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The Time of Green Magic

Written by Hilary McKay

Key Stage 2 Family / Home Stories Fantasy / Magical

LoveReading View on The Time of Green Magic

Award-winning Hilary McKay weaves a richly-imagined story combining magic and family in an adventure tinged with danger and the unexpected

Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2020

When Abi’s newly forged family moves to an eccentric new home which is totally covered in ivy, strange things begin to happen to her and to her step-brothers Louis and Max. With their parents either away or too busy to notice, Abi finds herself falling into the books she is reading – she can feel the damp of the sea and taste the salt on her fingers - while Louie tempts an unusual and dangerous animal companion into his bedroom from the ivy. Can Abi and Max help Louie get rid of his dangerous new friend and will things get back to normal when their parents come home? Hilary McKay’s storytelling is vivid; she makes magic seem real while also showing why believing in it is so important. 

Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

More About This Book

Julia Eccleshare's Picks for September 2020

The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright! by Fiona Waters & Britta Teckentrup

Elmer and the Lost Treasure by David McKee

The Invisible Boy by Alyssa Hollingsworth

School by Britta Teckentrup

Spooky School by Sam Lloyd

Super Cats v Dr Specs by Gwyneth Rees


Find out more about the UKLA Awards 2021.

The Time of Green Magic Synopsis

From Costa Award-winner Hilary McKay comes The Time of Green Magic: a beautiful, spell-binding novel about family, magic, an old house and a mysterious visitor . . .

Abi and her two step-brothers, Max and Louis, find that strange things happen when they are alone in their eerie, ivy-covered new house. Abi, reading alone, finds herself tumbling deep into books, while Louis summons a startling guest through his bedroom window. Even Max has started to see shapes in the shadows . . .

Their busy parents see none of it - but Louis' secret visitor is growing too alarming to keep secret, and he finds he cannot manage without Max and Abi's help. Can they find out where the mysterious creature has come from - and how to get it back there?

The Time of Green Magic Reader Reviews

In addition to our LoveReading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

A magical book that is full of suspense, perfect for children age 8 upwards. I couldn't put it down Full review

Charlotte (Age 8)

A wonderful extravaganza of adventure and suspense. Amazing! Full review

Martha Cox (Age 11)

I would definitely recommend this book! It’s mysterious and intriguing. Full review

Liam Hill (Age 11)

The Time of Green Magic Press Reviews

McKay leaves enticing ambiguity between the real and fantastical, creating an unassailable magic of her own in an incandescent portrait of family, friendship, and imagination. -- Publishers Weekly

Hilary McKay writes with a wry wit, warmth and just the right amount of now-characteristic whimsy -- Anne Fine, BookTrust Books of the Year, 2019

McKay is a superb writer -- Sally Morris - Daily Mail

Hilary McKay has a rare gift for novels about families and their interplay. -- LoveReading4Kids

McKay couples warmth and grace with wry humour like nobody else out there -- Katherine Rundell - The Guardian

Hilary McKay is one of the great writers of children's fiction -- Sarah Hughes - Independent

A bewitching tale about blended families and the power of books told with all the wisdom and heart you would expect. - Bookseller

Vivid, hilarious, and heartbreaking, Hilary McKay's radiant characters touch my heart like real people, friends and loved ones I know well. Possibly the finest writer of our time. -- Elizabeth Wein

Wise, funny and thoughtful, there are so many touching moments in this lovely book. - ReadingZone

This story of blended families and a house where books come to life would make a perfect Christmas present for any bookish nine- to 12-year-old. -- Sally Nichols - The Observer - Children's Books of the Year

Wise and kind and utterly heart-wrenching and full of characters you will give your whole heart to -- Anna James

The real pleasure of McKay's fiction lies in her eye for the everyday. There is always drama in her books, but she is too confident a writer to feel the need to shatter any teacups - and unusually for a children's author, many of her tales have no obvious villain. - The Telegraph - Best Books of the Year

A wonderful, sensitive depiction of the highs and lows experienced when trying to blend two families. - The Times - Children's Books of the Year

This is magic without whimsy, a story about secrets and the power of books, with enough edge-of-the-seat moments to keep you hugging a cushion. - Observer

The emotions of real families have always been [McKay's] forte, but in this evocative novel she makes something fantastical happen - Sunday Times

Praise for The Skylarks' War;

Picking up a book by Hilary McKay is like slipping on bed socks on a chilly night. She knows how to look after her readers by ensuring that her characters are interesting and loveable from the start . . . -- The Times, selected as Children's Book of the Year

Book Information

ISBN: 9781529019247
Publication date: 20th August 2020
Author: Hilary McKay
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 224 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2
Topics: Family / Home Stories, Fantasy / Magical

About Hilary McKay

Hilary McKay won the Costa Children's Book Award for The Skylarks' War, the Guardian Fiction Prize for The Exiles, and the Smarties and the Whitbread Award for The Exiles in Love and Saffy's Angel respectively. Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales was her first book with Macmillan Children's Books and is a critically acclaimed collection of clever retellings. You can read her character Rose Casson's blog by clicking here - and Rose's tweets on the right hand side of this page. Q & A with Hilary McKayWhat is your earliest childhood memory?Watching steam trains with my grandfather. He died before I ...

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