|Billy Miller makes a wish|
Author: Henkes, Kevin
On his eighth birthday, Billy Miller wishes for something exciting to happen. None of his wishes are answered the way he expects, but he does have lots of surprises--and the final one is possibly the best one ever.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/15/21)
School Library Journal (+) (04/01/21)
Booklist (+) (03/01/21)
The Hornbook (+) (00/03/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/01/2021 *Starred Review* For Billy Miller, sirens signal the first and last days of an eventful period. First, an ambulance pulls up to a nearby house during Billy’s eighth-birthday celebration, giving rise to some anxiety. Has his secret birthday wish (for something exciting to happen) caused his elderly neighbor’s death? Papa assures Billy that there’s no connection. Several days later, with sirens wailing, firefighters arrive at the Millers’ house to extinguish a chimney fire. In between, Papa leaves for a four-day “art camp,” Mama deals with a bat in the basement, three-year-old Sal uses a permanent marker to draw butterfly “tattoos” on her legs, and Billy makes an embarrassing trek around the block, retrieving his parents’ old love letters, which Sal has placed in their neighbors’ mailboxes. Papa’s return and Mama’s news create a happy ending for all. A first-rate choice for reading aloud, this episodic, consistently captivating chapter book draws readers into Billy’s world immediately. Small, kid-friendly drawings illustrate details mentioned within the narrative, but the vividly portrayed characters come to life through the words alone. A companion book to Newbery Honor Book The Year of Billy Miller (2013), this warm family story features the same down-to-earth humor and seemingly simple, beautifully crafted writing. A quiet gem. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2021 Gr 3 Up—Billy Miller is back with all-new everyday adventures. As he blows out the candles on his eighth birthday cake, he makes a wish for something exciting to happen. Seconds later an ambulance with sirens blazing races past his house for the first time ever and Billy begins to wonder if he should have made a different wish. It doesn't stop there; in his first week as an eight-year-old, Billy, who is white, encounters a bat, a letter fiasco, even a house fire, not to mention old grandchildren and some not-so-permanent tattoos. This standalone sequel to The Year of Billy Miller contains simple black-and-white illustrations and is somewhat shorter than the inaugural volume. Billy's tight-knit family and neighborhood set the stage for adventures such as the embarrassment of seeing your teacher in the grocery section or impressing your friends by having been "in the house of a dead person." Henkes's phenomenal ability to tap directly into the hopes, fears, and annoyances of an eight-year-old boy with beautiful clarity make this not only relatable for young readers, but for adults as well. VERDICT Reminiscent of Pennypacker's "Clementine" series, or Beverly Cleary's "Ramona" books, Billy Miller and the laugh-out-loud antics of his little sister Sal make this a darling addition to early middle grade collections for most libraries.—Emily Beasley, Omaha Public Sch., NE - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.