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Hilary McKay - Author

About the Author

Hilary McKay is an award-winning author, having won the Guardian Fiction Prize for her first novel, The Exiles, and going on to win the Smarties and the Whitbread (now the Costa) Award for The Exiles in Love and Saffy's Angel. Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales was her first book with Macmillan Children's Books and is a critically acclaimed collection of clever retellings. Her 2018 title The Skylarks' War marks the centenary of the end of the First World War and is a classic in the making.

Featured books by Hilary McKay

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 towar. Will Kassy be able to find her and bring her home safely? 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 Time of Green Magic

The Time of Green Magic

Author: Hilary McKay Format: Paperback / softback 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 new families, a magical old house and a mysterious cat . . . When Tom and Polly marry, blending their single parent families together, their children find it hard to relinquish their old lives. Max realizes his birth dad will never come home now, while Abi suddenly finds herself a middle child, expected to share far too much - especially with grubby little Louis. The family start over together, stretching their finances to the limit and renting an eerie, ivy-covered house, big enough for all of them. But when the children are alone there, strange things start to happen. Worried, Louis summons comfort from outdoors, and a startling guest arrives - is it a cat, or an owl, or something else? Abi reads alone, tumbling deep into books. Max loses his best friend and falls in love. Meanwhile, Louis' secret visitor is becoming much too real. And when Max and Abi too start to see the great spotted cat-thing that arrives in the night, it becomes a problem the three of them must find a way to solve - together. But where has the creature come from, and how will he get back?

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 . . .

The Skylarks' War

The Skylarks' War

Author: Hilary McKay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/09/2018

Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2018. The Skylarks' War is a beautiful story following the loves and losses of a family growing up against the harsh backdrop of World War One, from the award-winning Hilary McKay. Clarry and her older brother Peter live for their summers in Cornwall, staying with their grandparents and running free with their charismatic cousin, Rupert. But normal life resumes each September - boarding school for Peter and Rupert, and a boring life for Clarry at home with her absent father, as the shadow of a terrible war looms ever closer. When Rupert goes off to fight at the front, Clarry feels their skylark summers are finally slipping away from them. Can their family survive this fearful war?

Straw into Gold: Fairy Tales Re-Spun

Straw into Gold: Fairy Tales Re-Spun

Author: Hilary McKay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/09/2018

This book was originally published in hardback as Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales. Straw into Gold: Fairy Tales Re-Spun is a classic fairy tale collection to treasure. Featuring Hilary McKay's imaginative retellings of key favourites, this ten-story collection includes the much-loved tales of Rapunzel, Cinderella, the Princess and the Pea, Rumpelstiltskin, the Pied Piper of Hamelin, the Swan Brothers, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Red Riding Hood, the Twelve Dancing Princesses and Hansel and Gretel. This gorgeous gift book features black-and-white line and tone illustrations throughout from the talented Sarah Gibb.

Tower and the Bird

Tower and the Bird

Author: Hilary McKay Format: eBook Release Date: 12/10/2017

Here is lovely Rapunzel, free from her tower, although perhaps not so free from her fears . . . The Tower and the Bird is an imaginative retelling of the classic fairy tale Rapunzel. Originally featured in Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales, this short story is sure to capture the imagination!From the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize-winning storyteller Hilary McKay and featuring black-and-white line and tone illustrations from the talented Sarah Gibb.

Chickenpox and Crystal

Chickenpox and Crystal

Author: Hilary McKay Format: eBook Release Date: 12/10/2017

I asked myself lots of questions, like how could Snow White have left those seven kind dwarves? Perhaps she never quite did.Chickenpox and Crystal is an imaginative retelling of the classic fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Originally featured in Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales, this short story is sure to capture the imagination!From the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize-winning storyteller Hilary McKay and featuring black-and-white line and tone illustrations from the talented Sarah Gibb.

Over the Hills and Far Away

Over the Hills and Far Away

Author: Hilary McKay Format: eBook Release Date: 12/10/2017

I asked myself lots of questions, like why did the Piper's son steal the pig? Over the Hills and Far Away is an imaginative retelling which weaves together two classic stories in the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood and the nursery tale of Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son. Originally featured in Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales, this short story is sure to capture the imagination!From the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize-winning storyteller Hilary McKay and featuring black-and-white line and tone illustrations from the talented Sarah Gibb.

Sweet William by Rushlight

Sweet William by Rushlight

Author: Hilary McKay Format: eBook Release Date: 12/10/2017

Here is brave, loyal Elsa, who wove the nettles in silence for seven long years.Sweet William by Rushlight is an imaginative retelling of the classic fairy tale 'The Swan Brothers'. Originally featured in Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales, this short story is sure to capture the imagination!From the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize-winning storyteller Hilary McKay and featuring black-and-white line and tone illustrations from the talented Sarah Gibb.

Straw into Gold

Straw into Gold

Author: Hilary McKay Format: eBook Release Date: 12/10/2017

Rumpelstiltskin - all my life I have been troubled by the injustice with which he was treated . . . Straw into Gold is an imaginative retelling of the classic fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin. Originally featured in Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales, this short story is sure to capture the imagination!From the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize-winning storyteller Hilary McKay and featuring black-and-white line and tone illustrations from the talented Sarah Gibb.

Things Were Different in Those Days

Things Were Different in Those Days

Author: Hilary McKay Format: eBook Release Date: 12/10/2017

Here are the twelve dancing princesses, who drove the Old King to distraction by wearing through their slippers every night. (Which sounds like something he could have made less fuss about, until you do the maths: well over four thousand pairs of slippers a year. Satin slippers too!)Things Were Different in Those Days is an imaginative retelling of the classic fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Originally featured in Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales, this short story is sure to capture the imagination!From the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize-winning storyteller Hilary McKay and featuring black-and-white line and tone illustrations from the talented Sarah Gibb.

Roses Round the Palace

Roses Round the Palace

Author: Hilary McKay Format: eBook Release Date: 12/10/2017

Here is Cinderella, who so much deserved her fairy godmother.The Rose Round the Palace is an imaginative retelling of the classic fairy tale Cinderella. Originally featured in Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales, this short story is sure to capture the imagination!From the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize-winning storyteller Hilary McKay and featuring black-and-white line and tone illustrations from the talented Sarah Gibb.

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