Being Billy – Phil Earle

Faces flashed before my eyes.

And for every face there was a time that they had let me down.

Each punch that landed was revenge, my chance to tell them I hadn’t forgotten
what they did.

Eight years in a care home makes Billy Finn a professional lifer. And Billy’s angry – with
the system, the social workers, and the mother that gave him away.

As far as Billy’s concerned, he’s on his own. His little brother and sister keep him going,
though they can’t keep him out of trouble.

But he isn’t being difficult on purpose. Billy’s just being Billy. He can’t be
anything else.

Can he?

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17 thoughts on “Being Billy – Phil Earle

  1. Being Billy was the first book I read and if I’m being honest, I didn’t really expect much from it. It seemed like a fairly normal book. However, as I read through the book I realised how emotional it was and how much it was getting to me. It takes you through the life of a regular child in care and shows you how the child feels and not just what people see. People see the tough exterior of the child and no one would take the time to see what this child actually feels like and what made them violent and scary. Billy is a very violent character who seems to always get into trouble and no one can really understand him but as you get closer to him you see that even when he was with his mum he got beaten up and this still affected him while he was in a care home and when he had foster parents. It may have been the first book I read but it hooked me so much that I am quite sure no other book will have my vote after this.

    By Salma

  2. Kathryn says:
    Billy was once rejected by his mum, and with his two younger siblings now resides in a care home. No, don’t let this put you off. It isn’t Tracy Beaker I can assure you, it barely resembles it but if you do happen to like Tracy Beaker maybe this is also up your alley.
    Being Billy on first glance didn’t interest me, seeming like a book just about a boy who gets into trouble. Actually that seems to be most of the book, but I adored this book. I think it was probably because of the strong relationship and almost fatherly bond that he develops, maybe it was his ability to change his attitude slightly or maybe his love for his younger siblings.
    From the very beginning I could understand Billy, the book is amazingly written so that you can symphonise with Billy, and understand him. I loved all the characters of Being Billy, mostly the General (Ronnie) and Billy. I would highly recommend this book to just about anyone; seriously it’s worth just reading a few pages at least because you’ll probably get pulled into it.
    The best book I have read in the last few months, definitely recommended.

  3. Phil Earle’s masterpiece, Being Billy, is simply the best book I have ever read. Although only the 2nd of the 6 books, I am without doubt that the others will be unable to reach the same standard- it is in a league of its own. The plot drags you in, making it nearly impossible to stop reading until you have finished the whole novel, which when you do, you are left with a great deal to think about, but also a need for the story to carry on going.
    The whole book, particularly the last 50 or so pages, is vividly written and full of a lot of emotion, meaning it feels as if you are going through the events with Billy and (for me) makes you cry a great deal.
    Billy’s emotions and the events are brilliantly described and every word seems to fit in perfectly and been thought about a lot. The more you read, the more you discover about Billy, so as the story deepens you find you like him more and more and change your views about him and people in similar situations.
    It’s the kind of book you could read over and over again and not tire of and that everyone should read. Eight years in a care home makes Billy Finn a professional lifer. And Billy’s angry – with
    the system, the social workers, and the mother that gave him away, as far as Billy’s concerned, he’s on his own. His little brother and sister keep him going,
    though they can’t keep him out of trouble, but he isn’t being difficult on purpose. Billy’s just being Billy. He can’t be anything else. At the start I found it confusing but after a few chapters |I understood what was happening

  4. I really enjoyed reading this book, had to be one of my favourites. Love how it is actually written from a teenager’s perspective and great twist on the end, very unexpected! I’d definitely recommend it to others to read! 🙂

  5. Being Billy is a gripping and moving book that is full of emotion and sure to bring a tear to your eye. A great write by Phil Earle and by far my favourite book out of the 6! A story full of suspense and needing a sequel!

  6. I loved Being Billy! It’s the first one in the line up that I read and it was truly brilliant. Billy’s problems, his arguments and his fights really shouted out at me. I was really suprised by the twist ending and it made the book all the better!

  7. This book was brilliant. I love reading it. Being Billy is probably the best of the books so far. I would definitely recommend this book to other people my age.

  8. Phil Earle you have created a masterpiece, your book is amazing it is one of the best books I have ever read. I have put my name down to introduce you at the ceremony. I hope I get picked, I can’t wait to meet you

  9. Phil Earle’s masterpiece, Being Billy, is simply the best book I have ever read. Although only the 2nd of the 6 books, I am without doubt that the others will be unable to reach the same standard- it is in a league of its own. The plot drags you in, making it nearly impossible to stop reading until you have finished the whole novel, which when you do, you are left with a great deal to think about, but also a need for the story to carry on going.
    The whole book, particularly the last 50 or so pages, is vividly written and full of a lot of emotion, meaning it feels as if you are going through the events with Billy and (for me) makes you cry a great deal.
    Billy’s emotions and the events are brilliantly described and every word seems to fit in perfectly and been thought about a lot. The more you read, the more you discover about Billy, so as the story deepens you find you like him more and more and change your views about him and people in similar situations.
    It’s the kind of book you could read over and over again and not tire of and that everyone should read.

    By Lauren

    Billy has lived in a care home for most of his life, and is filled with anger at his care workers (or “scummers”, as he refers to them), and just the world in general. But Billy knows he must be strong for his younger twin siblings, who have been given the opportunity to go back to live with their mum. Billy knows this is something he can never expect for himself, he and his mum having a bad relationship after her ex-boyfriend, Shaun, was violent to Billy. The twins are happy to go back and have a second chance with their mum, but deep down, Billy has a feeling that it’s all going to go wrong, and the twins will be the ones getting hurt. Can Billy, with the help of his senior care worker, the Colonel, and his best friend Daisy, make sure the twins are making the right decision?

    I have to say, I wasn’t overly optimistic at the start of the book, thinking that the care home route was well and truly exhausted after the Tracy Beaker stories, but I was certainly proved wrong. Being Billy is sharply witty, has a suspenseful storyline and I think Phil Earle is an amazing new teen author. Maybe we can hope for a sequel…?

    By Sarah

  10. In my opinion Being Billy is one of the best books in this reading group. From the start I knew I would like this book because it just gripped me with its mysteriousness. As I got further and further into the book the pace picked up and the action and I LOVED IT. By the end I was absolutely gobsmacked, the ending really gripped me and the last sentence really finished the book off in the best possible way!

  11. i really enjoyed this book and it has beat Opposite of Amber and has gained my top vote. I really would reccommend this book to other people my age xx

  12. I read this book and thought it was brilliant, by far the favourite book I’ve read to this point. I like how it looks at the perspective of a young teenager in a care home who gets kicked out of his home by his parents to then later break in to lie in the bed that was briefly his own

  13. I really enjoyed reading Being Billy. I was hooked from the very first page. This book has the ability to move people to tears. It was hard to put the book down.

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