Squirm
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. * Billy's older sister is dating a jerk. It's a mystery. * Billy's dad left when he was four, and Billy knows almost nothing about him. * Billy has just found his dad's address--in Montana.This summer, Billy will fly across the country, hike a mountain, float a river, dodge a grizzly bear, shoot down a spy drone, save a neighbor's cat, save an endangered panther, and then try to save his own father.

Squirm Details

TitleSquirm
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 25th, 2018
PublisherKnopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780385752978
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Humor, Family, Adventure

Squirm Review

  • Billie
    January 1, 1970
    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
    January 1, 1970
    4.5. Funny. Sweet. All about families. Great characters. Lots of plot twists. Hard to put down ❤
  • Jo Sorrell
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 wasn’t he was only 3. Checks arrive on the 10th of every month, and I mean a fairly substantial amount, nice to be sure. Billy’s mom destroys the envelopes to keep the return address from Billy and Belinda. We find out her reasoning for this at the end of our story. But, mom got careless and shortly before summer vacation, Billy pieces one together and discovers his father’s in Montana. All the moving around in his life has made Billy a brave and daring soul. He purchases a plane ticket to Montana to find his father. Here, reader, you are gong to become pretty disgusted with Billy’s father. But, hang on... Other than his dad’s address, all he knows is that he’s got a new wife and family—and Billy’s ready for answers. In Montana, Billy meets Lil, his stepmother, and Summer, his stepsister, both members of the Crow Nation. But not his dad. Lil and Summer profess to know as little as his mother about his dad’s actual job. He always has claimed he works on secret missions for the government. Lil and a Summer don’t mind having Billy live with them and wait for his father, Dennis, to return (they even give him a little primer on U.S.–Native Nations relations). When his father’s truck is found abandoned with slashed tires, the tension heats. The only communication Billy gets from dad is via drone. Interesting and so 21st century. Now, Billy’s had enough as he tracks his dad down which turns out to be just the beginning of his adventure. I’ve read all of Hiassen’s wildlife mystery-thriller-adventures and this one did not fail me. Even though though I find all snakes terrifying, I would never hurt one. My cat bring little snakes in the house so I’m used to trapping them and releasing them into our woods. I loved the part about the rattlesnake in the locker with its mount taped with steri strips. What a way to fend off a bully! We learn that this does not harm the snake. Narrator Billy, maintains a strong sense of justice and a deep affection for snakes. I love your writing Carl Haissen and book talking them to middle school students. Ages 8-12.This book pairs well with Rob White’s classic book entitled Deathwatch.Thank you Albert A. Knopf books for Young Readers for the opportunity to read this excellent ARC.
    more
  • Ryan
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 time moving. This time he just wants to stay put. His current place has great snakes.But, Billy is curious about his father. When dad walked out he never looked back. He supports his kids financially, but never a letter, never a call. Just the monthly check. But Billy wants to see his dad. Upon finding his father’s address on the envelope, he plans a trip to Montana. Come heck or high water he is going to meet the man that he only knows by name. And since this is a Hiaasen novel you know there will be some type of trouble with animals and/or an environmental concern, and Billy has to help.This adventure is going to see Billy and his step sister, Summer Chasing-Hawks, watching out for grizzly bears in Montana, and and panthers in Florida. You have to throw in some high tech drone action, plus all the snark you can handle. I did love this story, but to me it does not live up to the level Hiaasen reached with Chomp. I think part of it was the back and forth between Montana and Florida. Plus the meet ups with dad. You really start to hate the man as you read this book, and I think that the forgiveness part comes too soon, and too quick. I really want to hand my galley to my nephew but fear this book will come too close to his current situation with his father. And I won't lie, that maybe what colors some of my opinion. Overall, this book is a great adventure. Readers young and old will fall in love with Billy and Summer, and maybe even forgive the adults for their faults. And for those people like me who are not fond of snakes, there is a little snake action, but nothing to fear. I would put this book at a 4th+ reading level, but think it could be a fun read aloud for younger kids.
    more
  • Beth Mendelsohn
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 typical young teenager -- he stands up against bullies who pick on the defenseless. He has a cell phone but is not on social media. He prefers to be outside looking and capturing snakes than playing video games or watching TV. He once put a rattlesnake (mouth taped shut) in his school locker to keep other kids from going in, earning him the nickname "Snake Boy." Always curious about his father, one day Billy finds out where he lives in Montana. He buys a plane ticket and sets out to find him. For an outdoor kid like Billy, the Montana wilderness is perfect. He meets his father's new family and goes exploring the nearby mountain with step-sister Summer Chasing-Hawks before eventually finding his father. Billy and Summer find out the secret their father is keeping which brings them back to Florida.While I did enjoy 𝘚𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘳𝘮, I did not find it to be of the same caliber as his other juvenile books (𝘏𝘰𝘰𝘵, 𝘍𝘭𝘶𝘴𝘩, 𝘊𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘱). Adventure and humor are mixed together to make this a good read. I would recommend this book for 4th grade and up.#Squirm
    more
  • Elena Sotelo-McCrary
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 his characters development with tech or the use of it. Do read and share with someone who is hooked to a screen. Bravo. I particularly wanted to read this as it came in the mail and I learned the authors brother Rob had been a victim of the newsroom calamity. Reading made me feel better even though I knew the author was hurting. Thanks for being brave yourself.
    more
  • Yapha
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 Florida to Montana to confront him. What he finds there is not at all what he expected, though it turns out to be better than he imagines. Full of wildlife adventures and close encounters, fans of the outdoors will enjoy this romp through the wilds of Florida and Montana. Recommended for grades 4 & up.ARC provided by publisher
    more
  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 adventure that ricochets between the wilderness of Montana and Florida. Snakes will not be the only ones charmed by this novel.
    more
  • Sidney
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Kris
    January 1, 1970
    Billy Dickens is my new favorite young character of Hiaasen’s. Billy is brave and not afraid to serve justice on bullies old and young. If you would hurt an animal, watch out! Squirm does not disappoint!
  • Carrie Shaurette
    January 1, 1970
    This quirky ecological adventure fits right in with all the other Hiaasen middle grade books. This time we follow a boy who loves snakes and stands up to bullies. It's a fine book that will still hook a certain kind of reader, though I liked some of the conflicts in the previous books better.
    more
  • Syntha Green
    January 1, 1970
    Billy likes snakes and hates bullies, so of course he has to investigate when a poacher tries to kill endangered animals.
  • Karin
    January 1, 1970
    Solid middle-grade eco-adventure, right in line with other books by this author. Easy to read, easy to recommend, totally enjoyable.
Write a review