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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,566 ratings  ·  291 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, 276 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,566 ratings  ·  291 reviews

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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
Mar 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
Filled with colorful characters leading atypical lives, Carl Hiaasen's junior novels never fail to keep me guessing. In Squirm we meet Billy Dickens, a Florida boy with a love for snakes but less affection for people. His mother, a fanatic for baby eagles who refuses to live more than a short distance from an eagle's nest, packs up and moves her family to a new place whenever the nearest nest goes dormant. This lifestyle inhibits Billy from making friends, but his older sister hates moving more ...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
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.
Maegan (The Slinky Serpent)
Feb 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Y'all I'm doing better in 2019. This review is only weeks late as opposed to months, or a year *cough* *cough*.


This is not a review. It is a rant. There will be spoilers.


I Ok. So let me just say this book made me VERY uncomfortable to put it lightly. I wanted to DNF so many times, but I was 62% in and I couldn’t let all my strife be for naught.

So first I read all of the previous books in the series. It’s been a while give or take eight or so years. But if I
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
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.
Ms. Yingling
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Copy provided by publisher
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 ❤
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.
Caden Davidson
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 for this humorous adventure. When Billy’s dad left his family, his mom went to great lengths to hide where he was; she also moved her kids all around Florida, always moving near bald eagles’ nests. Billy finally pieces together a cut-up envelope and buys himself a plane ticket to Montana to confront his father, leaving without seeing him but learning that his job is definitely top secret and dangerous. When they are finally reunited, they go on an adventure of a lifetime. Billy is a smart ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
The plot kind of went all over the place, as though the author didn’t really know how the story would unfold. While this did annoy me a bit, it kept the story unpredictable, as is signature Hiiasen. The humour, action, and the funny ways the author tries to find ways to tie everything in together to somewhat resemble a plot line brought it to 4 stars. Enjoyable, a quick read to fill in the gaps between the usual 400-600 page read.
Ms. Jackson
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A possible theme for this book is take risks for what you believe in. Billy’s father has been out of his life since he was three, and finally he gets a chance to meet him. He sets out on his own to surprise his father; he learns more than he ever expected and gets caught up in trying to stop poacher too.
Mobeme53 Branson
I always enjoy Hiaasen's writing. No, it's not based in reality. In this case it plays into the fantasy of many children who have been abandoned by a parent; when I find my Dad he'll be super cool and want to be with me. Also, the protagonist is fearless and full of confidence but kind hearted. A sweet, fun read.
Jennifer Mangler
I always enjoy reading Carl Hiassen's middle grades books, though this was my least favorite. Billy's parents were a bit too dingy for my taste. But I really liked Billy and the way he intervened in situations to stand up for kids who can't stand up for themselves. Those parts of the book are great.
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..
Heydi Smith
Such a grand adventure. What an imagination this author possesses! I love how focused his stories are on animal advocacy. I love how this story takes place outside in the grand beyond. A great read for reluctant readers.
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.
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
Jacob Gehr
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the book! I grew up in Florida and this book resembles life perfectly and is so accurate. These books are amazing and interesting and I can never put this book down!
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The first person narrated story of a Floridian social outcast teen with a love for snakes and a broad streak of bravery who saves his estranged father from a grizzly hunter in Montana. Not wacky fun murder, but still wacky fun.
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.
Holly Hogue
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rick and I listened during our trip to Key West. We really enjoy Carl Hiaasen books, especially with his tidbits about Florida and odd humor.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love how all of his books are about rescuing animals. It's amazing.
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
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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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“In other words, we saved an animal from extinction just so we could start killing it again. How messed up is that?” 0 likes
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