When a book's hero is still in middle school, you're already pretty sure that you're reading some YA goodness.
But aside from the awesome young protagonist, the entire book is filled with themes are that relatable for, well, young adults: friends, school, parents and all the good and bad stuff that goes along with them. It also helps when a book is awarded the Newbery Honor—that's a dead giveaway that this book is perfect for the YA crowd. (It's also a dead giveaway that this book is awesome.)
Hoot double-downs in the genre category since it's also a mystery. Actually, it's a lot of mysteries.
Roy tries to find out who the strange running boy is. Delinko tries to catch whoever is messing with the construction site. And we're still trying to figure out how Curly got his nickname. But the most significant mystery is discovering what happened to Mother Paula's Environmental Impact Statement. The pancake house stashed it away so no one would know burrowing owls were on the property.
And they would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for our fearsome threesome.