The Time of Green Magic

The Time of Green Magic

The Time of Green Magic
Hilary McKay

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9781529029093

From acclaimed author and Costa winner Hilary McKay comes The Time of Green Magic: a beautiful, spell-binding novel about a new families, a magical old house and a mysterious cat . . . When Tom and Polly marry, blending their single parent families together, their children find it hard to relinquish their old lives. Max realizes his birth dad will never come home now, while Abi suddenly finds herself a middle child, expected to share far too much - especially with grubby little Louis. The family start over together, stretching their finances to the limit and renting an eerie, ivy-covered house, big enough for all of them. But when the children are alone there, strange things start to happen. Worried, Louis summons comfort from outdoors, and a startling guest arrives - is it a cat, or an owl, or something else? Abi reads alone, tumbling deep into books. Max loses his best friend and falls in love. Meanwhile, Louis' secret visitor is becoming much too real. And when Max and Abi too start to see the great spotted cat-thing that arrives in the night, it becomes a problem the three of them must find a way to solve - together. But where has the creature come from, and how will he get back?

Librarian's Book choice

Abi and her step-brothers are living on top of each in their crowded house when the lease expires and they are forced to move to a ramshackle, ivy-covered house that oozes with magic and mystery. Soon bookworm Abi finds herself so immersed in her books that she feels them come alive and her younger step-brother Louis, missing his absent mother, makes a magical creature appear at his window and permeate his life. Even disinterested teenager Max begins to see things stirring in the shadows. With their parents otherwise engaged, the children realise that they need to find the source of the magic and find some way to contain it.

I think the children in this book are some of the best written characters I have come across. They're so well-developed, believable and easy to empathise with. I loved the magical house and its Narnia lamp and the adults, though largely absent or distracted, provided a comforting backdrop to the story.

I am pretty sure I would enjoy anything Hilary McKay writes and this was certainly no exception. Wise, funny and thoughtful, there are so many touching moments in this lovely book. Essentially a saga about a blended family, it's also an ode to the magic and power of books.

214 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Clare Wilkins, school librarian