BOOKMARK - in Partnership with local Schools

BOOKMARK is delighted to announce there will be an EXTRA Authors in Schools Event on Tuesday 31 March.  P4 and P5 children from Coupar Angus Primary School will be receiving a visit from local author David McPhail who will be discussing and reading from his latest story from the Top Secret series and P6 and P7 will be welcoming Juliette Forest who will be discussing her latest novel Twister.  Apart from the visiting authors it is hoped there will be drama, music and art workshops throughout the day.   There will also be a writing competition for the different age groups. BOOKMARK will be announcing further Authors in Schools events soon.  Watch this space for more information,.

BOOKMARK is delighted to support Blairgowrie High School in running its own Fringe Festival alongside the main BOOKMARK Festival. This will take place from Monday 30 September to Thursday 3 October with all events being held in the High School.
The week of events will kick off on the Monday with two evening workshops for parents and guardians – one on reading engagement, and the other on dyslexia awareness. During the week there will be various literary and literacy events including: a spelling bee competition for all S2 pupils: a no pens day, and a pop-up shop selling ‘previous loved’ books. On Thursday 3 October, S1 to S3 pupils will attend sessions run by Metaphrog and Jonathan Meres. Metaphrog are Franco-Scottish graphic novel duo John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs, winners of The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards for Best Visual Artist 2016. They have received international acclaim not only for their graphic novels but for their work with schools and festivals. Jonathan Meres is an author, actor and stand-up comedian. He is the author of The World of Norm series and is very keen “to dispel the myth that anything to do with books, writing, writers and authors is booooooring!”
There are still more events to be confirmed for senior pupils but the line up so far looks like more than capable of promoting enjoyment of reading, writing and literature at the school.
Watch this space for more exciting information.


Children from the Glens are in for fantastic visits this year from a line-up of brilliant authors which is certain to have them running to the bookshelves and having a go at writing stories. On September 18th P1, P2 and P3 children will be having hilarious fun meeting Badger the Mystical Mutt and his creators Lyn McNicol and Laura Jackson. And Angela Proctor is coming to share Thumble Tumble’s adventures with the P4 and 5, while the P6 and 7 children have a treat in store when they discover just how entertaining education can be in author Stuart Reid’s session on Gorgeous George.
The kids will meet up on September 18th in Alyth Primary School to meet their real live author as well as taking part in drama, music and art sessions. Later in the day they will have a chance to win a prize in a writing competition.  
For more information on the authors and books, please visit the ‘Authors’ and ‘Programme’ sections of this web site.

BOOKMARK has always supported a writer’s in schools programme with these author visits proving to be hugely popular with both pupils and teachers. Past events have been sponsored by various funders but this year BOOKMARK was supported by Drumderg Community Fund which allowed BOOKMARK to take this event into Alyth. With support from Alyth Primary Head Teacher, Connie Letford and her staff a number of other local primary schools, ie, Meigle, Kettins and Kirkmichael, were able to join in and enjoy a day in the company of author Ron Butlin. BOOKMARK feels this is a vital part of its outreach programme, helping to foster a love of literature from a very early age.


This year BOOKMARK’s Authors in Schools programme was highly fortunate to have Ron Butlin spending Wednesday 31st October in Alyth Primary School with 320 children from Alyth, Meigle, Kettins and Kirkmichael primary schools. With an international reputation as a prize-winning novelist, Ron Butlin is a former Edinburgh Poet Laureate. He has published approximately 20 books, and his work has won many prizes and been translated into over a dozen languages. 
He had fun with the smaller children with his verse-and-picture books ‘Here Come the Trolls’ and ‘Day of the Trolls’. The wee ones, some already in Hallowe’en fancy dress, giggled as Ron talked about his revolting trolls and came up with spirited suggestions for making up stories. Ron’s riddles teased the P4 and 5 children, who then creatively invented some riddles of their own.  The older P6 and 7 children heard heart-stopping passages from his page-turner adventure novel ‘Steve and FranDan Take on the World’ and talked with Ron about ways of using imagination for writing their own stories. Additionally, hard-working staff from Blairgowrie High School rose brilliantly to the demands of this unusual day and orchestrated hugely creative art, drama and music workshops based on Ron Butlin’s books, with collaborative input from teachers from the four primary schools and ably assisted by BOOKMARK volunteers. The children loved it, as did Provost Dennis Melloy, who visited the school and couldn’t resist joining in the fun.   BOOKMARK ran a writing competition, in partnership with Ron, for all age groups with book tokens as prizes.
The children’s comments included: “great fun”, “…been looking forward to today for weeks”, “loved the riddles”, “best bit was chop-chop” (from a drama session), and “when we were pattering the drums for rain it sounded beautiful”. 


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.







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 CursesThe 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.)


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 »

Thursday 8th September

BOOKMARK’s Children’s Festival in Schools Programme – Bob Harris

Blairgowrie Community Campus

The first of the 2016 School Sessions with Dundee-born children’s author Bob Harris talking to P4 and P5 children (‘Thor is Locked in My Garage’ and ‘The Day The World Went Loki’).

Wednesday 14th September

BOOKMARK’s Children’s Festival in Schools Programme – Ross Mackenzie

Blairgowrie Community Campus

Primary 7 and S1 pupils from Rattray and Kirkmichael schools will join Newhill and St Stephen’s pupils at Blairgowrie Community Campus, to meet with award-winning writer Ross Mackenzie.

His latest book, ‘The Nowhere Emporium’ won the Scottish Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Award.


Tuesday 20th September

BOOKMARK’s Children’s Festival in Schools Programme – Simon Puttock

Blairgowrie Community Campus

Author Simon Puttock will entertain the wee ones (P1 – P3) with readings from ‘Mouse’s First Night at at Moonlight School.

Pupils from Rattray and Kirkmichael schools will join Newhill and St Stephen’s pupils at Blairgowrie Community Campus to be entertained by Simon’s reading.

Simon  has written around forty books, including ‘Butterfly Girl’

BOOKMARK would like to say a big THANK YOU to all its
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