Billy Miller Makes a Wish
Billy Miller Makes a Wish
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Annotation: 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.
Genre: [Humorous fiction]
Catalog Number: #238928
Format: Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 179 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-304279-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8643-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-304279-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8643-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2020050744
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Billy Miller’s birthday wish, for “something exciting [to] happen,” attunes him to all kinds of excitement in his life.Just after he blows out his candles, an ambulance roars down the street to the house of an elderly neighbor, and Billy later worries that his wish precipitated Mr. Tooley’s death. Billy is White, with a mother, father, and younger sister, Sal, whose singular personality dominates nearly everything around her. Sal’s plush whale Drop Sisters have been joined by a more portable quintet of whale-shaped erasers, the Drip Sisters. As with the moment when Billy thinks about how the air changes somewhere from summer warmth to cool on the steps to the basement, Henkes’ focus on small transitions in growing up and seeing the world acknowledges and celebrates the complex emotional life of childhood. Billy’s year of being 8 begins like a leaf unfolding, slow and steady, fed by the sunlight of loving parents and comfortable life. Twenty brief chapters chronicle the several days in which Billy misses the presence of his artist father, away at an art camp, inadvertently learns that his mother (and father) had a life before him, and helps his mother manage Sal. The sweet surprise of the summer (adult readers may recognize the clues), revealed when Papa returns, promises new and interesting chapters in Billy’s life.Full of heart and depth. (Fiction. 7-10)
Publishers Weekly
In this short, well-paced follow-up to Newbery Honoree Henkes-s The Year of Billy Miller, the rising third grader, celebrating his eighth birthday as summer begins, wishes that -something exciting would happen.- When an ambulance arrives moments later and his elderly neighbor dies shortly after that, Billy, distraught, is sure that his wish is the cause. As summer progresses, further excitement ensues-a bat in the basement, a fire in the chimney, and an unfortunate permanent marker mishap involving Billy-s rambunctious little sister, Sal-and Billy worries that he is somehow to blame. Filled with Billy-s observations (-He thought that teachers weren-t regular people. They were in a different category-like doctors or presidents-) and Sal-s exploits (such as delivering her parents- love letters to every mailbox in the neighborhood), Henkes-s sequel offers a refreshingly honest portrayal of kid life: Billy-s first encounter with death, the frustration and embarrassment he feels courtesy of a sibling, and the joy of summer experiences such as air conditioning on a hot day and getting to order from the pool-s snack bar. Henkes captures the warmth of Billy-s family, which is white, as well as his guileless voice as he navigates common trials and tribulations of childhood. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
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
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Billy Miller’s birthday wish, for “something exciting [to] happen,” attunes him to all kinds of excitement in his life.Just after he blows out his candles, an ambulance roars down the street to the house of an elderly neighbor, and Billy later worries that his wish precipitated Mr. Tooley’s death. Billy is White, with a mother, father, and younger sister, Sal, whose singular personality dominates nearly everything around her. Sal’s plush whale Drop Sisters have been joined by a more portable quintet of whale-shaped erasers, the Drip Sisters. As with the moment when Billy thinks about how the air changes somewhere from summer warmth to cool on the steps to the basement, Henkes’ focus on small transitions in growing up and seeing the world acknowledges and celebrates the complex emotional life of childhood. Billy’s year of being 8 begins like a leaf unfolding, slow and steady, fed by the sunlight of loving parents and comfortable life. Twenty brief chapters chronicle the several days in which Billy misses the presence of his artist father, away at an art camp, inadvertently learns that his mother (and father) had a life before him, and helps his mother manage Sal. The sweet surprise of the summer (adult readers may recognize the clues), revealed when Papa returns, promises new and interesting chapters in Billy’s life.Full of heart and depth. (Fiction. 7-10)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*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.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (3/1/21)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews (2/1/21)
School Library Journal Starred Review (4/1/21)
Publishers Weekly
Word Count: 17,850
Reading Level: 4.1
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.1 / points: 3.0 / quiz: 511572 / grade: Middle Grades
Guided Reading Level: Q
Fountas & Pinnell: Q

"Full of heart and depth."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Henkes is a master of characterization. --The Horn Book (starred review) "A first-rate choice for reading aloud."--Booklist (starred review) Billy Miller is back! This stand-alone companion to two-time Newbery Honor author Kevin Henkes's award-winning, acclaimed, and bestselling The Year of Billy Miller, Billy Miller Makes a Wish is a laugh-out-loud funny and accessible story about summer, family, and wishes that (almost) come true. Billy Miller Makes a Wish is illustrated in black-and-white throughout by the author, and is perfect for fans of the Ramona books and the Clementine series. On his birthday, Billy Miller wishes for something exciting to happen. But he immediately regrets his wish when an ambulance rushes to his neighbor's house. Is Billy responsible Award-winning author Kevin Henkes delivers a short, funny, and emotionally complex novel complete with misplaced love letters, surprising critters, art projects, misguided tattoos--and another surprise for Billy and his family, maybe the best one yet! Illustrated throughout with black-and-white art by the author, this is a perfect novel for the early elementary grades and an essential choice for summer reading. A stand-alone companion to The Year of Billy Miller, a Newbery Honor Book.


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