Mock Newbery 2022 discussion

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Book of the Month - 2014 > February Read - The Year of Billy Miller

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message 1: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 564 comments Mod
The Year of Billy Miller recently won a Newbery honor at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. What did you think of it? Do you agree that it deserves an honor?


message 2: by Jenni (new)

Jenni | 77 comments I actually really liked this book, and felt it had some significant material in it that struggling students would find relatable. Also, there is a little peek into Billy, which might evoke empathy for these students (in fellow students and adults). However, I didn't have it on my Newbery radar, since it is for a younger audience. It has seemed that the committee has skewed towards older books in recent years, as others have commented on various threads. That being said, I am quite happy to see this book and its author recognized.


message 3: by Laura (new)

Laura Harrison | 393 comments The Year of Billy Miller is a fantastic book. It is very much a "boy" book which I love to see. This title is classic Kevin Henkes. He really is in touch with children. One of the most perfect author/illustrators ever.


Niki (Daydream Reader) | 55 comments This was my favorite chapter book last year. I thought it was a long shot for it to win an award. I am so very happy it did win an honor.


message 5: by Kim (new)

Kim Bell (ohlibrarianio) | 27 comments I'm in the middle of it. I'm actually reading it aloud to my 7yo son. So far we love it, and he's always asking to read one more chapter - it's to stall bedtime, too, but he seems to be enjoying the story. I'll have to reply again when we finish the book.


message 6: by Kristen (last edited Feb 02, 2014 02:01PM) (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 564 comments Mod
I love it when books for younger audiences get recognized. It's a very cute story and I agree that it will attract boys. Well done Kevin Henkes.


message 7: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 49 comments I loved it. Simplistic but not simple. Also happy to see a book for younger readers win a Newbery honor.


message 8: by Kim (new)

Kim B. (weirdmoviefan) For the most part I really, really enjoyed the book. The only downsides were the lack of resolution of ONE plot point and its rather episodic nature. But everything else? Pitch perfect for second graders. That part of my life is long behind me but I know my eight-year-old self would've loved this book.


message 9: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisa3moon) | 50 comments My public librarian shared it with me months ago. It wasn't a personal favorite, but it is a well-written story. I agree that is would be a very good read aloud. It's nice to see a boy character. We already have Junie B, Gooney Bird and Clementine. We needed a new boy character like this.


message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol M | 47 comments I read this the weekend before the awards came out. It's my favorite of the honor books. My quibble is while it is pitch perfect for second graders, I think the reading level is too hard for most. I'll suggest it it as a read aloud.


message 11: by Laura (new)

Laura Harrison | 393 comments The publisher places the The Year of Billy Miller as a young reader book. The length of the volume might intimidate these early readers. Young advanced readers will devour it and be thrilled there is something more than a sliver of a book for them to read. Maybe Mr. Henkes has developed a new category or type of young reader chapter book unknowingly. Or knowingly. The man is a children's book genius.


message 12: by LauraW (new)

LauraW (lauralynnwalsh) | 107 comments I liked the book, and I can see why it won the award; I just wish I liked it more than I do.

My full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 13: by Kate (new)

Kate (ktlms) | 5 comments This book didn't thrill me, but neither am I a second grader. It is written in a way I think a 7 or 8 year old would find relatable, and I definitely will suggest it as a read aloud for my second grade teachers. Kevin Henkes is always able to write in a way that kids think, so I'm glad it won!


message 14: by Holly (new)

Holly I like that Billy thinks like a kid. It is my favorite part of the story.


message 15: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 55 comments I am in agreement with most of the opinions here: so glad that a book for younger readers was recognized with a Newbery Honor. I enjoyed the story immensely; thought Henkes did a wonderful job of capturing a seven-year-old boy's psyche.


message 16: by Kim (new)

Kim Bell (ohlibrarianio) | 27 comments Okay, I'm getting back with you all now that I've finished reading this aloud to my 7yo son. He and I both loved it! Finally something other than Magic Tree House :-) The kid in the story is so like my son, and our family also has a little sister, so it was really easy for us to relate to the characters. But my husband and I also really related to the parents, and I loved the babysitter character, too.

I really hope Kevin Henkes takes these characters into a sequel. I kind of miss them.


message 17: by Laura (new)

Laura Harrison | 393 comments Kim wrote: "Okay, I'm getting back with you all now that I've finished reading this aloud to my 7yo son. He and I both loved it! Finally something other than Magic Tree House :-) The kid in the story is so lik..."

It would be great if this book turned into a series.


message 18: by Mary HD (new)

Mary HD (marymaclan) | 96 comments I loved this and think it is indeed a great book for second graders (and I was glad it won a Newbery Honor, of course!)


message 19: by Donna (new)

Donna Preece | 21 comments I loved this book. It is a book that boys will like. I also see this as a book that struggling readers will like. I love the way the author structured the chapters. Each chapter is a snapshot of how Billy's relationship with a person or situation develops or changes. Billy learns so much from the people around him. The people around us help make us who we are. The author really knows about children and writes about things that matter to them. I am pleased to see this book receive the Newbery Honor.


message 20: by Laura (new)

Laura Harrison | 393 comments Donna wrote: "I loved this book. It is a book that boys will like. I also see this as a book that struggling readers will like. I love the way the author structured the chapters. Each chapter is a snapshot of h..."

I visit a lot of various bookstores. It has been my observation that this amazing title is being shelved with books for older children (grades 3-8). I think this is due to its length. It is a shame because its target audience is going to miss out. Hopefully the wonderful children's booksellers out there will come to its aid.


message 21: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Howell | 9 comments Thoroughly enjoyed the book and thought it would be a good easier to read title but not all fluff. Kevin Henkes is so able to speak in the voice of a child. My adult students tell me that their students are enjoying hearing the book read slouch. These are some important uses of a Newbery Honor or winner. It may not have the general appeal of Ivan, but should appeal to some of sMe teachers and students.


message 22: by Mary (new)

Mary Louise Sanchez (marylouisesanchez) | 8 comments I enjoyed Robin Herrera's Hope is a Ferris Wheel so much that I'm rereading it. I'd like to see it get a nod for some awards.


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