Marshmallow reviews Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

Today Marshmallow reviews Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, published first in 2002 and awarded a Newberry Honor in 2003. Sprinkles read the book, too, and is asking questions to Marshmallow and taking notes as they go along.

Marshmallow reviews Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.
Marshmallow reviews Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.

Sprinkles: So Marshmallow, let us start with an overview of the book. What is the book about?

Marshmallow: It’s about this boy named Roy Eberhardt who has recently moved to Miami, Florida. One day while he is on the school bus, he sees a strange boy running outside without shoes. And the book is about him trying to find out who that boy is.

S: That sounds like the beginning of a good mystery. Would you say this is a mystery story?

M: Yes. It takes a while for Roy to figure out who that boy is and what is going on with him.

S: And then, the book is not yet over, though, right?

M: There is a second mystery in the book. There is a second narrator, besides Roy, who sees some other events happening, and he is also trying to figure out just what is going on. This one is a police officer named David Delinko.

S: And the two events end up being intertwined, right?

M: Yes. And things are tied in and resolved quite well at the end.

Marshmallow is reading Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.
Marshmallow is reading Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.

S: It sounds like you enjoyed reading this book Marshmallow.

M: Yes, I did. I thought the two mysteries being related was really neat, like a typical Nancy Drew story. Or like in the FunJungle series.

S: And I know you really liked both Nancy Drew stories and all the FunJungle books. So that is a compliment, coming from you!

M: Yes. I especially thought the plot was very interesting.

S: You wanted to add “bullying” to the tags for the post. Why is that?

M: Because there is an older boy at school who bullies Roy, and that is actually why Roy comes to notice the running boy. And then the bullying is related to how things evolve and are resolved, too.

S: The bully gets his comeuppance, right?

M: Yes, but I don’t want to give too much away.

S: I know. Okay, let us not say much more about that then. What else do you want to tell us about this book?

M: When you interview Caramel about books, you ask him for three words to describe the book. So I think three words that could describe this book are animal-friendly, fast-paced, and mystery. Or maybe I’d describe the book as “animal-friendly, fast-paced school mystery”. That’s not three words, but then again, I am not Caramel.

S: That makes sense to me, Marshmallow. And that is a good description of this book. We did not say much about the animal-friendly part but I suppose our readers might guess that from the title.

M: Yes, “hoot” is the sound owls make. So the readers might already guess there will be some owls somewhere.

S: Yes, I think that is quite reasonable. We rabbits may not like owls much, but the owls in this book are cute and lovable. Right?

M: Yes. They are nothing like Mr. Ocax in Poppy. They’re more like Rufus in Of a Feather.

S: Okay, Marshmallow, I think it is time for us to wrap up this review. What would you rate this book?

M: I’d rate it 95%. It is a good read and the two mysteries keep you wanting to read it fast.

Marshmallow rates Hoot by Carl Hiaasen 95%.
Marshmallow rates Hoot by Carl Hiaasen 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz

Today Marshmallow is reviewing Of A Feather, a 2021 novel by Dayna Lorentz.

Marshmallow reviews Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz.
Marshmallow reviews Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about birds or family, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Reenie has been sent to live with her great-aunt, Beatrice, because her mother is unable to take care of her. Reenie can always pretend to smile, but right now she doesn’t have much to be smiling about. A social worker, named Randi, with an “i”, as Reenie describes them, is driving Reenie to this “alleged aunt”. A little after arriving, Reenie learns that her aunt is a falconer, that is, she is skilled in falconry.

Meanwhile, in the nearby forest, a young great horned owl is attempting to fly. His older sister, First, can fly and First rubs it in his face every chance she gets. Our owl, called Second, is struggling. Second can’t hunt well, either. He feels like a disappointment, and when a car hits his mother, things get even worse.

Reenie is now going to school in this new area. She wants to avoid making friends at her new school. She believes that friends are dangerous. Also, Reenie wants to believe that she will not stay with Beatrice permanently. However, she does want Beatrice to teach her how to become a falconer. So Beatrice agrees to help her. They decide to catch a “passage” bird. Instead, they catch Second. Reenie names him Rufus. But Rufus is a great horned owl, and the law in that state doesn’t allow you to train an owl. Since Rufus is injured however, they are allowed to keep him until he gets better. But they do start training him. Will they get caught?

Marshmallow is reading Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz.
Marshmallow is reading Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz.

Marshmallow’s Review: I really enjoyed reading this book even though it is often about birds catching small animals, like rabbits. Caramel is also wary of owls because of the bad owl Mr. Ocax in Poppy (though he did not mention him in his review). But here we see from the owl’s perspective and this owl is a quite likable character.

I think that the author did a great job of creating realistic characters, like Reenie. I like making friends at school but could totally get why she did not want to make friends at her new school; I could sense her loneliness and fear. All characters in Of A Feather are unique but really realistic. I think my favorite character is Rufus, because in his chapters (the book switches from Reenie’s perspective to Rufus’s and then back), he always refers to Reenie as “Brown Frizz” because he finds it strange that she only has hair on one side of her head.

I liked that the author wrote the book, partly, from the perspective of an owl. It was interesting to see what the other side of the story was like, not that the stories disagreed with each other.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading Of A Feather

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz 95%.
Marshmallow rates Of A Feather by Dayna Lorentz 95%.