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As a financial services organisation with its roots founded on helping people in communities to support themselves, Scottish Friendly is proud to continue our tradition of community involvement.
For over fourteen years we have supported reading and literacy to remote and disadvantaged areas in Scotland by sponsoring The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour, an outreach tour organised by Scottish Book Trust, the independent organisation promoting literacy through reading in Scotland.
In recent years we have extended the reach of our programme south of the border with author touring programmes in the North East and South West of England.
In March of this year Peter Bently kicked of the 2013 Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour with his wit and wonder in Perth and Kinross. Peter has received various major awards for some of his books including Cats Ahoy! and King Jack and the Dragon.
We are very much looking forward to our next tour with the Etherington Brothers in North and South Lanarkshire. As well as being the creators of Monkey Nuts, these talented brothers have also contributed to Wallace and Gromit, The Dandy, Star Wars and Transformers.
The Etherington Brothers will be touring schools to meet pupils in the area between 13th and 17th May.
In June we will be on tour with Caroline Lawrence, the award-winning author making a name for herself with her fantastic Roman Mysteries series. More recently Caroline has focused on the Wild West with her new P.K. Pinkerton Mystery series.
Then in September we meet Marcus Sedgwick who will be touring the Western Isles. Marcus has won many prizes for his writing, most notably the Branford-Boase Award for a debut novel (Floodland), the Booktrust Teenage Prize (My Swordhand is Singing), and the Blue Peter Book Award (Lunatics and Luck). His latest title is Doctor Who and the Spear of Destiny.
In June 2012, graphic artist Paul Collicutt, creator of Robot City visited East and West Dunbartonshire. In October, Barry Hutchison, author of the popular Invisible Fiends kids horror book series was scaring school pupils in Manchester. And in December Philip Ardagh, known for the Eddie Dickens series of books, toured schools around the Dumfries and Galloway area.
And we were thrilled to have Julia Donaldson tour throughout Scotland in September 2012. Julia is renowned for penning modern children's classics such as The Gruffalo and The Snail and The Whale. Julia toured from September 10th to the 19th and visited the following local authorities: Western Isles, Harris & Lewis, Highlands, Moray , Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire , Stirling, Argyll & Bute , Dumfries & Galloway and Scottish Borders.
Left: Julia’s tour is sure to be full of fun and games.
Right: Julia reads from another of her books, The Highway Rat, with two young fans.
In 2011, the poet John Hegley performed poetry and music in Clackmannanshire and Aberdeen, award-winning children’s author Jamie Rix visited Argyll and Bute, and picture book author and illustrator Thomas Docherty toured schools in Ayrshire.
Each year, hundreds of children have enjoyed taking part in the interactive literacy sessions led by touring authors, illustrators and poets.
Find out more information including upcoming tour dates and details of other Scottish Friendly Children’s book tours on the Scottish Book Trust website.
Scottish Friendly is a major supporter of the 'Meet Our Authors' programme. Launched in March 2011, the programme has been created by Scottish Book Trust and allows children, young people, parents and teachers across not just the UK but the world, to get up close and personal with some of the world's leading children's authors.
Get all the latest updates and interact on the Scottish Friendly Meet Our Authors Facebook Page.