Maniac Magee + My Side of the Mountain = Hoot by Hiaasen

Chapter Books for Boys in 4th-7th Grade

This chapter book won an insane amount of awards including A Newbery Honor Award and it’s not hard to see why once you read it.   It’s a mystery and an adventure with multiple happy endings including the school bully getting what he deserves.   I remember seeing this book a lot at the library with its minimalist cover always beckoning.  This chapter book also reminds me of Because of Winn Dixie, another Must Read favorite of mine, with characters both interesting and realistic.

So what is this book about?  Roy Eberhardt moves a lot with his family because of his father’s job and is now somewhat unhappily in Florida where the big school bully has singled him out.  He can handle it; from moving so much he’s used to this kind of unpleasant attention.  But something else catches his eye, an unusual boy nicknamed Mullet Hands that he catches glimpses of.  Who is this boy and how is he involved in the new Mother Paula’s All American Pancake House development?  And why is there a picture of an owl on the cover of the book?

Hoot is a great read for 4th grade through 7th grade.  Anyone who liked My Side of the Mountain, Maniac Magee or Because of Winn Dixie will love this book.  It’s also great for reluctant boy readers.  This would make a great book club book as well.  Activities could include a nature hike to bird watch.  The snack could be pancakes.  The parent could provide information on endangered animals in that region of the country.

This book would really appeal to boys, even reluctant readers.

To buy any of the books listed, please click on image of book.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Love this book, thanks for the reminding me about it. Love all of Hiaasen’s books.

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