Sunday, 28 April 2013

Book Review - Binny for Short by Hilary McKay

Until 'Binny for Short', I had never read anything by Hilary McKay at all and had not imagined her stories would appeal to me. But the artwork on the cover of this, her latest book, assured me that it should be my cup of tea and I was not disappointed. I love this book , perhaps beyond all others I have ever read, and it has made me look again at her other titles in my hunger to immerse myself in her beautiful, clever writing again.
Reading this book has been a thorough joy. I raced through it over a weekend, grabbing chunks of it as and when. I have been tittering away merrily at it's quirky expressiveness and have fallen in love with the people within it. The kind of books that make me happy are those that touch your heart but inject a healthy dose of humour and charm. This book is a shining example of those qualities.

I do not feel I should tell you anything much about the story, as it unfolds to those who read it. The picture below will show you the blurb from the publisher and give you an idea of what the story contains. 

But I will tell you that it very cleverly and neatly uses flashback to lead the reader through a series of events. I hadn't even realised what Hilary was doing til I was nearly halfway through the book; all the goings-on washed over me so effortlessly

Put simply, this is a very special book. It is a piece of written art and genius. It is intriguing, delicious, hug-somebody-tight endearing, funny and just so jolly brilliant. 

The physical book itself is very gorgeous, airy and fresh like the seaside town the story is set in, and with an enticing set of endpapers that feature what all good books should have: a map! Although the book appears dense, the pages are generously thick and the type is spaciously laid out, making the reading experience comfortable and luxurious.

This story is pitched at pre-teens, and is a delightful level of storytelling. It is real, it has depth, but it is free from the rubbish you get in most adult and many teen novels.  It is complex enough to keep an adult enthralled yet safe enough for a child to enjoy. 

I am just so pleased that there are writers producing magic like this for me and others to enjoy. I hope you'll go in search of a copy of this book and experience it for yourself. 


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