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Billy Miller Makes a Wish



by
Kevin Henkes

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
HarperCollins
Imprint
Greenwillow Bks.
ISBN
9780063042797
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$18.30   $15.25
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The 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. A great choice for young middle grade readers. Illustrated in black-and-white throughout by the author.

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 companion to The Year of Billy Miller, a Newbery Honor Book.Black-and-white illustrations. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

192

Trim Size

8" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Jul 2021

Book Genres

Chapter Book, Realistic Fiction

Topics

Wishes. Birthdays. Surprise. Family life. Wisconsin. Humorous stories.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

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

Horn Book

When Billy Miller fell on his head at the beginning of The Year of Billy Miller (rev. 9/13), he worried about forgetting things and whether he was smart enough for second grade. Now, in this welcome sequel, school is over for the year and Billy is a “second-and-a-half grader” now worrying about his eighth birthday wish. Fearing a long, boring summer, he’d wished for excitement. But “excitement” comes in the form of an ambulance arriving at his neighbor’s house, and when Mr. Tooley dies, Billy thinks maybe his wish was responsible. Then there’s a bat in the basement, a chimney fire, and his younger sister Sal tattooing her legs with his special birthday markers. And why is his mother so tired all the time? Billy must also put up with Sal, who is almost four, and he doesn’t always find her as amusing as readers will. In fact, he wonders “how long big brothers had to suffer because of their little sisters.” Henkes is a master of characterization, deftly using dabs of telling details to build his characters (Sal, for instance, with her collection of whale-shaped erasers she calls the Drip Sisters, the “symphony cards” she makes for Mr. Tooley, the birthday present she wrapped all by herself that looks like “a big ball of crumpled tissue paper”). But when Mama and Papa share exciting news at the end of the story, Billy changes his mind about that wish he had regretted. “Now he wouldn’t change it for anything.” DEAN SCHNEIDER

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

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

Horn Book

When Billy Miller fell on his head at the beginning of The Year of Billy Miller (rev. 9/13), he worried about forgetting things and whether he was smart enough for second grade. Now, in this welcome sequel, school is over for the year and Billy is a “second-and-a-half grader” now worrying about his eighth birthday wish. Fearing a long, boring summer, he’d wished for excitement. But “excitement” comes in the form of an ambulance arriving at his neighbor’s house, and when Mr. Tooley dies, Billy thinks maybe his wish was responsible. Then there’s a bat in the basement, a chimney fire, and his younger sister Sal tattooing her legs with his special birthday markers. And why is his mother so tired all the time? Billy must also put up with Sal, who is almost four, and he doesn’t always find her as amusing as readers will. In fact, he wonders “how long big brothers had to suffer because of their little sisters.” Henkes is a master of characterization, deftly using dabs of telling details to build his characters (Sal, for instance, with her collection of whale-shaped erasers she calls the Drip Sisters, the “symphony cards” she makes for Mr. Tooley, the birthday present she wrapped all by herself that looks like “a big ball of crumpled tissue paper”). But when Mama and Papa share exciting news at the end of the story, Billy changes his mind about that wish he had regretted. “Now he wouldn’t change it for anything.” DEAN SCHNEIDER

Grades 2-4
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