On Tuesday, not an hour before we left for our nearly three week trip out west, the UPS man arrived. I started dancing as I saw that brown truck, and my children thought I was crazy as I beamed and kissed their cheeks and rejoiced in the glorious day ahead.
I was afraid we would have to leave for the airport before this arrived, and yet, here it was, ready to help me get lost on the seven hour trip across the world:
Binny for Short by my beloved Hilary McKay
Hilary McKay is not for everyone. I get that. I really do know some people who don't love her books, and we are even still friends.
But I think she's magic. This is a story about a girl whose father has passed away, who's now very poor, who's had to give up her dog, and who has to move to an entirely new place.
Not very original, right? Where's the hook? What could be interesting about that?
Hilary McKay makes it interesting. Not only does she make it interesting, she makes it fresh and delightful and funny and meaningful all at once. Binny is so real to me now. Her friends, her siblings—each of them so real. The events in this story are inevitable—there is no formula for plot here. It winds and it twists around her characters who do what they need to do to get what they want and make their lives whole. And she always manages to create a riveting climax.
I've tried to write like Hilary McKay before and failed. There is no imitating her, there is only relishing every word she writes and continually hoping for more.
I cannot recommend this book enough, and if you're the least bit bored as you give this book a try, please keep going. This is a book that grows on you, that soaks into you as you read it. This is a book you walk away from with a heart full.