Hilary McKay biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Hilary McKay.

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Hilary McKay
Photo: © scholastic

Hilary McKay

Hilary McKay Biography

Hilary McKay was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, the eldest of four girls. From a very early age she read voraciously and grew up in a household of readers. She says of herself as a child "I anaesthetised myself against the big bad world with large doses of literature. The local library was as familiar to me as my own home." She read Botany and Zoology at St. Andrew’s University (Scotland), then went on to work as a biochemist in an Analysis Department. She enjoyed the work but at the same time had a burning desire to write. After the birth of her two children, she wanted to devote more time to bringing up her children and writing.

McKay says that one of the best things about being a writer is receiving letters from children. She wishes that she had written to authors as a child, but it never occurred to her to contact them. When not writing she loves walking (in and around the small village in Derbyshire where she lives with her family), reading and having friends to stay.

Her first book, The Exiles, was published in 1991 and went on to win The Guardian Children’s Fiction Award. It was followed by The Exiles at Home (1993) which won the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award for the 9-11 years category and the overall winner. Then followed The Exiles in Love (1996). In 1994 she started on a new trilogy: Dog Friday (1994), The Amber Cat (1995) and Dolphin Luck (1998).

In 2002 she published Saffy’s Angel which won the Whitbread Children's Book Prize. A sequel, Indigo’s Star was published in 2004. Then followed Permanent Rose, Caddy Ever After, Forever Rose, and Caddy's World.

Link to Hilary's website

This biography was last updated on 08/12/2011.

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Books by this Author

Books by Hilary McKay at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

Indigo's Star
Indigo's Star

by Hilary McKay

This hilarious and heartwarming novel reminds us that nothing is stronger than the bonds of family (ages approx 9+).
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Hilary McKay but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Jeanne Birdsall

    Jeanne Birdsall

    I grew up in the suburbs west of Philadelphia, where I attended wonderful public schools. I had lots of great teachers, but my favorites were: Mrs. Corkhill, sixth grade, who encouraged my intellectual curiosity; Mr. Tremonte... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Saffy's Angel

    Try:
    The Penderwicks
    by Jeanne Birdsall

  • Gennifer Choldenko

    Gennifer Choldenko

    Gennifer Choldenko's first novel, Notes from a Liar and Her Dog, was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a California Book Award winner. Her second novel, Al Capone Does My Shirts, was a Newbery Honor Book and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Indigo's Star

    Try:
    If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period
    by Gennifer Choldenko

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