Explain how the setting influences the story in the book Hoot.

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Hoot is a mystery that also is intended to raise awareness about environmental issues. Therefore the setting (i.e., physical environment) of the story is very important. The story takes place in the real town of Coconut Grove, Florida, where burrowing owls really do live. A new chain restaurant planned to be built in the town on the site where owls live will threaten the owls' survival. The importance of the environment is highlighted to the reader through the protagonist's external and internal journey. He has just moved to Florida from another state and often makes comparisons between the two places. As he becomes more invested in the plight of the burrowing owls and in uncovering the chain restaurant's attempt to cover up their negative environmental impact, his appreciation for his new home grows. He cares deeply about preserving the natural environment of a place he originally did not move to by choice. By its ending, Hoot raises awareness about the importance of the environment and our responsibility to respect our natural setting and protect it from destruction in the modern world.

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