HOOT by Carl Hiaasen
A short summary about the book by Carl Hiaasen
By Abbie Peterson
HOOT by Carl Hiaasen focuses on how a young boy changes the fate of protected animals that deserve justice. He does his research about the subject and gets his facts straight before he goes to the pancake house and puts them in their place. He saves the owls and secures them a permanent home. He also creates many friendships with a bond too hard to break. As the boy perseveres through hard times, and major struggles, he still keeps a positive attitude.
Close Reading Skills
Fully comprehending this novel requires lots of close reading skills and attention to details.
Again and Again
One strategy you can use to better understand the novel is "Again and Again." This is when an image, word, or situation is repeated so often that the reader wonders the importance. In HOOT, especially on page 124, Roy, Mullet Fingers and Beatrice go to the construction site and Roy sees the owls for the first time. He realizes why Mullet Fingers wants to protect them. This repeats later in the story because that is what they are trying to protect.
Another close reading skills you need to understand HOOT is "Tough Questions." This means it's a point where the character stops and asks themselves a tough question. Usually an "I wonder..." or "Why..." type or question. This is present in different parts in the book, but mostly on page 151. In this section Mullet Fingers had an encounter with the attack dogs at the Mother Paula's construction site. He got hurt so Roy and Beatrice took him to the hospital. Mullet Fingers wouldn't tell Roy his name so Roy told the hospital his information so Mullet Fingers could get help. The hospital called Roy's parents and they came but were surprised to see Roy in perfect condition and an empty hospital bed. The doctor had to ask Roy's parents a lot of questions because he didn't understand who the patient was and where he went.
Finally, the last close reading skill that you should use to help understand HOOT is "Memory Moment." This is when there is a flashback or a pause in the story to reflect back on a memory. These moments usually hold important information, even if you don't know it yet. This is present in parts of the book, but mostly it was on page 52. In this chunk Roy was surrounded by rattlesnakes and a voice was yelling at him to be still. He has a flashback to when he was in Montana and he was on a field trip with his class. He strayed away from the group and ended up standing in front of a grizzly bear. He remembered that bears had bad eye sight so he remained perfectly still. The bears walked away and there was Roy standing perfectly still. He flashed back to the present and he remembered how still he felt and he did that again in front of the rattlesnakes. Roy remained perfectly still.
One theme that came to mind while reading the novel HOOT is this even though you are a kid you can do anything you set your mind to. It doesn't matter if it's convincing your parents to get a dog or saving owls from a Mother Paula's Pancake House construction site. Would you agree or disagree in the statement I wrote above? Tell me in the poll below! I think this is the theme because Roy never gives up and makes sure the owls are safe.