Youth Reading Reviews

Hoot

“Hoot” by Carl Hiaasen

Roy Eberhardt’s father has been transferred from Montana to Florida and Roy isn’t happy about the change. But one day, while he is on the bus to Trace Middle School, he spies a kid running like the wind. What strikes him is that the kid has no shoes on.

Roy couldn’t suspect that his life is about to get a lot more interesting. In this Newbery Honor book (2003) for young adults there are some very intriguing characters, among them are: Officer Delinko, who manages to get the windows of his Crown Vic police car spray painted black when he falls asleep on stakeout duty; Curly, the beleaguered construction foreman; Garrett, Roy’s classmate who is the king of phony farts; Beatrice the Bear, Mullet Finger’s sister and, last but not least, Mullet, a run-away with a cause.

Other characters include the poisonous snakes with sparkly tails, the alligators in the portable latrines on the construction site, the slippery fish and, most important of all, the owls.

 

The Wizard of Dark Street

“The Wizard of Dark Street” by Shawn Thomas Odyssey

It is 1877, and 12-year-old oona crate is the Wizard’s apprentice of Dark Street. Dark street is the last of thirteen faerie roads connecting the world of man with the world of faerie. There are gates at both ends. The gate at the world of man opens onto a street in new york city once a day, for one minute at the stroke of midnight. The gate of the world of faerie remains closed.

Being the Wizard’s apprentice is an important task, but what oona longs to be is a detective. Soon enough she must become a detective and solve one of the most important cases imaginable. Her helpers are deacon, a black raven that can talk, and samuligan, the Wizard’s faerie servant.

There are lots of suspects (as there are in any good classical type mystery) and she must use logic to solve the mysteries that surround her. Dark Street is a magical place, filled with witches, an odd faerie or two and goblins.

The Wizard of Dark Street is a well plotted story that would stand up favorably against any “adult” mystery. The necessary clues are there, if you can see them; the outcome logical. And there is the magic element that makes it so much fun. It is more of a mystery than a book about magic.