The Vember Mill is a modern fable about a boy whose rural community is on the brink of economic collapse. When the boy discovers a family of river sprites in the hills near his home, he learns they too are near ruin.
(your hook starts here)
Preston Vatticus hasn't adjusted to the solitude of his stepfather's home in the farmlands of Northern Utah. His only friend is Corvery, a talkative young raven. After hearing a painful scream in the hills, Preston and Corvery meet the Trenchers--mythical folks who dig the river beds and shape the river banks. Lately the Trenchers have grown frightened of the creek water. Animals that drink from it have been changing into monstrous beasts, and an old miller is bent on keeping this a secret.
Meanwhile, the creek water flows downhill to the irrigation ditches of the Cache Valley, where desperate farmers have been selling their land to developers, and the rural culture is growing thin. Preston's stepfather has slipped into hopelessness, and Preston's mother isn't far behind. Preston now faces a dilemma. Righting the wrongs of the Vember Mill may require him to push his stepfather over the breaking-point. But ignoring the plight of the Trenchers could bring an even worse fate.
This isn't a hook it's a description of the plot, sort of. It's missing the antagonist and it's not specific enough to hook me. And "modern fable" is one of those phrases that makes me say no no no. I really hate anything smacking of "fable" becuase it implies stock characters and no plot, but that's just me.