10th December 2019 — Author Hilary McKay treated pupils to a special visit at Derby High School on Thursday 5th December. To end Year Seven’s Reading Week Hilary came to meet pupils and see their cross curricular activities based on her book ‘A Time of Green Magic’.
The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize winner and winner of Whitbread Children’s Book Award gave pupils a real insight into how she created the characters for her book. Hilary talked the audience through the conversations that she had with her characters as she let them help her to tell their story. Pupils were amazed at the attention to detail and market research the author conducts to ensure her stories are fully immersive, from drawing floorplans, piling up Ivy on her desk, to learning how to bake cakes featuring in the story. One pupil, Ella, Year 7 said “Thank you so much for coming in and talking to us and telling us how you were inspired”.
Sue Bussey, Library Resources Manager at Derby High School, organised the visit. She said, “Our pupils loved the opportunity to showcase their work, talking Hilary through the work they had done during their Reading Week and demonstrated the skills that they had learnt. We are extremely grateful to Hilary for being so generous with her time”.
After individually signing each pupil’s book and question time, Hilary left the children with a key piece of advice to all the aspiring authors, she said, “My best advice would be to read a lot. I love reading. And also listen to people telling stories, that's where you get ideas. Read and listen.”