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Beyond the Billboard

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Almost nobody knows that thirteen-year-old Firebird Tucker and her family exist. Firebird is not allowed to leave their wilderness swamp hidden from prying eyes by a massive billboard, not even to go to school. And she must never, ever talk to strangers.
     But suddenly, strangers are everywhere. And despite her family's insistence that nothing can change, everything does
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published July 7th 2005)
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Average rating 3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  133 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Mar 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Firebird and Ford live in the swamp with their father (Trapper) and grandmother. Trapper and Ford trap eels to support the family, and Firebird spends her time daydreaming and making purses out of eel skin and feathers. (That's meant to be Firebird on the cover, but she has red hair in the book. Hence the name.) Their mother has been dead for years. The family hides from the outside world in an isolated swamp, hidden from view by a huge billboard. And then the lies start surfacing, about every a ...more
Emma (BelleBooks)
I had never heard anything about this book before I picked it up from the library.

First off I would say this book is aimed more at younger readers, rather than the Young Adult market. Although this did not stop me enjoying the book.

It is classed as a Dystopian novel, I would not call it that! I have read and reviewed a number of Young Adult dystopian novels, and this is certainly not one of them.

The story centres around Firebird and her brother Ford (both named after bill board adverts that were
Aug 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
For the most part, I really enjoyed this one. It wasn't what I expected, though. I thought it was going to end up be some huge shocking secret but it really wasn't. The narration was also a bit inconsistant but not terribly soon. I like the characters, though. Firebird was strong be intelligent and Ford was also very believable. It was interesting to see how the twins reacted when they got old enough to realize they were being fooled by Carol-Ann and Trapper. It was a fun, easy, mysterious read ...more
Charlotte Hawkins
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school-reads
A provocative story about two teens who live on a swamp with their Dad and Nana. They soon learn their entire life is a lie, as the city, climate change, and their supposedly dead mother encroach upon their little world.
A brilliant story that got me thinking.
I originally read this as a child and didn't pick up on the details and complex issues that were discussed in the book. Having reread it as an adult, it's very clever and eye-opening. I was very surprised. I really should read Young Adult m
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was.. Okay. It wasn't good, it wasn't bad. It was just okay. I feel as though it could of been better, and I feel like it would have been nicer to extend the ending a bit. I felt like I wanted to see more of what would of happened to the twins.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Marta Morrison for

This book surprised me. I liked it a lot.

Firebird and Ford are thirteen-year-old twins. They have lived all of their life with their grandma and dad because their mother died in childbirth. Trapper, the dad, is in the eel business. Ford and Trapper spend all their days hunting eel in the swamp where they live. Firebird sits and looks at a billboard which hides them from the outside and dreams of seeing faraway places. She also makes purses out of e
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
I really enjoyed Firebird. In some ways it was a little predictable, but it was a good read. Thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I found it at my local library. When I checked the slip inside the cover, it had been over a year since anyone had checked it out. I assumed that was because it's an awful book, but the blurb sounded interesting, and it is only 210 pages, so it wont take me long to complete it.

I was delightfully surprised at how quickly I was hooked. And enjoyed reading this every night befor
Lyz Russo
One of the most delightful novels I read in the past years. The style is easy yet compelling; I couldn't put it down. The world-building is phenomenal. You are drawn into this dystopian swamp world, and in the first chapter you wonder how this family can even survive, but keep reading, because you will find out! They are completely self-sufficient, and so isolated!

The longing of a young girl to explore what is out there, despite the warnings of the elders, and the staunch, bitter attitudes of t
Apr 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
Firebird and her twin brother Ford live w/their dad and his mother in the swamps, hunting and selling eels-beyond the billboard. Things begin to change when Firebird follows her grandmother out of the swamp and into the big city-which she and her brother have been told is evil and a place they shouldn't go. Firebird discovers her grandmother has been selling the purses Firebird has been making out of eel skins and feathers to support the family, while Ford discovers his father is dumping the eel ...more
Aug 25, 2010 rated it liked it
This book is about a girl named Firebird and her family. Nobody knows of them because they live on the other side of the billboard that is between them and the city. Firebird and her brother grew up knowing the city as a place that is horrible and that they shouldn’t ever go there. Firebird later find out that her dad and grandma are keeping secrets from her and her brother about her dead mother, the city and more. I liked this book; the only thing I didn’t really like was the end. I felt that t ...more
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Harcourt inc.
Susan Gates
210 pages

I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed this book because it had many twists and turns to the story. I found myself making many predictions and reading to figure out if I was correct. The story moves at a good pace and would be appropriate for junior high and high school students.

Just an f.y.i. . . Firebird in the story has red hair; the girl on the front has blonde hair. Interesting.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a bit half-half on this book. It's really small but interesting. Yes, I did expect more from it though. But you know what I love? The fact that it's different/ Heck, it really different. Just give it a try. It's a beautiful story that will make you smile and tear up at the same time.
So three stars I think, is just right. I didn't give it full stars because it needed something more. Not sure what. Any suggestions?
Sarah Churchill
I'm sorry to say this remained predictable up to the very last page, but there was still something likeable about it. As a book written for young readers (and certainly not my analytical mind), I'll stay neutral with 3 stars, but I only really recommend this for readers in their early teens.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Was ok read.
Nov 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
weird book. I got this for free at a library open house. I might have to donate it to D.I.
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-shelf
This was a good book but I kept repeating and flashing back which got quite confusing at times!
Melissa Dwyer
Nov 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Originally rated G by Lee Uptegraff Nichols
Letting go of their old ways and yet surviving as a family, Beyond the Billboard is a poignant story of a family’s triumph.
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
An amazing story and goes into great depths, if there were a second book I would definitely read it!
rated it really liked it
Aug 05, 2014
Jemyllah Rogers
rated it it was amazing
Feb 03, 2016
rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2013
Emi warling
rated it it was ok
Dec 24, 2013
rated it it was amazing
May 15, 2014
rated it did not like it
Mar 08, 2015
rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Sep 29, 2013
rated it it was ok
Jul 31, 2018
Nicole Krapf
rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2013
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Karen M. McManus, the bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, and One of Us Is Next, doesn’t shy away from secrets and...
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