Growing Up - The theme of growing up is one of the most prevalent themes. It reinforces the idea that life is all about change and how we adapt to it. We are also shown throughout the story that with maturity comes responsibility. It is exemplified in a simplistic form of a bildungsroman or the maturation of a young man.
Corruption - Another theme is corruption. This is especially seen in how the company of Mother Paula’s Pancake House is willing to bribe local officials and lie to keep building on the protected lands of an endangered species. It’s also seen in how parents and other adults are willing lie to their children to protect the world they’ve built around themselves.
Parental Love - A third theme is that of parental love. Mullet Fingers will never be normal, because his mother has rejected him while Roy will grow up to be an outstanding man, because his parents not only love him, but allow him to make decisions from which he will learn and grow.
Integrity - A final important theme is that of integrity. Roy finds out that life is always about learning to adjust to change and still make the best decisions you can make under the circumstances. As Roy says, it’s about finding a balance between the head and the heart and then living with the consequences, no matter what they turn out to be.
The mood is at times frustrating as we watch Roy try to adjust to a new community and the bully who makes his life miserable. But mostly, it is uplifting as we see several young people make decisions on behalf of what is right and good.
Carl Hiaasen was born in Plantation, Florida on March 12, 1953 to Odel and Patricia Hiaasen. He attended Emory University and graduated from the University of Florida in 1974 with a journalism degree. He worked as a newspaper reporter for the Cocoa Today and later he moved to the Miami Herald, where he still works today as a columnist. He has always maintained a focus on evironmental issues and the preservation of nature. In the 80s he began writing novels, but he has been writing about Florida since his father gave him a typewriter at age six. Then, it was hunt-and-peck stories about neighborhood kickball and softball games, given away to his friends.
He is the author of many bestselling novels for adults, including Sick Puppy (2000) and Basket Case (2002). Hoot (published in 2002) was Hiaasen’s first novel for young readers, was the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Newbery Honor in 2003. The motion picture adaptation of the novel was released in 2006.