Hoot, Carl Hiaasen's debut novel for younger readers is a very special treat indeed. The writing is exceptionally good, and the characters extremely quirky and well realised. It's incredibly readable despite a story premise that is not sparklingly original. But no matter, there's an engaging "feel-good" vibe running through the whole book. The setting, as with Hiaasen's crime thrillers for adults such as Basket Case and Sick Puppy, is sunny Florida and the heat, swamps, dust and pancakes all contribute to the authentic atmosphere of the book. His favourite environmental theme is here too, as is the thoroughly watertight plotting. There's an engaging mystery set up on the very first page and it builds nicely with more twists and turns as the story unfolds--all of them reassuringly tied up come the final pages.