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3.0 out of 5 stars Teenage angst vs. corporate greed, March 8 2004
This review is from: Hoot (Hardcover)
I didn't know the book was for teens when I started it. The hero is a teen, maybe around 14 or 15, as are his allies and enemies, except for one chief bad guy: Chuck E. Muckle, vice president of Mother Paula's Pancake Houses.
The other adults who originally start on the pro-Mother Paula team eventually switch over to the pro-burrowing owl team, the one headed by the teens. But this sorry Chuck E. Muckle just seems to have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. In the epilogue, we learn that he is first demoted within, then let go from Mother Paula's. He takes a "cruise director" job in Miami instead. The poor guy had so few people skills, it's hard to see how he could possibly make it as a cruise director.
Anyway, it is kind of sad to see how the big corporation might have, in the past, tried to hide an Environmental Impact Report that showed a protected species on their property. But I don't think this could actually happen today, at least not in California. In California, the environmental watchdogs are very diligent and they usually do question EIRs and ask for further studies, and so forth. Maybe in Florida, or other places where environmentalists may not be as active, a corporation could still hide an EIR from public view and get away with it.
Roy Eberhardt, the young hero, learns all about the EIR during his endeavor to protect the little owls. Readers will, too, if they know nothing about these important requirements for all developments nowadays. Putting down one Mother Paula's Pancake House (they already have 468, according to the book), is obviously no big deal. The real battle comes when you have one team crying out for low- and middle-income housing, because of perverse shortages, and the other team crying out for environmental protection and slow growth.
This is what happens usually in Southern California. Clearly, there's not always an either/or response. It's a living issue, and this little book will you help to focus on that issue in your own mind. Diximus.
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Location: Oxnard, CA

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