The Year of Billy Miller

By Kevin Henkes

Hi! Have you had a good school year? I want to tell you about a book called The Year of Billy Miller. It is about a boy named Billy Miller. He is about to start 2nd grade. That’s the grade I just finished! This book has four parts in it: Teacher, Father, Sister and Mother. It all starts when the wind blows Billy’s cap off of his head. He leans over and falls off a platform and gets a large bump on his head. How would you like to start the first day of a new grade with a big bump on your head? His younger sister, Sal, wants to go to school, too. And Billy wants to stay home. How crazy is that? I actually have a little brother. Sal reminds me of him because he can be annoying just like Sal, in my opinion.

Billy has a best friend named Ned. They walk to school together every morning. His new teacher, Ms. Silver, likes to teach the class about different cultures and new things. He has school projects that are really cool. One of them is a diorama. His friend comes over to help him. Will Ms. Silver love it?

One night, Billy wants to stay up all night. Will he do it, or will he have to give his sister Sal the “magic” pearl?

At the end of the year, Billy has a big Room 2 play. It’s about poems. They have to be about a family member. Will he make up a poem before the play or will it all just be a big failure and Ms. Silver not like him? Will it be the year of Billy Miller… or not?

I recommend this book because the different parts have a lot to do with each other. So if you finish one part, you’ll be excited to go on to the next one so that it will keep the story going. If you are 6, 7, or 8 years old, Billy Miller is really close to your age. So it’ll give you experience about 2nd grade, whether you've been in that grade or not.

A few helpful things I like to say about the books I read:

“Run and Get Mom” (how I describe the scariness factor):
There were no scary parts at all in this book. Thank goodness!

“Yucky-Lovey Stuff” (how I describe the romance factor):
This is a book about a 2nd grader. There is definitely no yucky-lovey stuff in this book. Whew! Everyone's safe!


I give this book 5 wands.
It was interesting and I could not wait to finish it once I had started!