SQUIRM by Carl Hiaasen

SQUIRM

Age Range: 9 - 14
BUY NOW FROM
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Billy Dickens is not the kind of kid who suffers bullies or poachers or absent parents.

Billy’s dad left when Billy was 3. Checks arrive on the 10th of every month, but Billy’s mom destroys the envelopes to keep the return address from Billy. Shortly before summer vacation, Billy pieces one together and discovers his father’s in Montana, so he leaves Florida to find him. Billy’s tired of his mother’s evasiveness about his father—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, but they don’t mind having Billy wait with them for him 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, they get a message via drone: “See you in Florida.” Billy’s had enough. He tracks his dad down, but that turns out to be just the beginning of his adventure. Hiaasen’s newest wildlife-centered caper for middle graders is characteristically entertaining—and, just as characteristically, genially improbable. Narrator Billy’s white, a sarcastic outsider with a strong sense of justice and a deep affection for snakes.

Humorous, self-deprecating narration and convoluted exploits will keep pages turning till the satisfying close. (Fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-385-75297-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2018




OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for BOLD & BRAVE
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for P IS FOR PTERODACTYL
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for OF BLOOD AND BONE
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for LITTLE DREAMERS
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Kirkus Interview
Carl Hiaasen
author of RAZOR GIRL
November 7, 2016

In Razor Girl, Carl Hiaasen’s new novel, when Lane Coolman's car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but. Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield—the eponymous Razor Girl—and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose on the page. There's Trebeaux, the owner of Sedimental Journeys--a company that steals sand from one beach to restore erosion on another…Dominick "Big Noogie" Aeola, a NYC mafia capo with a taste for tropic-wear…Buck Nance, a Wisconsin accordionist who has rebranded himself as the star of a redneck reality show called Bayou Brethren…and Andrew Yancy—formerly Detective Yancy, busted down to the Key West roach patrol after accosting his then-lover's husband with a Dust Buster. Yancy believes that if he can singlehandedly solve a high-profile murder, he'll get his detective badge back. That the Razor Girl may be the key to Yancy's future will be as surprising as anything else he encounters along the way—including the giant Gambian rats that are livening up his restaurant inspections. “How can Hiaasen possibly tie together all this monkey business in the end?” our reviewer asks in a starred review. “His delirious plotting is so fine-tuned that preposterous complications that would strain lesser novelists fit right into his antic world. Relax, enjoy, and marvel anew at the power of unbridled fictional invention.” View video >

MORE BY CARL HIAASEN

ChildrenSKINK—NO SURRENDER by Carl Hiaasen
by Carl Hiaasen
ChildrenCHOMP by Carl Hiaasen
by Carl Hiaasen
ChildrenSCAT by Carl Hiaasen
by Carl Hiaasen
ChildrenHOOT by Carl Hiaasen
by Carl Hiaasen

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE MISFITS by James Howe
by James Howe
ChildrenBELLY UP by Stuart Gibbs
by Stuart Gibbs
ChildrenLOOT by Jude Watson
by Jude Watson