Book of the Month
The Children's Book of the Month, is chosen by Scottish Book Trust's Children and Young People's team. We bring you our pick of Scotland’s very best children’s literature every month.
October Book of the Month: Spy for the Queen of Scots by Theresa Breslin
This month we're giving away 5 copies of Spy for the Queen of Scots by Theresa Breslin.
As lady-in-waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots, the beautiful Ginette - known as Jenny - is the young queen's closest childhood friend. Growing up in the elegant but ruthless French court, surrounded by enemies and traitors - not least the jealous, manipulative Catherine de Medici, and Mary's own scheming half-brother, James - Jenny has always been fiercely loyal to her mistress. But when she overhears a mysterious whispered plot, closely followed by several unexplained deaths at court, she puts her own life in danger and turns spy for Mary.
Jenny quickly realises not a soul at court can be trusted, and when she and Mary return to their Scottish homeland for Mary to claim her throne, they face even greater peril. Desperate to protect her friend from those who would slit her throat to steal her crown, while battling her feelings for the charismatic nobleman Duncan Alexander, Jenny becomes embroiled in a dangerous web of secrets, betrayals and lies.
For your chance to win a copy of Spy for the Queen of Scots just answer the following question...
Q) What is the name of Mary's scheming half-brother?
Send your answer, along with your name and address, to email@example.com with the subject line "October Book of the Month Competition". Competition closes on Wednesday 31st October 2012.
Competition Terms and Conditions
Only one entry per person.
We require the entrant’s name, address and age. Applicants must be resident in the UK.
Every entry will be considered.
The decision on winners is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Competition entries will not be returned.
Competitions are not open to employees of Scottish Book Trust and their immediate family.
Previous Books of the Month
Planet Hell by Joan Lennon
Sam is a miner, digging Ore on Planet Hell. He's never been above ground - it's deadly up there. But then Sam starts asking too many questions, and now he's running for his life.
There's only one way to go. Up.
The 13th Horseman by Barry Hutchison
Drake is surprised to find three Horsemen of the Apocalypse playing snakes and ladders in his garden shed. Even more surprisingly, they're missing a Horseman and think that Drake is the boy for the job. Drake is reluctant to join them, but does being in charge of Armageddon have to spell the end of the world?
From the wastelands of oblivion to the desolate plans of Limbo -join the Horsemen of the Apocalypse on a wild and hilarious ride...
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.
That's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine - and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer von Linden interrogating me again.
He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I'm going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France. - an Allied Invasion of Two.
We are a sensational Team.
The Prince who Walked with Lions by Elizabeth Laird
Prince Alamayu has been torn from his homeland in Africa and taken to England following the war that killed his parents.
Thrown into the bear pit of boarding school, neither his friendship with Queen Victoria nor his brilliance on the sports field are enough to save him from the bullying he encounters.
But Alamayu is the son of an emperor. Can he conquer his fear and show his tormentors that he has the heart, and the courage, of a lion?
The Seeing by Diana Hendry
1956. When wild, dangerous Natalie arrives in the quiet town of Norton, thirteen-year-old Lizzie is drawn irresistibly to the girl from the wrong side of the tracks.
As the girls grow closer, Natalie and her eerie younger brother, Philip, reveal a shocking secret. Philip has a second sight, and sees evil all around - 'left-over Nazis' lying in wait until the time is right for revenge. Natalie and Philip believe it's up to them to root these people out of Norton.
Lizzie is swept up in what starts as a thrilling game - but the consequences of Philip's 'gift' quickly spiral into disaster.
The Daemon Parallel by Roy Gill
It was over coffee and biscuits that Grandma Ives offered to return Cameron's father from the dead...Cameron never came to visit his grandma when his dad was alive -- and he's just found out the reason why. Sent to stay with her after his father's death, Grandma Ives soon reveals their family's extraordinary abilities, and introduces him to the dark side of Edinburgh he never knew existed -- the Daemon Parallel. Cameron is sent on dangerous missions in Edinburgh's daemon underworld to find the ingredients for an ancient spell that will bring his dad back to life. Cameron befriends a werewolf, bargains with a giant bat-like beast, and struggles to escape the clutches of a powerful spider daemon. But will he survive long enough to finish the resurrection spell? And who can he trust in a world where nothing is what it seems?
Dreams by Daniela Sacerdoti
'You'd never think it could happen to you. You'd never think that one day you'd stand in a graveyard, rain tapping on a sea of black umbrellas, watching your parents being lowered into the earth, never to come back. It's happening to me. They said it was an accident. Only I know the truth. My parents were hunters, like their parents and grandparents before them. I must follow in their footsteps. I am the only one left to keep the promise. I can never give up the fight, this fight that has been handed down to me, thrust upon my unwilling shoulders. I'd rather be buried with my parents, my brave, fierce father and mother, who lived and died by the Midnight motto: Don't Let Them Roam.'
Ever since her thirteenth birthday, seventeen-year-old Sarah Midnight's dreams have been plagued by demons - but unlike most people's nightmares, Sarah's come true. Her dreams guide her parents' hunt as Sarah remains in bed, terrified but safe, sheltered from the true horrors of the Midnight legacy. But all this is about to change. After the murder of her parents, she is cruelly thrust into a secret world of unimaginable danger as she is forced to take up their mission. Alone and unprepared for the fight that lies before her, Sarah must learn how to use the powers she's inherited and decide whom to trust before it's too late...
Kezzie at War by Theresa Breslin
During the 1930s Depression in Scotland, Kezzie and her young sister Lucy are luckier than most. Following their father's death, they manage to stay together and live on the little work Kezzie and Grandad are able to find. But life turns sour when Lucy goes missing. Without hesitation, Kezzie sets off alone to find her sister, a difficult journey which takes her over the Atlantic to Canada . . .
In the second story, Kezzie and Lucy are reunited with Grandad in Clydebank. The Second World War breaks out, and the family spirit is put to the test. Kezzie's strength is needed by so many - she must save an Italian family from the racial hatred they encounter, and rescue her old school friend Peg. As Clydebank is bombed and becomes a burning inferno, will Kezzie be strong enough to turn a tragedy into a triumph?
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Two young women become unlikely best friends during WWII, until one is captured by the Gestapo. Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a special operations executive. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted to each other. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in "Verity's" own words, as she writes her account for her captors. Truth or lies? Honour or betrayal? Everything they've ever believed in is put to the test...
Wasted by Nicola Morgan
Jack worships luck and decides his actions by the flip of a coin. No risk is too great if the coin demands it. Luck brings him Jess, a beautiful singer who will change his life. But Jack’s luck is running out, and soon the stakes are high. As chance and choice unravel, the risks of Jack’s game become terrifyingly clear. An evening of heady recklessness, and suddenly a life hangs in the balance, decided by the toss of a coin. In the end, it is the reader who must choose whether to spin that coin and determine: life or death.
Torn by Cat Clarke
Four girls. One dead body. A whole lot of guilt.
Alice King isn't expecting the holiday of a lifetime when she sets off with her classmates on a trip to the Scottish wilderness, but she's not exactly prepared for an experience beyond her darkest nightmares...
Alice and her best friend Cass are stuck in a cabin with Polly, the social outcast, and Rae, the moody emo-girl. Then there's Tara - queen of mean. Powerful, beautiful and cruel, she likes nothing better than putting people down.
Cass decides it's time to teach Tara a lesson she'll never forget. And so begins a series of events that will change the lives of these girls forever...
A compelling story of guilty secrets, troubled friendship and burgeoning love.
How to Make a Golem (and Terrify People) by Alette Willis
"You think you're a fairy godmother or something?" I asked.
"Or something," Michael agreed.
Edda is tired of her nickname, 'Mouse', and wants to be braver. But when her house is burgled on her twelfth birthday, Edda is more afraid than ever. That is until new boy Michael Scot starts school. There's something peculiar -- and very annoying -- about know-it-all Michael. He claims to be a great alchemist who can help Edda overcome her fears by teaching her to build a golem. But surely they can't bring a giant mud monster to life? Can they?
Winner of the Kelpies Prize 2011.
May Contain Nuts (The World of Norm) by Jonathan Meres
Why on earth did Norm's family have to move, anyway? In their old house he'd never tried to pee in anything other than a toilet. And when Norm is in bed, he's kept awake by his dad snoring like a constipated rhinoceros! Will life ever get less unfair for Norm?
Jonathan Meres is a former stand-up comedian who has written many books for teenagers including the Yo! Diary! series, Love Dad, Diary of a Trainee Rock God and Fame Thing.
The Crimson Shard by Teresa Flavin
This sequel to The Blackhope Enigma is imbued with alchemy and intrigue. During what seems like an ordinary museum visit, tour guide Throgmorton lures Sunni and Blaise through a painted doorway into eighteenth-century London. When Throgmorton demands secret information from the pair about their Blackhope escapades, they attempt to flee, encountering body snatchers, art thieves and forgers in this gripping time-travel adventure.
Hartslove by K.M. Grant
Young Daisy and her six brothers and sisters love Hartslove, the crumbling castle that has been in their family for hundreds of years. But their kind but feckless father, scarred by his experiences in the Crimean War, and by his wife's desertion, is drinking the family money away. Then he puts Hartslove up for sale: he has spent his remaining money on a young, wild, horse. Daisy, passionate about her home and her family, is determined that the horse is the One; that he will win the Derby and save them all.
But not everyone at Hartslove is on Daisy's side, and rich people are descending on the castle every day with an eye on snapping it up for themselves. With only months to go before the Derby, can Daisy and her wild brother Garth overcome the odds and lead The One to glory?
Murdo's War by Alan Temperley
February 1943. The world is at war. In the remote Highlands of Scotland, 14-year-old Murdo Mackay spends his days with Hector, an old crofter-fisherman. Together they herd the sheep, fish the shores of the wild Atlantic and – as the story opens – ferry illegal crates of whisky to the mainland.
Later that same foggy night, Hector is approached to smuggle ashore a cargo of machine parts from nearby Island Roan. Recklessly he agrees.
His decision pitches Murdo, the boy he loves like a son, into a deep and dangerous adventure. This is a story of boats and blizzards, cliff climb and car chase, guns and flight across some of Scotland’s harshest terrain.
Can Murdo survive against the fierce Scottish winter and the ruthless enemy that is mobilized against him?
Precious and the Monkeys by Alexander McCall-Smith
Well before Precious Ramotswe founded her Number One Ladies' Detective Agency, as an eight-year-old girl she was already solving mysteries. Here, in this delightful, enchanting tale for children, we find out just who has been stealing her schoolfriends' snacks and how the young Precious became the crafty and intuitive private investigator we all know and love!
Let's Do It! by Cathy Forde
Mel, Alan and Ben love filming their crazy stunts and putting them up on YouTube. But they want to go further and get one of their stunts on a cool TV Show. All they need is a decent camera...Will they be able to pull it off and have their stunt shown on national TV? Crazy comedy particularly suitable for dyslexic, reluctant and struggling teen readers.
Dragon Seeker by Anne Forbes
In his boundless quest for power, Lord Jezail has unearthed the terrible sword, Dragonslayer, from the depths of Edinburgh Castle, where it has lain buried for centuries. But the sword has its own agenda and, ensnared by its magic, Jezail becomes obsessed with the idea of killing Arthur, the MacArthurs' wonderful dragon, and attacking the fabled Valley of the Dragons.
His actions so enrage the Lords of the North that they set off after him, as the World of Magic finds itself on the brink of war. Can friends and foes unite to save the world they know and love? What is Count Vassili's secret? And how did Arthur end up with the MacArthurs in the first place?
Witches, wolf people, MacArthurs and magicians join forces with Neil and Clara MacLean in this final dragon-filled adventure (book six in the Dragonfire series, published 26th May 2011).
The Case of the Glasgow Ghoul - Joan Lennon
There’s been a series of mysterious thefts from the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow ... Despite maximum security measures, the thief is yet to be caught and the stolen objects appear to vanish into thin air, never to be seen again. But Slightly Jones, detective-in-training, isn’t daunted by the lack of clues. She’s more concerned about the stories of ghosts in a nearby graveyard. Could the two be connected?
Belle's Song by K.M. Grant
When Belle meets Luke, son of an alchemist and scribe to the famous poet Geoffrey Chaucer, she is determined to travel with him to Canterbury on a pilgrimage. She hopes for a miracle: that her father will walk again. She also hopes to atone for her own part in his accident.
It is a time of unrest across the country and young King Richard II is only just hanging on to his throne. A malign character on the pilgrimage suspects Chaucer of treason and slowly winds Belle into a political intrigue.
At the same time, impulsive Belle finds herself drawn both to Luke and to Walter, the wealthy son of a knight. But Walter has a secret it’s hard to share. As the uprising against the king gathers pace and the web of intrigue around Belle and Chaucer tightens, Belle and her friends take a hideous gamble, risking all to save their country and themselves.
Entangled by Cat Clarke
The same questions whirl round and round in my head: What does he want from me? How could I have let this happen? Am I going to die? 17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got there. As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see? Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?