BookMark Book Festival

Charity number: SCO45599

BookMark Book Festival

BOOKMARK 2017 Authors in Schools

BOOKMARK supports an Authors in Schools Programme as an essential part of its outreach programme, helping to foster a love of literature from a very early age in an inclusive way. These author visits are enormously popular with both pupils and teachers.

For 2017, the Rotary Club of Blairgowrie is kindly supporting the author fees. Waterstones Perth, BOOKMARK's official bookseller for 2017, will be supplying the books for sale.

All events will be held at Blairgowrie Community Campus. This year, pupils from Rattray and Kirkmichael schools will join Newhill and St Stephen's pupils.

BOOKMARK is looking into the possibility of including a number of other schools in 2018.

Thursday 21st September at 1.30 pm

Mike Nicholson - P3/4s

The Museum Mystery Squad series so far has three things to solve: The Case of the Moving Mammoth and The Case of the Hidden Hieroglyphics and The Case of the Curious Coins. The three children (and their hamster Colin) are being given a mystery to solve by Museum Director Magda Gaskar.

  • Why is the mammoth moving at night?
  • What does the newly discovered hieroglyphic mean?
  • Who is up to no good?
  • Why does Gus the security guard tell such bad jokes?
  • Can a hamster really be a helpful member of a mystery solving squad?

There’s only one way to find out the answers. Go to the museum…or read the books.


Find out more about the author »

Tuesday 26th September at 1.30 pm

Lari Don - P5/6/7s

Racing Kelpies, chasing monsters and breaking curses... Award-winning writer Lari Don will talk about her new Spellchasers trilogy, discuss the myths and folktales that inspire her writing, and encourage you to imagine adventures of your own. 

The three Spellchasers books - The Beginner’s Guide to Curses, The Shapeshifter’s Guide to Running Away and (very recently published) The Witch’s Guide to Magical Combat - are Lari’s first trilogy, and she can also describe the challenges of writing three novels telling one story.

The Spellchasers trilogy is about a girl called Molly Drummond, who has been cursed by an angry witch to turn into a hare whenever she hears a dog bark or growl. Her concerned aunt enrolls her on a curse-lifting workshop, where she meets a squabbling group of young magical beings and fabled beasts and monsters she has to defeat, as she tries to break her curse. They are all trying to lift their own curses, all forced to lift a harvest of potatoes as part of their homework. Then, the crows appear…

The author says …

Writing a trilogy has been the most exciting, most demanding, most difficult thing I’ve ever done as a writer. There have been lots of challenges (for example, trying to keep the plots of all three books in my head at once) and lots of fun (for example, coming up with these three linked titles).

In the Shapeshifter’s Guide to Running Away, Molly discovers the wider world of curses and promises, meets monsters from Scottish mountains and sea, and learns more about her own powers and skills.

She said …

I had lots of fun writing the second novel in the Spellchasers trilogy: I felt I really knew Molly, Innes, Beth and Atacama, so it was great to send them off on another adventure, but even better was finally getting to know the fifth member of the Spellchasers team properly, and being surprised by who he turns out to be. Also, Molly and her friends go on a quest to the seaside (no picnics and swimming though, it was all dark caves and shoreline battles) and meet several of my favourite Scottish mythical monsters. Meet them, and defeat them, of course. This book also has my favourite title in the whole series (for which credit has to go to my daughters, who came up with it as a joke doing a tea-time brainstorming session.)

And the first reviews of Shapeshifter’s Guide to Magical Combat are in!

In many ways The Witch’s Guide to Magical Combat is my favourite book of the trilogy. There are new baddies, a new member of the Spellchasers team, a strange new twist to Molly’s curse, a huge new magical problem, lots more spells and chases and danger, my own favourite chapter in the whole trilogy, and the biggest fight scene I’ve ever written (so big that I think I’m justified in calling it a battle scene.)

Find out more about the author »

Thursday 28th September at 1.30 pm

Emily Dodd - P1/2s

Emily Dodd is a freelance screenwriter and writes picture books for very young readers and non-fiction science for adults and children. Ollie and the Otter is her latest book which links with her other two in the series for younger children.


The Grouse and the Mouse

Bagpipe the Black Grouse thinks he’s the most magnificent animal in Scotland. He feels sorry for Squeaker, the little brown wood mouse. But when danger comes, Bagpipe finds he needs help from his small, brown friend… A gentle but funny story about celebrating our differences, full of sounds and actions.

Gentle illustrations of a host of loveable Scottish animals by Katie Pamment.



Can’t Dance Cameron

Cameron is a capercaillie and capercaillies LOVE to dance -- well, all except Cameron! Cameron is the worst dancer in the Scottish Cairngorms -- but his new friend, Hazel the squirrel, thinks she can help... Together they travel through the forest, jumping up and down, ducking under branches and kicking pine cones. Then when the dancing begins, Hazel tells Cameron to JUMP, DUCK and KICK. Maybe he can dance after all!

Full of fun sounds and actions, this is a brilliant story about learning to believe in yourself.


Ollie and the Otter (latest book)

Ollie the osprey loves to swoop into the water and catch fish, but once he’s caught them, he’s useless at throwing them! And if he can’t throw a delicious fish to Isla, she’ll never notice him. and never become his friend. Rory the otter says he can help Ollie practise his throwing. (Throwing fish is how ospreys make friends) Can Rory the Otter help him?

A charming story about doing what you love, full of fun sounds and adorable Scottish wildlife.

Find out more about the author »


It was fabulous to hear Janice Galloway read from her book Jellyfish. A great evening.

Attendee (Main Festival)

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