cover image for Hoot dvd

Buffet, J. (Producer), & Shriner, W. (Director).  (2006) Hoot [Motion Picture]. United States: New Line Cinema.


I’m going to skip the recap, because the movie follows the book fairly closely.

Hoot is nice, solid, book to movie translation.  Some of the details had to be left out in order to get the movie to fit into the required running time, but the only time that mattered all that much was at the beginning, which seemed rushed and choppy in places.  Other than that, the story flowed smoothly and captured much of the spirit of the book.  Two things that were extra nice about the film were the casting of Like Wilson as officer David Delinko and the ability to do nice, sweeping shots of the natural landscapes in Florida.  The former gave his character – who was pretty much just a bumbler in the book – some much needed sympathy and the latter helped drive home the larger issues at stake within the story.

Like the book, Hoot has just the right blend of suspense and humor to appeal to tweens.  It also touches on many themes – such as dealing with transitions and finding one’s voice – that are especially relevant to them.

Best for ages 8-13



cover image for HootHiassen, C. (2002).  Hoot.  New York, NY: Random House Children’s Books.



Roy Eberhardt has moved around so much that he doesn’t really feel like he’s from anywhere in particular.  Still, Montana felt like home more than any other place before it, so he’s not too happy about having to move once again, this time to Florida.   And now, as if being the new kid wasn’t enough, the class bully has decided that Roy is now his favorite target.  But Roy soon has much more on his mind, for he suddenly finds himself caught up with a kid with no name, no home, and no shoes…and on the trail of a mystery involving pancakes, venomous snakes with sparkly tails, and owls that live underground.

Hiaasen’s tale of greed versus conservation is full of not only twists and turns but also plenty of hilarity and wackiness.  Younger tweens may find the plot confusing, but many will still be drawn in by the suspense and humor.  Older tweens will especially appreciate not only the ecological dilemma, but also the more manageable local scale of what is often presented as an insurmountable global crisis.

Best for ages 11-15

Awards and Reviews: Newbery Honor Winner

Author Website: http://www.carlhiaasen.com/index.shtml