Binny for Short by Hilary Mckay

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Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 A funny and endearing new story of friendship from Whitbread-winning author Hilary McKay.


Binny for Short by Hilary Mckay

Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 Binny's life has been difficult since her father died and her dreadful old Aunt Violet disposed of her beloved dog, Max. Her world changed then, to a city flat with not enough space for her Mum, her big sister Clem and her small brother James. Definitely no room for a pet. Then one day Aunt Violet dies, leaving a small cottage in Cornwall to Binny and her family. Binny finds herself in a new world once more, full of sunshine and freedom and Gareth, the enemy-next-door and the ideal companion for dangerous dares. But Max is still lost in the past, and it seems impossible that she'll ever find him again...


This book is optimistic, clever, beautifully written and very, very amusing. It really is a book you shouldn't miss. * * * * * -- Bookbag

Hilary McKay is a wonderful storyteller, with an especial gift for writing about family life, bringing the thoughts and feelings of children vividly to life. Beautifully-written and enormously engaging, this gentle story about friendship and family in a seaside town will charm readers, right up until its warm-hearted and very satisfying ending. -- Booktrust

Few writers capture the voice and intimacy of family life as well as McKay and fans of her Casson Family series will adore this sensitive exploration of friendship, grief and the often hilarious rough and tumble of families adjusting to change. More Binny please. -- Daily Mail

McKay constructs convincing, page-turning portrait of a loving family that copes with adversity. Nourishing and tremendously entertaining. Warm, wise and witty... Binny for Short shows a mistress of her medium at work. -- Guardian

I've long been a fan of this author for her sure touch and comic genius when it comes to writing about the ups and downs of family life. Funny, warm-hearted and perfectly pitched. -- Lion & Unicorn Books

A tale of adventure, friendship and family... wonderful characters and storytelling. -- tBk Magazine

If you're trying to wean your daughter off Jacqueline Wilson, try Hilary McKay. Her books are so good you want to climb inside the covers and live there. -- The Daily Telegraph

I nearly fell out of bed pulling the book back off my dad when it was time for lights out because I wanted to continue reading...The story is exciting, compelling, sad and funny, with a surprising and heart-warming ending. -- Phoebe, age 9

Mixes family life and friendship, with plenty of warmth and humour. -- Sunday Express

A fantastically good book. -- Lythan St Annes Express

Few writers, if indeed any, write as warmly and accurately about family life as Hilary McKay, or with such humour. Her books feel both utterly timeless, and utterly contemporary. * * * * * -- Books For Keeps

A thorough joy... it has made me look again at her other titles in my hunger to immerse myself in her beautiful, clever writing again. -- Susie and the Pencils

This is a brilliantly written story that is gripping in a gently humorous way. -- Ed On The Web

A new novel from Casson series author Hilary McKay is always a treat and this one is no exception. Wonderful characters and storytelling . -- tBk Magazine

Uplifting and hilarious. -- School Librarian

This is a joyously good children's book... few modern authors write family life as well as Hilary McKay. -- Sunday Times

About the Author

Hilary Mckay

Hilary McKay won the Guardian Children's Award with her first novel, The Exiles. Her subsequent work has achieved similar recognition - The Exiles at Home won the Smarties Prize and Saffy's Angel won the Whitbread and was selected for the inaugural Booked up list. Most recently, the acclaimed Binny for Short was longlisted for the 2014 Carnegie Medal.. A graduate of Botany and Zoology from St Andrews University, Hilary now writes full-time. She lives in Derbyshire with her family.

You can read her character Rose Casson's blog by clicking here - and Rose's tweets on the right hand side of this page.

Q & A with Hilary Mckay

What is your earliest childhood memory?
Watching steam trains with my grandfather. He died before I was two years
old, so that is a very early memory.

If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
Well, who could turn down the gift of flight? Or travel without luggage? Or a
life spent following the sun? Without doubt, I would be a swallow. I realise this
means a lifetime of eating flies, but I think it would be worth it.

What is your dream holiday destination?
I would start at the Sangre de Cristo mountains in New Mexico and travel South
through Central America, along the coast to Peru, then down through Chile
across to the Falklands and on to Antarctica, which I would circumnavigate.
Then I would travel North to New Zealand where I would spend a long time
warming up and then across to Australia. I would spend quite a long time in
Sydney and go up into the Blue Mountains (I might go sapphire hunting there)
and then to the Great Barrier Reef (of course).
That would be far enough for me.

What is your morning routine?
Alas, I do not have a morning routine.

If you could have one special talent, what would it be?
Singing, undoubtedly. That would make me the happiest. But I have a friend
whose talent is languages and I envy that one very much.

Likes: Millions of things! Books, cats, honey, letters from readers (hint, hint), real music, apples, swimming in cold water, chocolate coated ginger biscuits, trees.

Dislikes: Putting things away, litter, loud TV, hot rooms, being told what to think.

3 words that best descibe me: Untidy, happy, hopeful!

A Secret that not many people know: I am a VERY slow reader!

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Book Info


304 pages


Hilary Mckay
More books by Hilary Mckay

Author's Website


Hodder Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Books

Publication date

7th February 2013




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