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Hoot | [Carl Hiaasen]

Hoot

Roy's family moves a lot, so he's used to the new-kid drill. Florida bullies are pretty much like bullies everywhere. But Roy finds himself oddly indebted to the hulking Dana Matherson. 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 the first interesting thing Roy's seen in Florida.
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Publisher's Summary

Roy Eberhardt has recently, and unhappily, arrived in Florida. "Disney World is an armpit," he states flatly, "compared to Montana."

Roy's family moves a lot, so he's used to the new-kid drill. Florida bullies are pretty much like bullies everywhere. But Roy finds himself oddly indebted to the hulking Dana Matherson. 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 the first interesting thing Roy's seen in Florida.

The boy was about Roy's age, but he was running away from the school bus. He had no books, no backpack, and, here's the odd part, no shoes.

Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy's trail. The chase will introduce him to some other intriguing Floridian creatures: potty-trained alligators, a beleaguered construction foreman, some burrowing owls, a fake-fart champion, a renegade eco-avenger, some slippery fish, a sinister pancake PR man, and several extremely poisonous snakes with unnaturally sparking tails.

Life in Florida is looking up.

Hoot is a 2003 Newbery Medal Honor Book.

©2002 Carl Hiaasen; (P)2002 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, An Imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the Critics Say

  • Newbery Honor Book, 2003
  • Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Children's Literature, 2003

"Quite a hoot indeed." (Publishers Weekly)
"Hiaasen has crafted a delicious screwball comedy for all ages, and Chad Lowe's performance is a hoot." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (557 )
5 star
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4.2 (143 )
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Story
4.2 (139 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Native Texan Houston, Texas 12-23-03
    Native Texan Houston, Texas 12-23-03 Listener Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    250
    ratings
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    18
    13
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    "Clever and surprising!"

    This is certainly the most purely entertaining book I have heard in a long time. The plot and characters are clever, interesting and, best of all, surprising. Along with an avenging, tire-biting girl soccer star and a runaway boy turned ecology defender, HOOT delivers a main character who has his own cunning way of dealing with bullies and school harassment. You will meet a scheming pancake house executive, a construction contractor under siege, a wonderfully vile bully, a B-movie actress/pancake house icon and some very tiny owls. Yes, it's mental and auditory bubble-gum, but it's great fun.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zachary Sanford, NC, USA 02-27-05
    Zachary Sanford, NC, USA 02-27-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    1
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    "I'm hooting a congratulations"

    My dad bought me a Rio player with an Audible subscription. This was the first book I got. I wasn't really thinking much about it, but Chad Lowe is a great reader and Carl Hiaasen is a great writer. I definitely recommend the book. I would never thought that a book with a bullied kid, a barefoot Justin Gatlin (a U.S. Olympic track star), and a sharp toothed soccer player could make a kid like me entertained.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margo New Mexico 03-18-04
    Margo New Mexico 03-18-04 Member Since 2002

    Tucked away in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    178
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    Overall
    "Good listen for a car ride with kids"

    This is a good title for adults and children confined in a car. I was introduced to this author by another title, Basketcase, which I completely enjoyed but wouldn't necessarily want my kids to listen to. The author keeps his same sense of humor in Hoot, but the main character is a middle-school-aged boy, and the premise is suitable for all ages.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 02-13-12
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 02-13-12 Member Since 2006

    Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 11-year-old daughter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2281
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    213
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    "Listened with my nine-year-old"

    Wanted an excuse to listen to another book by Hiaasen but felt a little funny listening to a kid's book. So I downloaded a copy and listened along with my nine-year-old daughter who read a printed copy at the same time. Helped her with her reading fluency and comprehension and it gave me an excuse to listen. I haven't had as much fun since I re-read one of my old Hardy Boys books. It was a win-win. By the way, the book was standard Hiaasen fare. A great listen.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Palo Alto, CA, United States 07-05-13
    Elizabeth Palo Alto, CA, United States 07-05-13 Member Since 2011

    Nonfiction book editor specializing in home and family.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    18
    3
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    "our favorite Carl Hiaasen kids' book"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Hoot?

    Our favorite line: "Hello, Beatrice," on the bus. Listen for it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    My 8-year-old son and I listen to audiobooks in the car. He frequently didn't want to stop listening to Hoot when we arrived at our destination or home. Breaking the book into parts built suspense and anticipation into the experience. As soon as we got in the car, I'd hear: "Hoot, please." And we'd pick up where we left off. By request, we've listened to it three times through. I don't mind because it's my favorite Carl Hiaasen kids' book, choosing from among Chomp, Scat, Flush, and Hoot, and I like all four books.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend for all ages.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karyn Westport, CT, USA 10-03-06
    Karyn Westport, CT, USA 10-03-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
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    18
    11
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    "Fun book for the whole family"

    This book is in the same genre as Louis Sachar's books - complex plots with twists and turns, and challenges that keep you rooting for the main character. It's not as imaginative as Sacher's books, unfortunately, but close enough that you won't feel too disappointed. It's got a good pace that is interesting right from the beginning and keeps up throughout the story. Definitely something that parents and kids can share on a long car trip.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Waynesboro, VA, United States 03-10-05
    Edward Waynesboro, VA, United States 03-10-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    "Get back Harry Potter"

    Here is the quintessential normal kid hero doing his thing in a world full of weirdos. This is a great book for kids and a pretty good book for adults. The outcome is telegraphed as soon as you know who the characters are, and what they do, but it was a fun listen. In a way, it's a kids book, but just like Harry Potter, only adults who have lost sight of what it was to be a kid will not enjoy it too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book reader Boynton Beach, FL 01-07-05
    Book reader Boynton Beach, FL 01-07-05 Member Since 2004

    Learned to love audiobooks when I was commuting two to three hour a day. I still love listening to a good book, even when I prefer a printed version.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bittersweet, funny, fast-paced"

    While this could be enjoyed by young teens, I appreciated this book particularly as an adult. Apparently, junior high school hasn't changed, so the characters and plight of the young protagonist rang true. The plot is as quirky as I've come to expect from a Carl Hiaasen book, with all the bemused sense of absurdity that colors all his work. I listened to it in my car, and looked forward every night to getting back to the story during the next morning's drive to work(NOT a common situation!). Chad Lowe does an excellent job of reading -- speaking from the kid's point of view without condescension, particularly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph NEW ORLEAN, LA, USA 12-05-03
    Joseph NEW ORLEAN, LA, USA 12-05-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "HOOT"

    I am very disappointed in Audible (and maybe Hiassen) for not clearly labelling this a children's book. Probably great for 8 to 12 year olds but NOT for adults doing a 10 hour drive. As a kicker, my Otis did not record the final chapter. I'd like to say I don't know how it ended but I do and did for the last 4 hours I listened. Get this for a youngster but not for literate adults.

    21 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Santa Rosa, Ca 11-24-12
    Elisabeth Santa Rosa, Ca 11-24-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Not as much a "HOOT" as Carl Hiasson's other hilar"

    I prefer George Wilson's narration. Entertaining, great moral lesson, but I did'nt enjoy it as much as most of his other books. But give a shot anyway. It's always worth it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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