River Heights Book Review

The books you'll want to read.


binnyforshortBINNY FOR SHORT and BINNY IN SECRET by Hilary McKay
McElderry Books

Summer is almost over, and you need to read these books now. Before it ends. I don’t know how McKay does it, but she has somehow managed to perfectly capture the feeling of childhood in this utterly delightful series.

BINNY FOR SHORT introduces the irrepressible Binny, 11-years-old, world turned upside down. When Binny’s father died, he left his family in a not so great situation, and Binny’s small family—her mother, older sister Clem and very young brother James—are rather poor, and are forced to move from small apartment to even smaller apartment. And while Binny is very sad to have lost her father, she is really upset that their terrible Aunty Violet stepped in and gave away Binny’s beloved dog Max. Finding Max and restoring him to the family has become Binny’s goal in life. But that seems like it will be even harder to do now that Binny’s family is moving again—this time to Aunty Violet’s seaside house. Because guess what? Aunty Violet up and died, leaving the family the house…after Binny said some pretty terrible things to her.

binnysecretBINNY IN SECRET continues the family saga at the seaside. Summer has turned to fall and Binny must start at her new school. And she hates it with everything she’s got—and they hate her. Especially Clare and her friends. When the roof on the little house caves in, Binny is elated! This means no more school, surely. Sadly what it really means is that the family—and James’ chickens—has to stay in a rental house in the country. Too bad that Binny called the landlady a bunch of names before realizing it was Clare’s mother. Binny throws herself into exploring her new surroundings, and investigating the three children who lived in the big house a hundred years ago.

I love every character in this book—even Binny’s weird friend Gareth. Binny is such a free spirit, and struggling with the idea of growing up and leaving childhood behind, but is so relatable, even when making really terrible decisions. Binny’s older and very sensible sister Clem is the rock of the family, and the exploits of six-year-old James are nothing short of hilarious. Both books are sweet and funny and sad all at once, and absolutely unputdownable.

I recommend buying them for a young person in your life…and then sneak into their room and steal them. Or buy your own. Really, you just want to buy these, read them and share them with your loved ones.


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This entry was posted on September 15, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , .
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