Autumn performances 2022 › Ipswich

Hilary McKay in conversation with Nicolette Jones

Join us for a fascinating morning with one of the best writers of children’s fiction, Hilary McKay, as she discusses her brilliant wartime novels with Nicolette Jones, children’s book editor at the Sunday Times. The Skylarks' War (winner of the 2018 Costa Children’s Book Award) set in and around the time of the First World War, and its companion novel The Swallows’ Flight set in the years preceding and during the Second World War, both examine the complexity of family, friendship and loss in challenging times.

This event will provide a perfect opportunity for children to find out about the working life of an author. Hilary will talk about how she creates her characters, and the research that is involved in writing these wonderful stories to make them come alive. With the opportunity to ask questions, look at historical artefacts and to listen to live readings from the books, this event will help inspire a young audience with the joy of reading.

Every child attending this performance will receive a **FREE** copy of _The Skylarks' War_ to take home and keep! cover

Every child attending this performance will receive a FREE copy of The Skylarks' War to take home and keep!

New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, IP1 2AS
Friday 4th November
11:00 am
Approx. 1 hour
Age range:
Years 5 and 6
£6 per child, teachers FREE

Hilary McKay

Hilary McKay writes novels for children that often feature eccentric and deeply endearing characters and describe the escapades and traumas of family life in hilarious detail. She is well known for her series about the Casson family and also The Exiles. Her latest novel The Skylarks’ War (winner of The Costa Children’s Book Award 2018) brings us the wonderful character of Clarry, a young girl who shows great strength in the face of adversity and is unfailingly kind. Set against the brutal backdrop of the First World War we are drawn into the vivid world of this story, of Clarry, Peter, Rupert and Simon the Bony One, of love, family and loss.

Praise for The Skylarks' War

“This belongs among the classic of children’s literature . . . Funny, sad, warm, it is about growing up and finding what you love, intellectually and emotionally.”

The Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Week

Nicolette Jones

Nicolette Jones, is a writer, journalist, literary critic and broadcaster, and has been the children’s books reviewer of the Sunday Times for more than two decades. A Royal Literary Fund Fellow, and a nominee for the 2012 Eleanor Farjeon Award for outstanding service to the world of children’s books, she is an experienced book prize judge and professional chair of literary events. She has worked with us at The Children's Bookshow for many years, and interviewees have included Judith Kerr, John Burningham, Hilary McKay, Maria Parr and Stefan Casta.

Praise for Nicolette

Nicolette doesn’t just bring out the best in her speakers; she somehow also manages to bring out the best in the audience as well, and that enriches the event for everyone.

Anne Fine, author

Book tickets for an event and receive two free books for your classroom

How to book tickets

Free Workshops!

The Children’s Bookshow will allocate four free in-classroom workshops to schools attending this performance with 30 or more children. Book tickets for this event to have a chance of being chosen to receive this fantastic opportunity.

Find out more:

We feel it is so beneficial for our children to have the opportunity to meet authors and to hear them talk about their work. The children themselves are so enthusiastic about reading after these events that we feel they are an invaluable contribution towards our children becoming both skilled readers and lovers of reading.

A teacher in Liverpool

The details

  • Please arrive at the venue at least 20 minutes before the start of the performance, so that you have enough time to find your seats and and use the bathroom. Our start times are strictly governed by the theatres that we work with and by the start and end times of the school day. If you are unavoidably delayed, please get in touch with your Children’s Bookshow contact as soon as possible.
  • Depending on the time of the performance, you may want your children to bring a packed lunch. (Please contact the theatre directly to check if there is a suitable space.)
  • Parking facilities vary from theatre to theatre; please check the theatre website for details.
  • Please contact the theatre directly for risk assessment information.
  • Please ensure your children have visited the bathroom before the show starts, or ask them to wait until after the performance ends. A constant stream of children getting up to go to the toilet is very distracting for our performers and other members of the audience.

Still have questions? You can find our FAQs here.

Have any questions? Get in touch

Liz Neville

Your contact for this performance is Liz Neville, she will be happy to answer any queries you have:

07866 311486