Binny for Short by Hilary McKay-A Review

A perfect banish-the-blues book by Whitbread Award winning author Hilary Mckay.

In this story for 9 to 12s Hilary McKay takes us to Binny’s world. At the start of the story it’s a place of uncertainty and upheaval following her dad’s death. She has to leave the family home. and even worse, she has to say farewell to her beloved dog, Max. When nasty old Aunty Violet makes an unbearable lot seem even more hideous, Binny finally explodes and gives Aunty Violet a few home truths. Soon after Binny receives shocking news which turns out to be a mixed blessing.

Hilary McKay paints a vivid and vibrant picture of family life with all its ups and downs: the teasing, the insults, the bickering yet protective siblings, the comforting each other and silly antics. She creates a heart achingly familiar setting in the West Country seaside town that Binny’s family moves to. It’s just the sort of place many of us would love to escape to for the long summer holiday. Binny finds freedom, friendship and plenty to do in her new home town. But she still misses Max, and strives to find him again.

The main story is broken up with second five part story, which is clearly flagged up for young readers in a different, bolder font. The second story reaches a climax at the end of the main story, and the two seamlessly combine to answer all our questions.

Throughout the story there is humour and banter in a family that feels oh-so-familiar. Hilary McKay has created a great new character with Binny: a stoic and stubborn girl, who refuses to let things stand in the way of her plans. I’m so glad the adventures will continue in “Binny In Secret”. And Karen Radford’s artwork on the cover is just perfect too.

A fun read!

£6.99 Hodder Children’s Books

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