Published by Greenwillow Books
Summary: Billy Miller’s wish, made while blowing out the eight candles on his birthday cake, is that something exciting will happen. Almost immediately, an ambulance rushes down his street, and he later learns that an elderly neighbor has passed away. Billy is filled with guilt, but Papa assures him that Mr. Tooley’s death was not his fault. The next day, Papa leaves for art camp, leaving Billy, his mom, and little sister Sal to cope with a few more exciting events including a bat in the basement, love letters falling into the wrong hands, and a chimney fire. When Papa returns, it seems like life has returned to normal…until Mama and Papa announce the most exciting news of all. 192 pages; grades 2-4.
Pros: Ever since I used to read Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse and other mouse picture books to my own kids, I have admired Kevin Henkes’ ability to tell a story that perfectly captures the ordinary moments and emotions of childhood without ever talking down to kids. He has pulled off this feat once again in this sequel to the Newbery honor book The Year of Billy Miller. This would be a perfect read-aloud for first, second, or third grade.
Cons: I hope Kevin Henkes will not wait another eight years to write book three in this series.