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Hootby Carl Hiaasen
2003 Newbery Medal Honor Book
Synopses & Reviews
The town of Marysville, in upstate New York, where Doug and his family have moved , has six blocks of houses as tiny and beat up as theirs, eighteen houses with flags outside, and one library that, as Doug discovers, is open only on Saturday. On the cool, marbled second floor of the library, he finds a table with a glass case under which there is a huge book opened to a painting of a bird. It is the most terrifying and beautiful picture he has ever seen. It is Audubons Arctic Tern. He imagines drawing it in the air with his fingers. Also at the library Doug meets smart Lil Spicer, whose father owns a deli and who offers Doug a job as a delivery boy. And so begins Dougs Saturday routine: He learns from the librarian, Mr. Powell, about the principles of Audubons art, but some of the plates are mysteriously missing, and Doug vows to make the book whole again. At school, Doug runs into trouble with his teachers, especially the So-Called Gym teacher, which earns him a number of after school detentions. At home, his father, a stern man with quick hands, often brings the unsavory Ernie Eco to dinner, his older brother, Christopher, is accused of stealing, and his oldest brother, Lucas, returns from Vietnam with a bandage covering his burned eyes and in a wheelchair because he has lost his legs. Gary Schmidt interweaves multiple themes of loss and recovery, art and inventiveness, truth and lies in a story teaming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.
"Characteristically quirky characters and comic twists will surely gain the author new fans, though their attention may wander during his narrative's intermittently protracted focus on several adults....[S]everal suspenseful scenes build to the denouement involving the sitcom-like unraveling of a muckity-muck....These, along with dollops of humor, help make the novel quite a hoot indeed." Publishers Weekly
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.
As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. So begins a coming-of-age masterwork full of equal parts comedy and tragedy from Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt. As Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicera fiery young lady who “smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain.” In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubons birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage. In this stunning novel, Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.
New to Florida, Roy spots the running boy--running away from the school bus, carrying no books and wearing no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy's trail, which leads him to potty-trained alligators, a fake-fart champion, and a renegade eco-avenger.
About the Author
Carl Hiaasen is the author of many bestselling novels for adults, including Sick Puppy and Basket Case. He also writes a column for the Miami Herald.
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