"Ms. Silver and the great nation of China might think that this is the Year of the Rabbit," said Papa. "But I know—and I know everything—that this is the year of Billy Miller."
I’m watching basketball when I should be blogging—Golden State has me under a hypnotic spell. If I’m being honest, it’s the year of Steph Curry much more so than The Year of Billy Miller. The boys and I finished Kevin Henkes' 2014 Newberry Honor Book last night. Billy was endearing, but I closed the cover somewhat surprised by the accolades bestowed on a book that felt fairly common. Maybe that was the point? Maybe quiet common lives are something to behold nowadays. I know I’d stop and stare at vanilla right about now.
Nothing extraordinary takes place in Henkes’ pages, but there is substance to his story. It’s about a somewhat progressive family and the ordinary moments that can inspire a smile. Clearly, the Millers have carved a path leading to functionality and family love. When Billy read his poem to his mother, I was reminded of Oliver reciting his tribute to Bill Murray in St. Vincent. The boys liked Billy Miller, so I liked Billy Miller. But, if I had my druthers, I’d choose a better Henkes’ selection...and there are lots of them.