Publisher's Note:  

Award-winning, nationally bestselling author Kevin Henkes introduces second-grader Billy Miller in this fast-paced and funny story about friendship, sibling rivalry, and elementary school. The Year of Billy Miller includes black-and-white art by Kevin Henkes and is perfect for fans of the Ramona books, Frindle, by Andrew Clements, and the Clementine series. When Billy Miller has a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad. Newbery Honor author and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes delivers a short, satisfying, laugh-out-loud-funny school and family story that features a diorama homework assignment, a school poetry slam, cancelled sleepovers, and epic sibling temper tantrums. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white art by the author, this is a perfect short novel for the early elementary grades.

The Year of Billy Miller

by Kevin Henkes

Review Date:

Recommended Age:

Overall Rating:

Profanity / Language Rating:

Violence / Gore Rating:

Sex / Nudity Rating:

Overall Review:  

If you've had the opportunity to read any of Kevin Henkes's children's books, chances are you're a fan. With Chrysanthemum and Lily's Purple Plastic Purse being my favorites, I was anxious to try one of his newest novels: The Year of Billy Miller. Billy Miller is a funny little boy who is quickly growing up and struggling with things you'd expect any boy his age to deal with: bullying, feeling inadequate and scared, but also being ready to grow up. Some of the elements that are so entertaining in Henkes's picture books are carried over in this book--the familiarity making it even more enjoyable. Of course he included some little boy humor that naturally had my four and six-year-olds giggling. Be aware of a brief frightening scene (that is easy to foresee) that you may choose to edit a bit for younger audiences. This fun story will appeal to anyone who enjoys Kevin Henkes's other books as well as those who would love an amusing, light read about a second grader.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None


Violence/Gore:  Few (6) brief incidents including character falls and ends up unconscious; character imagines biting and poisoning another character, causing death; imagining a scary monster that eats children; character makes up a story about an explosion; mention that some people have dead moms; animal dies.


Sex/Nudity:  Few (2) very brief incidents including parents kissing; character imagining scary, naked monster.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Lying, brief mention that some people have dead moms.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  



Reviewed By Jenny
No image available