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Hilary McKay - Author

About the Author

Hilary McKay won the Costa Children's Book Award for The Skylarks' War, the Guardian Fiction Prize for The Exiles, and the Smarties and the Whitbread Award for The Exiles in Love and Saffy's Angel respectively. Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales was her first book with Macmillan Children's Books and is a critically acclaimed collection of clever retellings.

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!

Featured books by Hilary McKay

Binny for Short

Binny for Short

9+ readers

Author: Hilary McKay Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/02/2013

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

ebook of the month

Other books by Hilary McKay

Boudica's Army

Boudica's Army

Author: Hilary McKay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/01/2020

I Was There... is a perfect introduction for younger readers into stories from the past, allowing children to imagine that they were really there. I Was There... Boudica's Army is a fast-paced and fascinating account of a young girl in the Iceni tribe in AD 60. As Queen Boudica leads her people to march on Roman-occupied Colchester, young Kassy's beloved pony, Honey, is stolen away and taken to war. Will Kassy be able to find her and bring her home safely? Amazing black-and-white illustrations throughout bring the story to life! Brilliantly reimagined, readers aged 7+ will love this vivid first-hand account of a child's experience of life in ancient Britain.

The Time of Green Magic

The Time of Green Magic

Author: Hilary McKay Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/09/2019

From acclaimed author and Costa winner Hilary McKay comes The Time of Green Magic: a beautiful, spell-binding novel about family, magic, an old house and a mysterious visitor . . . Abi and her two step-brothers, Max and Louis, find that strange things happen when they are alone in their eerie, ivy-covered new house. Abi, reading alone, finds herself tumbling deep into books, while Louis summons a startling guest through his bedroom window. Even Max has started to see shapes in the shadows . . . Their busy parents see none of it - but Louis' secret visitor is growing too alarming to keep secret, and he finds he cannot manage without Max and Abi's help. Can they find out where the mysterious creature has come from - and how to get it back there?

The Exiles at Home

The Exiles at Home

Author: Hilary McKay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/05/2019

The Conroy sisters are back! In Hilary Mckay's second book in The Exiles series, The Exiles at Home, the four delightfully troublesome siblings manage to get themselves into yet more mischief. When Ruth Conroy decides to sponsor a child in Africa, she is unprepared for the monthly monetary commitment and is shocked by how difficult it is to find GBP10 a month . . . In desperation, she enlists the help of her sisters - but Phoebe, Naomi and Rachel are only too eager to think up eccentric fundraising schemes, including wholly undisciplined and unsuitable baby-sitters, an unhygienic catering service and a fraudulent street artist. Whatever the scheme, their hilarious projects never fail to cause chaos and mayhem.

The Exiles

The Exiles

Author: Hilary McKay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/05/2019

The Exiles was the winner of the 1992 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and is the first novel in Hilary McKay's wonderfully witty and warm The Exiles series. Ruth, Naomi, Rachel and Phoebe Conroy love reading and having fun more than anything else. So the sisters are horrified when they learn that their parents are sending them away to Cumbria for the summer, to stay with their fearsome grandmother: Big Grandma. Big Grandma is strict, makes them do chores and doesn't let them have any fun - but worst of all, she refuses to let the girls read any books. Determined to enjoy their summer, the sisters decide they aren't going to put up with their grandmother's tough regime, and in doing so they somehow manage to cause inordinate amounts of chaos . . . But as the girls search for alternatives to Big Grandma's way of life they slowly start to understand its appeal, just as she starts to understand them. Are the two generations more alike than they think?

The Exiles in Love

The Exiles in Love

Author: Hilary McKay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/05/2019

Love is in the air . . . The Exiles in Love is the third and final book in the award-winning The Exiles series, with Hilary McKay's trademark wit and warmth. Ruth, Naomi, Rachel and Phoebe Conroy are all struggling to deal with the trials and tribulations of first love(s). Ruth develops a crush on the school bus driver, but finds herself conflicted when she also develops feelings for Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre, the temporary English teacher (who Naomi is also smitten with) AND Alan Adair who works in the butcher's shop. Meanwhile, the younger two sisters have other things on their minds - Rachel is plotting to become May Queen at her school and Phoebe is in training to become an international spy. But when Big Grandma arranges for a French boy called Philippe to stay with the Conroy's, it's not long before all the girls fall head over heels for him as well . . .

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.hilarymckay.co.uk/

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