BEYOND THE BILLBOARD by Susan Gates

BEYOND THE BILLBOARD

Age Range: 11 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Thirteen-year-old Firebird Tucker lives with her father, grandmother and twin brother in a swamp—a magical, spooky wilderness endangered by the growth of the nearby city and rising waters. The father, Trapper, is a legendary eel catcher, and the eerie, other-worldly swamp feels like a diminished version of Jody Baxter’s Florida home in The Yearling and, as in The Great Gatsby, a billboard presides over all. The billboard is the border of their world and its message to “Live Your Dreams” tempts Firebird to leave her circumscribed, endangered world. Only at the end of this quiet tale about roots versus dreams is the tone jarred a bit by an over-the-top action sequence, but this is a memorable story rooted in a unique setting, with a character to care about, as Firebird finds out secrets of her past and sets out to make her way in a new world. (Fiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-15-205983-5
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2007