I don’t think my dad planned to spend his last spring and summer on our farm raising a baby owl. But life, as it will, presented him this rare opportunity. Dad willingly stepped up to the full-time charge of raising, teaching, documenting, and finally releasing a gorgeous Barred Owl he named Hootie.

Inspired by true events, this story follows the journeys of an orphaned eight-year-old boy, Mason Classon, a displaced owl named Hootie, and Jim Odom, who beside each other found determination to overcome tragedies that took so much from them.

Hootie is an upper-elementary reader for grades 3-5 and designed to be an integrative learning experience. Its reading length and activities can be scheduled to one school quarter. The PDF downloads for classrooms are found below.

Hootie explores these life themes: boundaries, balance, circle of life, bad weather, creating environments, inspiration, recovery, relocation, flight, transitions, and leaving home. Bonus questions about these themes may also be used for short essay assignments. Hootie also has its own Glossary of Terms for enriching students’ vocabulary and terminology with words like phototaxis, whorl, and gandy dancer.



Reading Circle Schedule: Chapters 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-11, and glossary terminology. Hootie is a fun way for children to learn about some of life’s themes, even the tough ones,  in a loving and creative way.



Hootie is designed to be an integrative learning experience, an upper-elementary reader for grades 3-5. Its reading length and activities can be scheduled to a school quarter.

“Hootie is absolutely wonderful! This book is rich in character and detail. This story is touching–even heart-rending at times–and provides both younger and older readers insight into the creatures with whom we share this earth.

For me, the writing is reminiscent of author Richard Bach–intuitive and earthy—reminding all of us about the bond between man and nature, as well as the importance of love and faith, in all its forms. Do yourself and your children a favor: read Hootie, and you’ll be all the richer for it.”

Michael Reisig
Bestselling Author