Hoot opens as Roy Eberhardt is bullied on the bus on his way to middle school in Florida. He has been having trouble making friends since moving there from Montana, and it does not help that he has been targeted by the large and unsavory Dana Matherson, who spends much of his time tormenting the newcomer: calling him “cowgirl,” teasing him, and trying to start fights. This time, he manages to get his hand around Roy’s head and squeezes, tighter and tighter, taunting Roy to beg for mercy. Because Roy’s head is smashed against the bus...
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