Read your way around Scotland. This list is by no means exhaustive, but wherever you’re travelling, there is a kids’ book set there 🙂
- Ceannabeinne near Durness, setting of Highland Clearances story Fir for Luck (ages 9-13) which is based on true events in 1814 and 1841.
2. Tarbat Ness and Portmahomack, setting of The Beast on the Broch, a Pictish adventure by John Fulton (age 8-12).
3. The fictional Isle of Skelsay in kids’ eco-thriller Wilderness Wars is based on the landscape of Harris and Taransay in the Outer Hebrides (age 8-13). Beautiful Harris is also the setting for Sam Wilding’s eco-thriller Windscape (8-12).
4. Aberdeen is the setting of The Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens, a pun-heavy, fun adventure by Alex McCall (age 8-12).
5. Inverness is the setting of the Victorian adventure story Punch, a tense adventure with a backdrop of travelling entertainers, puppetry and even a dancing bear. Based on true events in 1889 and shortlisted for the Crystal Kite Award (age 8-13).
6. Edinburgh and the Lothians are the settings for Annemarie Allan’s war-time refugee story Charlie’s Promise (8-12).
7. Dundee is the setting for two excellent WW1 books: The Wreck of the Argyll by John Fulton and The God of All Small Boys by Joseph Lamb (Both 8-12). It is also the setting of my favourite picture book: The Fourth Bonniest baby in Dundee by Michelle Sloan.
8. Dumfries and the Solway Firth is where the Robert-Burns-related smuggling novella Black Water takes place. Based on real events in 1791 (8-12).
9. Paisley is the setting for Lindsay Littleson’s Victorian novel A Pattern of Secrets (8-12).
10. Caerlaverock Castle is the setting for medieval adventure The Siege of Caerlaverock. It is based on a real life siege in July 1300 when 60+ castle dwellers attempted to hold out against the King of England and his 3000 knights and soldiers. Out 6th August 2020 (8-12).
11. North Berwick is the setting of Annemarie Allan’s eco-adventure Breaker (8-12).
12. Skara Brae in Orkney is the setting of time travel and stone age teen novel Silver Skin by Joan Lennon (12-16).
13. West Lothian is the setting of Laura Guthrie’s teen novel Anna, an uplifting account of a girl with Aspergers tackling life’s serious challenges with stubborn positivity (12-16).
14. The Isle of Skye (and a fictional island off it) features in Kerr Thomson’s The Rise of Wolves (10-14).
15. St. Kilda is the dramatic setting for Geraldine McCaughrean’s Carnegie winner Where the World Ends (10-14).
16. Stirling is the setting for Ross Sayers Scots YA novel Sonny and Me (12-16).
17. Victoria Williamson sets her topical refugee novel Fox Girl and the White Gazelle in Glasgow (8-12).
18. Perthshire is the setting for Elizabeth Wein’s atmospheric The Pearl Thief. This book regularly wins ‘best opening’ in my pupil surveys! (10-14)
19. Loch Ness is the setting for Lari Don’s The Treasure of the Loch Ness Monster (7-11) and also Pauline Mackay’s popular Wee MacNessie (3-5) series.
20. Mairi Hedderwick’s Katie Morag stories are set on the fictional island of Struay which is based on the Isle of Coll (5-10).
21. The Borders are the setting for Janis Mackay’s The Accidental Time Traveller trilogy (8-12) and also for Theresa Breslin’s Remembrance (12-16), as well as the fantastic Tiger Skin Rug by Joan Haig (8-12).
22. Shetland features in Michelle Sloan’s War and present day story The Revenge of Tirpitz (9-13) as well as Tumbling by Kim Karam (10-13).
23. Moray is the setting for Mary Rosambeau’s war-time thriller Secrets and Spies.
24. If you like your non-fiction set all over Scotland, try Kimberlie Hamilton’s Scotland’s Animal Superstars (7-12).
25. Aviemore and the Cairngorms are the setting of Can’t Dance Cameron by Emily Dodd (3-6).
26. Who wouldn’t recognise Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, setting of The Tobermory Cat by Debi Gliori (3-6).
27. The Falkirk Wheel is a popular tourist attraction – and the setting for Hamish McHaggis and the Wonderful Water Wheel (5-7).
28. Back to Edinburgh and a certain young detective called Artie Conan Doyle by Bob Harris (8-12). Edinburgh is also the last setting for Wojtek, War Hero Bear by Jenny Robertson, and there is a statue of the bear in Princes Street Gardens!
29. Beautiful and historic Ayr is the setting for the new Tam O’Shanter graphic novel by Richmond Clements and Inko (8-12).
30. Gorgeous Galloway is the setting of Gill Stewart’s Galloway Girls series, including first instalment Lily’s Just Fine (12-16).
31. Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside is one of the memorable settings of Justin Davies’ funny Help! I Smell a Monster (7-11).
32. Sherrifmuir near Stirling is the bleak and atmospheric setting for Alex Nye’s kids’ horror novel Chill (8-12).
33. Argyll is the evocative backdrop to Alan McClure’s Callum and the Mountain (8-12).
34. A Scottish seaside village like Eyemouth is exactly the type of fishing village to feature in Captain Crankie and Seadog Steve by Vivien French (3-6).
35. Coo Clayton’s cute picture book Maggie’s Mittens takes you on a wee tour of the whole of Scotland (3-6). The same is true for Katie in Scotland by James Mayhew.
36. Historic Glenfinnan is the setting for Linda Strachan’s The Dangerous Lives of the Jacobites (6-10).
37. Edinburgh is the setting for Mike Nicholson’s Catscape (8-12).
38. The Isle of Cumbrae is the setting for Kelpies Prize winner The Mixed Up Summer of Lily McLean by Lindsay Littleson (8-12).
39. The Isle of Arran is the setting for witchy fun in A.H. Proctor’s Thumble Tumble series (7-11). The island is also home to the Corrie’s Capers series by Alison Page, including the cute The Westie Fest.
40. Tattiebogle Town where Alan Dapre’s Porridge the Tartan Cat lives is actually based on West Kilbride in Ayrshire (6-10).
41. The atmospheric Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis provide the setting for Gaelic story Granaidh Afraga by Morag Anna MacNeill.
42. Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh is an iconic tourist destination – and the setting of A Fast and Funny Guide to Mary Queen of Scots by Philip Ardagh.
43. One of my favourite places in the world: The Isle of Iona, setting of Allan Burnett’s Columba and All That (6-10). The island is also the setting for Edith Robson’s The Secret of the Stones which was suggested by a blog reader.
44. St. Andrews is the setting of Slug Boy Saves the World by Mark A. Smith.
45. The Isle of Lewis is the setting of this gorgeous picture book, An Island’s Tail by Steven Tod.
46. Fife is the setting of Moira McPartlin’s amazingly topical teen book The Incomers (14+). It is also the setting for the real-life-inspired Bertie the Buffalo by Wendy Jones (3-6).
47. Smoo Cave near Durness features in a dramatic scene in Storm Singing and Other Musical Mishaps by Lari Don, my favourite book in her Fabled Beast Chronicles.
48. Edinburgh Statues take centre stage in The Calling by Philip Caveney.
49. The Edinburgh Tattoo at the castle is famous – and also the setting for The Tattoo Fox and its sequel by Alasdair Hutton.
50. Finally, we return to Loch Ness with Sara and Molly Sheridan’s picture book Monsters Unite, illustrated by Iain Carroll. Underground tunnels for monsters? I’m in!
I know I will have missed out some fantastic books and authors, and I’m sorry for that. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll sit down again and get to 100.
But for now, this will do. Happy reading. Where will you go?