The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes - From the Children's Room

We have all been fans of Kevin Henkes picture books over the years.  Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, Kitten's First Full Moon, Chrysanthemum are just three that are always included on the "best of" lists.
 
The Year of Billy Miller was written for readers who are slightly older.  It's a perfect book for kids who are ready to move on from early readers and first level chapter books, but aren't ready for middle grade.  It is somewhat longer (240 pages), but with larger print and fewer illustrations.  The vocabulary is new-reader friendly, but with some stretch words, too ( "embedded", "plopped").
 
All the situations in Billy's year are real and relatable.  It's the year of second grade.  Billy's confidence is a bit shaky.  He worries.  He loves his "Mama" and "Papa" and gets aggravated with his sister.  Billy's Dad declares that "this will be his year".  In the end, of course, it is.
 
The Year of Billy Miller is a perfect stepping stone in a young readers life.