The Scottish Book

The year isn’t over yet, and my Foreign Reading Challenge certainly isn’t. But, in the interview with Julie Bertagna back in June, I suddenly got this great idea, and it won’t sit around and wait its turn.

Julie was saying how she went looking for Scottish books for the children she taught in school. They wanted to read about ‘themselves’, and she had no idea it was going to be almost impossible to find such books. As Julie said, Theresa Breslin had written one. And that was pretty much it.

So she wrote a book for ‘her’ children. And then she wrote a few more.

Now there are plenty more Scottish books, not only by Julie and Theresa, but by countless other Scottish authors. To the English it might seem unnecessary to have Scottish books, since they are all in the ‘same’ language and set on the same green island, but that’s far from true. Irish books are different from English ones, and there is no reason why there should be no need for Scottish books as well.

Scottish flag

I do read plenty of Scottish novels, but I see no harm in setting up a separate, personal challenge to find many more. If teachers can sit down and write books for their pupils, then I can have a blog challenge.

Here’s to The Scottish Book! And unlike with The Scottish Play, we can say MacBeth as much as we want to. Not that I want to. I’ll say MacBertagna! MacBreslin! And all the rest who I’m not listing in order to avoid forgetting to mention them.

8 responses to “The Scottish Book

  1. I agree whole heartedly! If you’re interested in reading Scottish YA fiction, my book, The Long Staff, is the first in a Scottish fantasy series.

  2. A good place to start looking for your next read set in Scotland could be the Scottish Book Trust online author/illustrator database. Every author living and working in Scotland, and their work, is listed here and can be searched. Many of their books are set in Scotland (as well as written there). Have a look:

  3. Thanks, Jasmine. Yes, I suppose it’s the set in Scotland books that will be of particular interest.

  4. Oh no – I forgot to send you the books. But as Jasmine says, there are lots (now).

    A good excuse is needed for forgetting, but I’ve got one – it’s very hard to launch an Ice Cream Machine plus a trilogy in Brazil from Glasgow. I don’t speak Portuguese, for a start. Google Translate is a wonderful thing.

    Now to find those books…

  5. This challenge isn’t going anywhere. Plenty of time, you know.
    Ice Cream Machine? Brazil?

  6. That’s the kind of time I like – lots of it.

    It’s a younger book about a magical ice cream van – we had those in Ayrshire when I was a girl. And they like ice cream in Brazil. Muito.

  7. Theresa Breslin

    I think it was the towering author Robert Westall who said that you can only grasp the general by looking at the particular – borne out by the scope of Julie’s saga of a drowned world told in her trilogy, EXODUS, ZENITH, AURORA. Moving, poetic writing.
    Theresa Breslin.

  8. Oh, Theresa, that means an awful lot coming from the author who was my inspiration when I read ‘Simon’s Challenge’ to my class – and still is!

    Trailblazer, you are.

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