows the boy to try to determine who he is, and what he is doing- since he obviously is not going to school. What he finds is that the business that is being built is on top of the home of an uncommon kind of owl- which is where the title “Hoot” comes from. This book follows the unveiling of the character of this boy- a mystery solved throughout the book, and the struggle to save these animals, and their homes.
Grade Level: 4-6
Readers who might like this: Older elementary school students or early middle school students who enjoy stories about nature or preserving nature would enjoy this story. Students, teachers, or parents who are trying to teach the importance of protecting the earth, and the habitats of animals would find this book interesting. Students who enjoy a mystery to solve in the book would also like this.
Rating/Response: I give this book a 4/4. It is well written, and contains just the right amount of suspense for the age group. It contains an important message about large businesses, and their lack of respect for the environment, and habitats of animals. This allows the reader a new perspective on these topics, while engaging them by using the mystery to peek their interest.
Text Dependent Question: What was under the ground that made the kids want to stop the construction from happening?