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Press release: Summer tour brings two fantastic authors into Scottish schools

Over 2,000 pupils to be involved via classrooms and online events

The Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour will bring two fantastic authors into schools this summer.

Ross Mackenzie, the recent winner of the Scottish Teenage Book Prize, will visit primary schools in Perth and Kinross as well as online from Monday 20 to Tuesday 21 June. As part of the tour he will discuss his latest novel, The Colour of Hope, a powerful adventure of a world purged of colour by an evil Emperor and the remarkable girl who might just be able to restore light and brightness to a drab, grey empire. Ross will explain how he creates his immensely likeable characters and vivid fantasy worlds, with time for pupils to ask questions.

Kate Gilby-Smith, author of Olive Jones and the Memory Thief, will visit primary schools in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and West Lothian from Thursday 23 to Friday 24 June. She will talk about Olive Jones and the Memory Thief, an ideal read for any budding scientists, tech industry pioneers and daydreamers. Kate will also use brilliant interactive activities to get children thinking about how they can come up with their own futuristic gadgets.

Ross Mackenzie is a multi award-winning author of books for children, including The Nowhere Emporium, which won the Blue Peter Book Award. He grew up in Renfrew, just outside Glasgow, and knew from a young age that he wanted to be a writer.

Kate Gilby-Smith is a children's author and publicist based in London. While daydreaming during a philosophy of time travel seminar at the University of Edinburgh, she first had the idea for her debut book, The Astonishing Future of Alex Nobody.

The Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour is supported by Scottish Friendly and organised by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing. During the pandemic, the tour has been delivered virtually throughout classrooms in Scotland, with educational watch on demand video content viewed over 100,000 times.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust said:

'It's wonderful that the Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour is able to visit pupils both in person and via online events. Thanks to this, we are able to visit more classrooms than ever before, and this tour alone will reach over 2,000 pupils. Both Ross and Kate are great storytellers, and we are sure they will inspire pupils across a range of ages.'

Full list of tour dates:

Ross Mackenzie

Monday 20 June

9.15am: event at Tulloch Primary – Perth

1.30pm: event at St Dominic's Primary – Crieff

Tuesday 21 June

9.15am: event at Kinross Primary – Kinross

1.45pm: event at Fossoway Primary – Kinross

Wednesday 22 June

11am: Virtual event 1215 pupils from 19 schools, P6 – S1

Kate Gilby-Smith

Thursday 23 June

9.30am: event at Quarrybrae Primary School – Glasgow

1.15pm: event at Castleton Primary School – Glasgow

Friday 24 June

9am: event at Gylemuir Primary School – Edinburgh

11.15am: event at Woodmuir Primary School – West Lothian

Notes to Editors

For all press queries, please contact Keara Donnachie Keara.Donnachie@scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window) or call 07956 773749.

About Scottish Friendly

Scottish Friendly is one of the UK's largest mutual life offices. At Scottish Friendly we believe saving and investing should be for everyone, which is why we offer a range of affordable investment and savings products to help individuals and their families achieve their financial goals.

Scottish Friendly has sponsored the programme for the past 20 years, touring some of the finest children's authors and illustrators including former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, Malorie Blackman, Michael Rosen, Jacqueline Wilson, Melvin Burgess, Steve Cole, Michael Morpurgo and Sophie McKenzie.

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that believes everyone living in Scotland should have equal access to books. Our work provides opportunities to improve life chances through books and the fundamental skills of reading and writing. Access to books and a love of books bring many important benefits from family bonding and advancing children's learning, to unlocking creativity, helping employability and improving mental health & well-being. Scottish Book Trust aims to support all communities across Scotland, with particular focus on those who are vulnerable and under-represented.

Our programmes and outreach work include:

In addition to the funding we receive from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, we need the constant support of trusts and foundations, corporate sponsors and individual donors.

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