Plot: Roy and his family move a lot, most recently to Florida. At first he resents leaving his beloved Montana but the sight of a young boy running barefoot away from the school bus catches his interest. His curiosity draws him into a fight to save some endangered burrowing owls who live on the future sight of a Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House.
Can anyone resist 9 inch burrowing owls? Not me.
This is a really fun, easy read. It approaches environmentalism and grassroots activism in a fun way that will appeal to kids.
And I really like the kids in the book. They are all quite unique and interesting from clever and proud Roy to the rebellious, free thinking Running Boy. But my favorite is Beatrice. How can you not like a girl who is both tough and caring and who can bite a hole in a bike tire?
My one complaint is that most of the adults are quite stupid (Roy’s parent’s excepted). They are almost caricatures. It’s funny at first but it gets a bit annoying. But then that kind of adult is hardly unheard of in middle grade fiction.
There is a movie based on the book which is available on Netflix (I’ve become quite fond of Netflix though the Canadian version is still lagging behind the American version in terms of content). It’s a pretty good adaptation though they toned down Beatrice.
Challenges: Into the Old World Challenge (6)