Hoot Study Guide

Chapter 18

Curly reports to Officer Delinko about his encounter with Roy, but tells him not to write it up. Delinko doesn’t tell Curly about Dana’s reaction to the rubber alligator, and Curly doesn’t tell Delinko about the bulldozer seats being stolen while Dana was in custody. They both carry secrets, but they are also both glad not to be alone on the construction site.

As Delinko is patrolling the site once again, he trips for the third time in an owl burrow. He hears a funny laugh like, “Heh! Heh!’ but can see no one. Eventually, he realizes it’s a baby owl. He slowly backs up so that the adults will feel comfortable about returning to their home and backs into one of the bulldozers. When he turns on his flashlight, he doesn’t notice that the seat is gone. He is more concerned about what is going to happen to the little owls if he does his job.


The next morning, Roy sees in his father’s newspaper the announcement about the groundbreaking ceremony. His mother sees how depressed it makes him and offers to drive him to school. However, Roy says he’d rather take the bus. He also asks her for permission to use her digital camera. She agrees. He leaves as soon as he can and jogs to Beatrice’s house. Together, they run to the bus stop while he questions her along the way about what happened to her tooth. She tells him that she had broken it while biting a ring off one of her stepmother’s toes. It seems that Lonna had found a small topaz charm that Beatrice’s mother had left behind when she moved away and confiscated it for herself. Beatrice had taken exception to the theft. She also tells Roy that she hasn’t seen Mullet Fingers since Sunday when he had briefly returned home to get some shirts. His dad walked in on him in the garage and talked calmly to him, but when Lonna saw him, she threw a fit. She refused to allow him to come live with them again. Roy offers Beatrice shelter in his house, but she refuses, saying that her father feels safer when she’s around. He ends up telling her that he has a plan to help Mullet Fingers.

The principal calls Roy into her office and tries to find out as much as she can about what happened with Dana. But Roy is noncommittal, and she’s forced to allow him to leave. At lunchtime, he borrows Garrett’s bike and sets off for the junkyard. There, he tells Mullet Fingers about the groundbreaking ceremony and tells him that if he can get pictures of the owls with his mother’s digital camera, they can reveal that Mother Paula’s is illegally building on the site. Mullet Fingers picks Roy up and throws him out of the panel truck and tells him that he doesn’t know how to work one of those digital cameras and that Roy has done enough to help him. He’s done more than the running boy could ever have expected. When Roy leaves, the running boy gives him thumbs up and even calls him by his first name, at last.

Roy returns to school to give his current events report in Mr. Ryan’s class. He doesn’t use any of the usual types of subjects for his report. Instead, he begins to tell his classmates about what Mother Paula’s Pancake House is doing to the owls. He describes how they’re protected by the EPA as an endangered species and how the file on the permits for the company is missing from City Hall. The students, and even Mr. Ryan, are moved by what he tells them. He ends his report by insisting that what’s happening out there is wrong, just plain wrong.

Notes

Roy’s plan progresses. He tries to get Mullet Fingers to follow through, but has no luck in convincing him. He avoids the principal’s interference, and he tells his class about the plight of the owls. All of these actions reveal a young man of integrity. The balance he has found between his head and his heart has given him the courage to do what is right. Meanwhile, a similar transformation is taking place in Officer Delinko who is beginning to have doubts about the company’s priorities. He’s worried about the owls, too, and is beginning to find the integrity he had lost for awhile.

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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Hoot". TheBestNotes.com. . 09 May 2017
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