WHAT BOOK would Hilary McKay take to a desert island? 

WHAT BOOK would Costa Prize-winning author Hilary McKay take to a desert island?

Hilary McKay is reading a new children’s book from Kiran Millwood HargraveAuthor would take The Tailor Of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter to a desert islandRevealed Enid Blyton’s Five On A Treasure Island first gave her the reading bug 

. . . are you reading now?

Three books at the moment. The first is not yet published, but I’ve been given the bound proof. It’s the new children’s book from Kiran Millwood Hargrave, called Julia And The Shark.

Ten-year-old Julia is the narrator. Her story is a seascape; there’s a lighthouse and storms and wild weather. Also, there are the lights and storms and wildness of people learning to live together.

I’ve loved Kiran’s books since The Way Past Winter, but this one is extra special. It has wonderful illustrations too, by Tom de Freston.

Hilary McKay (pictured) is currently reading a new children’s book from Kiran Millwood Hargrave, called Julia And The Shark

My second book is The Button Box by Lynn Knight, which is an exploration of women’s lives in the past 100 years or so. Each chapter begins with an item from the author’s family button box, most often a button, but also a velvet rose, a thimble or clasp. Some small token, with its story of who owned it, and where they lived, and how they lived and why it matters now.

The third book I’m reading is similar: Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem. Instead of a button box, though, we have the Thames and the history gathered from its banks. It’s a treasure-hunting, time-travelling, life-untangling journey in wellies on the foreshore. I am loving every muddy squelch.

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