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Squirm

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  535 Ratings  ·  64 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.
*
...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Tim
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
Barbara
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
Linda
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.
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!
Billie
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
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
...more
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
Ryan
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
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
...more
Robin Berman
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Don't read my review unless you have read the book.

I liked the 2 main characters- Billy and Summer. Billy is a brave teenager who uses his cleverness in dealing with situations and uses his snake skills to deal with bullies etc. I didn't know about the "sod farms" north of Lake Okeechobee. I also didn't realize you can find out where all the bald eagle nests are on the Internet. I enjoyed the native American inclusion in the story and didn't know about the Crow Nation tribe. I believe Hiaasen i
...more
Elena Sotelo-McCrary
I think this book is very entertaining. It's characters are perfect for all level of readers, especially ones who like to travel. So, for me it was an adventure, an animal book, an eco-friendly, multicultural. The characters were brave and had a mission, and the family units were interesting. I especially like how the author again reminded his reader to "get outside." His references to tech connection were particularly funny, but also he showed how drones could be useful, so at least he enjoyed ...more
Yapha
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Billy is known for his love of snakes, and while they are his animal of choice he feels compelled to protect all animals and also people who are being picked on. He often exacts his own form of justice on the bullies he encounters around him. It should be no surprise to him then, that his father thinks the same way. Billy doesn't really know his father. He left when Billy was four and Billy hasn't seen or heard from him since. But Billy is able to track down an address for him, and flies from Fl ...more
Lonna Pierce
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hiaasen has created another fascinating character in Billy Dickens. Snake-handler, lover of the wild outdoors, and unwitting protector of the underdog, he is not especially fond of small talk with humans. Dad left when Billy and his sister Belinda were little, and while he sends a check every month, he hasn't seen or spoken to either kid since he left. This central mystery occupies Billy's brain. Turns out Dad has a new Native American wife and daughter in Montana, and a pocketful of secrets to ...more
Diana
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
SQUIRM is another great read from Newbery Medal winning author, Carl Hiaasen.
This book is not one of his adult offerings. Subjects and characters are geared to upper elementary-aged students and above.
Carl Hiaasen’s titles have a wonderful sense of place; quirky, very detailed, likable characters; dysfunctional family (and civic) situations; ecological themes; and tongue-in-cheek comedic circumstances.
In SQUIRM, I especially liked the descriptions of Montana; the fly-fishing; river travel and t
...more
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
...more
Denise Chojnacki
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Another book reviewed for my Kid's Choice awards. As much as I enjoy Carl Hiassen's books and how interesting his stories are, I won't be using this for the intended purpose simply because of the age range. This book is fine for Young Adults but there is mild cussing and a few more mature insinuations that will keep me from having it be on my list for tweens. That being said, the storyline was exciting although there is just a hint of repetition from Hoot with part of the story being about Monta ...more
Mark
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Billy Dickens, champion of the underdog, would rather deal with snakes than people, travels from Florida to Montana in search of his absentee father and stumbles into a mystery.
Like all of Hiaasen's books, there is an environmental theme. In this case it's more pronounced than ever with Billy's mother and her affection for eagles, and his father in the wilds of Montana. Billy himself spends most of his time outdoors, collecting snakes and punishing those who defile nature.
The character of Billy
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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
...more
Andrew
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
SQUIRM had me hooked from the very first page. When Billy Dickens pieces together his absent father's address, he swipes his mom's credit card for a plane ticket to Montana for a surprise visit. From there, his dad's whereabouts become all the more mysterious, disappearing for days at a time. Billy is an admirable and immediately likeable character-- witty, clever, with a deep love and appreciation for animals and the outdoors. I was immersed in this fast paced, almost borderline thriller advent ...more
Joe Slavinsky
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some time ago, Hiaasen turned to writing YA novels, and it certainly doesn't diminish his writing abilities. His stories are always pro-environment, with antagonists that rank somewhere between dumb, and evil, often both. There's also humor leavened in each book. Some more than others. This book is no different, and is very enjoyable reading. If you've never read any of his work, please look him up, and treat yourself.
Zoe
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
My first Hiaasen, I had trouble putting this one down. The story of a boy who leaves Florida for Montana to find his estranged father and get some answers, he finds a likable stepsister and stepmother, some outstanding nature far different from that of his Florida life, and a mystery that his skills as a fearless snake-lover might help to unravel. A fabulous coming of age with a satisfying ending.
Kyla
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Probably the best of Hiaasen’s children’s books. Whereas the other books still feel like adult Hiaasen books with the protagonists switched with children, this one was more child-oriented throughout without losing Hiaasen’s signature style. No profanity, no adult situations, an audience-appropriate take on a serious subject (illegal poaching)—definitely a solid choice to recommend to upper grade schoolers and older students needing hi-lo material.
Sidney
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Again, and I've probably said this a hundred times, you just can't go wrong with a Hiaasen book. Even his YA series is entertaining. This one, Squirm, follows in the same suit as the rest of his tree hugging, nature loving series. Billy and his mom and sister live in FL. His father, out of the picture since Billy was very young, lives in MT. Billy takes an unexpected trip to find his father, only to run into a lot of nature problems. Fun read but very much geared to Young Adults.
Constance
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
More of a 3.5, but that’s only because Scat is my fave. Squirm was good enough and kids who like Hiaasen will enjoy it. I especially like the connection with the dad and the Native American connections and I think it’s the first time Florida hasn’t been the only setting. Also the drone is kind of a character too. Another good one.
Julie Bowerman
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Billy's environmental vigilante tendencies go into high gear when he finds his father, who left the family many years prior. The book set in Florida and Montana has great characters, but it wasn't as much of a page-turner for me as some. Admittedly, after Skink No Surrender my expectations may have been overreaching.
Mary Ann
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, action, adventure, tween, ya
With an opening that is bound to hook any guy or nature loving gal, this is a hilarious, yet serious topic. If there were more people like Billy there would be far less bullying not only in our schools, but among some self-indulging adults as well. Hiaasen's YA books have yet to disappoint me. Love the connection with the environment!
Ann Pisarello
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Cute, entertaining story about Billy Dickins, a middle schooler who hears a different drum. His mom has moved him and his sister all over Florida in persuit of nesting Eagles. Now he is reconnecting with his dad, in Montana. This is a light uplifting story meant for young adults, but great for seniors too!
Patricia
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very much enjoyed this YA book. Carl Hiaasen has a unique style and overall his storylines involve issues I believe in also. His families are quirky but that's part of the appeal. Kids like reading about families that aren't perfect but they still manage to cope with life.
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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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