Carl Hiaasen (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Animals, Environmental Protection, School life
"Hoot" by Carl Hiaasen is a Newbery Honor award-winning realistic fiction book for young adults. The main character of "Hoot" is Roy Eberhardt, a middle school student who has just moved to Florida from Montana. Being a new kid on the block, Roy becomes a victim of a school bully named Dana Matherson. While riding on the school bus, Roy spots a kid running barefoot and carrying no books. Later on, Roy makes friends with the homeless boy nicknamed Mullet Fingers, who is on an ecological mission to protect rare and endangered burrowing owls at the future construction site of Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House. With the aid of Mullet Fingers' stepsister Beatrice, Roy outwits the bully, helps the boy save the owls and warms up to life in Florida. Also featured in Hoot are a few adult characters, such as the construction foreman Leroy "Curly" Branitt and the ambitious police officer Delinko, who are both up in arms against the pranks. While sending a message about environmental protection, "Hoot" is an interesting and entertaining story to read. "Hoot" is a good book for teens in 7th grade and up.
Genre: Fiction - Animal Fantasy; Book Theme: Animals
"Poppy" by Avi, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, is a fast-paced and suspense-filled animal fantasy book. Main characters are two talking animals: a deer mouse named Poppy and a great horned owl called Mr. Ocax. The owl claims to be the ruler of the Dimwood Forest and promises to protect the mice headed by Poppy's father Lungwort in exchange for their obedience. After the owl kills Poppy's best friend Ragweed and refuses the request by the Poppy's father to move half of the mice family to a new place, Poppy sets out to find the new home. Along the way, Poppy makes friends with Ereth, a porcupine. In the end, Poppy engages in a fierce battle with the owl. Children in 4th grade through 7th grade will enjoy this award-winning chapter book.