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3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,392 ratings  ·  158 reviews
Some facts about Billy Dickens:
* He once saw a biker swerve across the road in order to run over a snake.
* Later, that motorcycle somehow ended up at the bottom of a canal.
* Billy isn't the type to let things go.
Some facts about Billy's family:
* They've lived in six different Florida towns because Billy's mom always insists on getting a house near a bald eagle nest.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Rating details
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Oct 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Some of Mr. Hiaasen's stories are good and some are not. This is aimed for a younger audience. 1 of 10 stars
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor
I really enjoy Hiassen's books, preferring his adult fare. This book is written for tweens, not even young adults. The humor is pretty dumbed down (e.g., MeTube and other misnamed social media platforms.) The basic story made little sense. Father abandons family, but sends a monthly check. Mother is kind of cuckoo and moves around Florida to be near bald eagle nests. The son decides to track down father despite his simmering anger, and finds him with a new Crow Indian family in Montana, where he ...more
The Captain
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Ahoy there me mateys! A while back I was introduced to this author because of a cat on the cover of scat. I enjoyed that book so much that I decided to listen to all of Hiaasen’s other juvenile books. This be a review of the other four books: hoot, flush, chomp, squirm. These books have some common themes. All of them involve a young boy who lives in Florida, gets bullied, loves animals, has a quirky sense of humor, makes new friends, and saves the day. Weird names also seem to be a trend. While ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Carl Hiaasen does it again. This is a delightful book that unites a couple of Florida kids with their AWOL father who has a new family in Montana. Dad goes out on secret missions and the Florida boy and Montana native American girl team up to find out what's actually going on. Both of the youngsters are incredibly intelligent and wise for their ages - each with knowledge that helps all out of dangerous situations. Typical Hiaasen, the situations have an environnmental/ecological origin.
Barb Martin
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Carl Hiaasen's juvenile books are never as whacked-out as those he writes for adults. Still, he manages to get a pro-environment and anti-development message into all of his books, as well as his love of Florida.

This time, Billy Dickens is a middle school kid who likes snakes, sticks up for downtrodden classmates and has absolutely no relationship to his long-estranged father. That all changes when he discovers his father's address and embarks on an adventure that involves bears, snakes and dro
Billy Dickens is not your typical middle grader. Not only does he have a thing for snakes and is fascinated by them, but he also has a penchant for the underdogs in his school and the world around him. The child of two avid nature lovers, the boy has already lived in six different Florida towns, moves spurred by his mother's fondness for bald eagles. When Billy figures out where his long-gone father is, he travels to Montana to meet him. But in the beautiful state, he finds more questions than a ...more
Ms. Yingling
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Copy provided by publisher

Wonderful, totally up to this author's standards, but I gave to a student before I wrote the review and forget pertinent details!
H R Koelling
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fun, positive book. I love Hiaasen's YA novels. His books can empower and inspire kids to feel confident in the adult world, and also show that parents aren't always perfect.
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was a lot of fun and with a good message, but felt like it lacked a lot of Hiaasen's usual humor.
Carolyn Stover
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5. Funny. Sweet. All about families. Great characters. Lots of plot twists. Hard to put down ❤
Marianne Robin-Tani
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Even though this book is completely unrealistic in a lot of ways (the snakes, the way Billy punishes people and saves people, a 14-year-old driving on the highway), it mostly works within this world, so those things didn't bother me too much. My problem with this book (SPOILER ALERT!) is how Billy has a knife in his pocket at a crucial point in the story, soon after he'd just gotten off an airplane. There is no way he could have taken that knife through security. (Unless I missed something and h ...more
Wendy Bunnell
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fun middle grades book, classic Hiaasen. Heavy on nature and kids who respect it versus people who do not. Setting is key, and in this one we get Hiaasen's usually setting of Florida, but also two trips to Montana, so that was fun to see.

The part I didn't care for as much was the just plain poor parenting by Billy's parents, both the dad who abandoned him, never returning of his own volition, and also his "flakey" mother who uproots her kids every time a bird decided to fly to coop. Th
Annie Valdes
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
just LOVE the "children's" books. they're all full of possibilities for saving the environment that are capable of being done by younger members of the human race. loopy humor adds. odd "families" that work..
Chloe Heckman
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was good. I liked how the characters evolved into loving their very different families. All the characters were fun to read about and I liked following their stories. I would recommend this book.
Shannon Ozirny
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
All the makings of a solid Hiaasen book.
I listened to this on audio and there was no afterword or author's note on Hiaasen' research or connection with the Crow Nation (maybe this was in print and wasn't included on audio).
I don't have enough information to pass judgment at this point, but I think it's worth pausing and asking questions whenever a white man is writing from the perspective of two indigenous female characters (with one character who speaks explicitly about what it feels like to b
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
I like Carl Hiaasen, and I always get a laugh out of his middle school, pro-environment, Florida happy books. This one fell short though. It was disjointed and all over the place and it just didn't make me snort with amusement like his earlier books did (shout out to 'Chomp'). The plot also made very little sense...The adults in this book were just not normal people, even though, yes, they were Floridians and I had very low expectations.
Jo Sorrell
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of a middle schooler navigating his way through bullies in and out of school and his dysfunctional family. Bullies are bad, but a dysfunctional family is not always the case. Maybe that word needs to be replaced in this evolving society. It is a fact for a great population of students I teach. I like the candour of life for Billy, Belinda and step sister Summer. The father aggravated me. He has his reasons, but I thought they were really excuses.

Billy’s dad left when Billy was
Oct 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Fun -- although I do like his "adult" books better. If you're a Carl Hiaasen fan and want your children to know why you appreciate his humor, this would be a good introduction for them to his work. Typical great Hiaasen story combining environmental concerns with besting the bad guys.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Fast paced and reasonably fun, I'm just a little sad that it doesn't seem to have the same amount of sense of humor as his usual books. I'm pleased that it seems much more solid than his recent adult novels. It's been a rough couple of years, I wonder if that's bleeding through.
Sarai Davila
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Squirm" lacks some of the silliness and humor of Hiaasen's other books, but I think there's a certain level of solemnity that fits with the story. This latest story takes place both in Florida and Montana, and it has a unique tone--very different from Hiaasen's other Juvenile Fictions. The sunniness of Florida, and it's sometimes laughable reputation, both lend well to Hiaasen's usual almost slapstick humor and equally biting wit. But the mountains of Montana are a darker, less funny place to b ...more
“I did the only thing a person like me could possibly do, wired the way I am. No way could I stand there watching a small kid get pounded by a big kid. Not an option. That isn’t bravery, it’s just reflex.”

Billy Audubon Dickens (B.A.D.) leads an unusual life. Some of it has to do with his mother. She’s got this weird rule. “We’ve got to live near a bald eagle nest, and by “near” my mother means fifteen minutes, max.” So, they are constantly moving from place to place, which means Billy doesn’t bo
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well, he has done it again. Carl Hiaasen has written a book that kids will find hard to put down once they start. Billy Dickens like snakes (ewwwwweeeeeee). He is a friend to most animals and with a mother like his you can understand why. His mom is crazy about Bald Eagles. She follows them around Florida, and spends the weekends on family eagle watching outings. Everytime the eagles abandon the nest where she lives, she has to find a new nest to live near. This means Billy has spent plenty of t ...more
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Squirm is the story of Billy, aboy who has grown up since he was 4 without his father. His mother loves bald eagles and moves every time they leave their nest. So unsurprisingly, Billy doesn’t get involved or close to many people. He has always been curious about his father and where he lives (since his mother shredded all the return addresses off the envelopes). When he pieces one together, he decides to visit his dad and figure out his mysterious life. Billy (like his parents) has an interest ...more
Mal Warwick
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: trade-fiction
Squirm is the latest of Carl Hiaasen's series of young adult novels with one-word titles. Hoot, Scat, Flush, Chomp, Skink, and now Squirm. Every one of these books I've read, and every one of his adult novels I've managed to read, is infused with an intense love for nature. In Squirm, Hiaasen takes that love to a new level. The book is virtually a naturalist's tour of Montana.

Hiaasen's protagonist this time around is 13-year-old Billy Audubon Dickens. Billy loves snakes. His mother moves him and
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Squirm is another environmental/animal book by Carl Hiassen that holds up well with the other books he has written for young readers. As with his other books, there is a focus on an animal; this time snakes. But, the true center of this, and Hiassen's other books are people and their relationships. In Squirm we are introduced to Billy who has a fascination with snakes, and has become an expert amateur handler. Billy lives with his mother and sister, Belinda. Billy's mother has a fascination with ...more
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
#6 in author Carl Hiaasen's series of YA books, after Skink - No Surrender (2014). This entry is a slight departure from Hiaasen's self-reliant young protagonist defending Florida's ecology from the depredations of dastardly adults. Here the dastard is attempting to shoot endangered trophy animals in Montana and Florida and young Billy's father is the White Hat on a crusade to stop him. With interludes of vigilante justice against bullies, going eagle watching with his avian loving mother, and m ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't know if young adults know and read Carl Hiaasen but I think they would enjoy his novels for teens. I sure do. His adult novels are pretty much just as funny and the seriousness of the main character, whomever he or she may be, it is always searching for a way of helping nature or the environment survive. Whether it is a sixty year old in the adult books or a teenager in the YA books, the hero does not really seek retribution for stupid acts by some inconsiderate egotistic moron but someh ...more
Jim Thompson
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
One of the things I like about Carl Hiaasen is that his YA books are as good as his adult books. Sure, the language is toned down, the sex is left out, and the violence is milder... but the stories are just as good. Which means that when my son (who is now 11) says "Dad, you should read this book," I don't mind at all. I enjoy it.

My favorite of the Hiaasen YA novels I've encountered so far is probably "Scat." Mostly because of the appearance of Twilly Spree. But this one here is good. Fun.

Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Billy Dickens likes snakes, his mom likes eagles and changes houses and locations when they leave their nests and she has to find another nest. Billy's father left them when Billy was very young and hasn't seen his family since then. Billy finally finds his father in Montana, visits there and gets to know just what Dennis is doing.

Carl Hiaasen really writes for two audiences, adults and young readers. They almost all center around environmental issues, mostly in southern Florida and usually turn
Beth Mendelsohn
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s
I try to read every Carl Hiaasen book that I can find, both children's and adult. A coworker who knows I'm a big fan passed this book on to me. All opinions are my own.

The main character, Billy, lives with his mother and older sister in Florida and tend to move around a lot. Mom likes to watch bald eagles in their nest and when that nest is destroyed, Mom goes looking for another, moving the family in the process. Billy doesn't know his dad who left when Billy was very young. Billy is not your t
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Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida, he joined the Miami Herald as a general assignment reporter and went on to work for the newspaper’s weekly magazine and prize-winning investigations team. As a journalist and author, Carl has spent most of his life advocating for the protection of the Florida Everglades. He and his family live in southern ...more
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