UK and International School Specialists
Working with over 5000 schools in the UK
Over 800 International Schools in more than 65 countries.
Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Kiran Millwood Hargrave

All About Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Kiran is a poet, playwright, and author of adventure stories for children. Her earliest ambition was to be a cat, closely followed by a cat-owner or the first woman on Mars. So far, she has only achieved one of these things, but also discovered that being a writer lets you imagine anything you want!

Kiran writes diverse characters and often sets her books on islands. She likes to tilt reality just enough to let some magic into her stories, which are about ordinary children who find themselves on extraordinary adventures. Her stories often focus on girls, but are absolutely for boys too. Whilst her core readership is 8-12, her readers are also often teenagers or adults!

Her debut novel, The Girl of Ink & Stars, won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and was voted the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year,  beating writers including David Walliams and JK Rowling. It was shortlisted for numerous awards including the Branford Boase Award, Little Rebels Prize, and the Jhalak Prize. Her second, The Island at the End of Everything, was Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week, the Guardian Book of the Week, and has just been longlisted for the UKLA Awards.

Kiran’s Author Visits

Example session: Adventures on Islands

1 hr


Join Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of the bestselling The Girl of Ink & Stars and The Island at the End of Everything, as she talks about the myths, magic and adventure behind her stories. Learn about why her books are set on islands and discover Kiran’s top tips on creating your own fictional world. Aided by a highly-visual powerpoint, this interactive session will have you thinking about stories in a whole new way.

 Presentation Content

  • – Intro to me and my books
  • – Why islands?
  • – Intro to Joya and how I built its world
  • – Writing books like films
  • – How I built Culion through Ami’s eyes
  • – Historical background to Culion
  • – Basing characters on real people
  • – Q&A
  • – Signing


Example workshop: Islands Known & Unknown

 30 mins-1 hr


Workshop content

  • – Brief discussion of existing books/true stories set on islands, sorting fact from fiction
  • – Map-making exercise, mapping one of the real or unreal islands
  • – Writing exercise, writing a synopsis and/or first page of a story set there
  • – Sharing with group


Kiran’s Books

The Girl of Ink and Stars – Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella Riosse dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped. When her closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars, and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart. But the world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a legendary fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.


The Island at the End of Everything – Ami lives with her mother on an island where the sea is as blue as the sky. It’s all she knows and loves, but the arrival of malicious government official Mr Zamora changes her world forever: her island is to be made into a colony for lepers. Taken from her mother and banished across the sea, Ami faces an uncertain future in an orphanage. There she meets a honey-eyed girl named for butterflies, and together they discover a secret that will lead her on an adventure home. Ami must go back to the island of no return, but will she make it in time? Based on real events that took place on Culion Island, in the Philippines.


Reviews and Recommendations

For The Girl of Ink & Stars

I loved it. Gripping, enjoyable . . . beautifully written. – Malorie Blackman

Set in a vividly realised parallel world laced with magical realism, this is a mesmerising debut of maps, myths and girls of enormous courage. – The Bookseller, Editor’s Choice

Exquisitely poised between sweetness and darkness, this is a novel that revels in the power of myth and storytelling … The description “magical” is overused but genuinely applies to this book, a sweet and savage tale about a cartographer’s daughter, map-mad Isabella, who helps investigate the death of a classmate in the hellish heart of her island home. Millwood Hargrave has written a forceful, memorable work of fantasy. – Financial Times Books of the Year


 For The Island at the End of Everything

Hargrave has a real and rare talent for combining poetic prose with compelling, page-turning storytelling. Her writing conjures such a vivid sense of place, the lush wildness of the natural world a fitting backdrop for an adventure that requires great independence and courage. Friendships and familial bonds are all important; the fierce love between a mother and daughter is at the very heart of the novel. Themes of prejudice, difference and loss are deftly handled, and there is real emotional depth and poignancy to the story, which is at times heartbreaking but ultimately one filled with hope. – The Guardian

This is easily one of the most impressive children’s books I’ve read for a long time. I believe that if adult readers can find joy in a world marketed for young booklovers, then the author has succeeded in writing a book that stands out from the rest. – Bookbag (Five star review)

This is an enchanting book by a writer who fully deserves the fuss being made of her. – The Telegraph (Five star review)


To make a booking

To make an enquiry about Kiran, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please email Trevor Wilson at or call 01535 656015