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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

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings


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Hiaasen's first first YA novel a limited success

Carl Hiaasen's first shot at young adult fiction cntains the same offbeat to the point of parody situations and characters. I like the fact that the parents of the protaganist Roy were portrayed in a positive light if somewhat thinly drawn. They contrasted nicely with with the general media portryal of parents particularly of fathers. As always Hiaasen is the voice in the wilderness crying out for the wilderness. When at his best Hiaasen's characters are unique and likeable. Too often though they slip periously close to one or two dimensional of episodic TV. Still he is always a good listen. Well worth the time.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Ed
  • Saint Augustine, FL, United States
  • 02-13-12

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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Zachary
  • Sanford, NC, USA
  • 02-27-05

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • Palo Alto, CA, United States
  • 07-05-13

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Karyn
  • Westport, CT, USA
  • 10-03-06

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

  • Overall
  • Glenn
  • Assonet, MA, USA
  • 08-09-06

Give us more!

I hope Carl Hiaasen decides to write more books like this. It was wonderful. I listened to some of his others books but was a bit put off by the violence - and the "adult" language. This his none of that - it's just a great story for any age. Give us more, Carl!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Edward
  • Waynesboro, VA, United States
  • 03-10-05

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

  • Overall

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