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Author: Hiaasen, Carl
Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 61464
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.80
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 31835
Newbery Honor, 2003
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/02)
School Library Journal (-) (08/02)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (11/02)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 11/01/2002 Roy’s quiet life quickly somersaults out of control: one day he’s a reluctant new Floridian, then suddenly he’s the target of bully Dana Matherson, reluctant ally of tough soccer-player Beatrice Leep, defender of Beatrice’s snake-handling runaway stepbrother, sometimes intentional confounder of the local police, and a protector of burrowing owls (threatened by the planned building of a Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House on their nesting site). The pedigree of this transition is, as you might expect, complicated, but it’s also elaborately enjoyable, as mild-mannered middle-schooler Roy increasingly becomes a participant in the quirky world he’s found himself submerged in. At the same time, the book effectively twists together what initially appears to be two plot strands, Roy’s experiences and the repeated vandalism of a building site, as it becomes clear that it’s Beatrice’s stepbrother performing the vandalism in defense of the endangered owls, a defense that gradually draws in not only Roy but his parents, Beatrice’s soccer team, and Mother Paula herself. The darker undertones (such as Beatrice’s stepbrother’s rejection by his mother) add weight and sharpness to the story without undermining its considerable humor, and they’re balanced by a goodly helping of benevolence, especially in the characters of Roy’s parents, who break from literary convention by being smart, understanding, and supportive; the final building-site showdown may be more predictable than the book’s offbeat opening, but it’s a satisfying conclusion. This has a lighter touch than Bloor’s Tangerine (BCCB 3/97) and a more traditional approach than Sachar’s Holes (9/98), but the solid, humorous writing and modestly bizarre world will please fans of both titles. - Copyright 2002 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2002 Gr 6-9-Packed with quirky characters and improbable plot twists, Hiaasen's first novel for young readers is entertaining but ultimately not very memorable. Fans of the author's adult novels will find trademark elements-including environmental destruction, corrupt politicians, humorous situations, and a Florida setting-all viewed through the eyes of a middle-school student. Roy Eberhardt has just moved with his family to Coconut Cove. He immediately becomes the target of a particularly dense bully who tries to strangle him on the school bus. Roy seems more concerned, however, with discovering the identity of a running, barefoot boy he spots through the window of the bus. Meanwhile, plans to build a pancake house on a vacant lot are derailed when someone vandalizes the construction site. The two story lines come together when Roy discovers that the runaway boy is disrupting the construction to save a group of burrowing owls. Roy must help his new friend, nicknamed Mullet Fingers, as well as fend off the bully and adapt to life in Florida. The story is silly at times but rarely laugh-out-loud funny, and there are several highly unlikely scenes. Also, it wraps up a little too neatly-Roy's classmates join him to protest the construction project, his father finds the missing environmental impact report, and the owls are saved. While Roy is a sympathetic protagonist, few of the other characters are well developed. Students looking for humorous, offbeat characters and situations will probably prefer Louis Sachar's Holes (Farrar, 1998) or books by Daniel Pinkwater.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information. - Copyright 2002 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/15/2002 It seems unlikely that the master of noir-tinged, surrealistic black humor would write a novel for young readers. And, yet, there has always been something delightfully juvenile about Hiaasen’s imagination; beneath the bent cynicism lurks a distinctly 12-year-old cackle. In this thoroughly engaging tale of how middle-schooler Roy Eberhardt, new kid in Coconut Cove, learns to love South Florida, Hiaasen lets his inner kid run rampant, both the subversive side that loves to see grown-ups make fools of themselves and the righteously indignant side, appalled at the mess being made of our planet. When Roy teams up with some classic children’s lit outsiders to save the home of some tiny burrowing owls, the stage is set for a confrontation between right-thinking kids and slow-witted, wrongheaded civic boosters. But Hiaasen never lets the formula get in his way; the story is full of offbeat humor, buffoonish yet charming supporting characters, and genuinely touching scenes of children enjoying the wildness of nature. He deserves a warm welcome into children’s publishing. - Copyright 2002 Booklist.