Where Monsters Lie by Polly Ho-Yen

Fans of dystopian reads will want to dive straight into Where Monsters Lie. Set in an atmospheric Scottish village, the children of Mivtown have grown up hearing the legend of the monsters in the loch. They know it’s only a story, a myth - but then mysterious things begin to occur in the village, and we’re left wondering if there really is something quite curious going on. This eerie, spine-tingler of a book by Polly Ho Yen is a fantastic way to introduce the concept of folklore and legends to younger readers.

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson is one of Scotland’s most prolific and notable authors, creating rich and renowned stories such as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and of course, Treasure Island. His tale Kidnapped – set in his homeland of Scotland – is a thrilling action-adventure that is perfect for young readers with a fondness for a classic read. A tragic tale full of murder, exploit, and of course, kidnapping – Kidnapped is quintessentially Scottish; awash with clans, Highlands, and desolate moors. It’s a novel so rich; you can almost smell the heather.

The Water Horse by Dick King-Smith

Nothing says Scotland like the tale of a Water Horse, or as all Highlanders fondly know it – ‘Nessie’. Eight-year-old Kirstie goes beachcombing near her Scottish home after a storm and stumbles upon an intriguing egg washed up on the shore. When it hatches, Kirstie and her family quickly discover this is no ordinary creature, it’s a kelpie! It quickly outgrows its bathtub nursery, and the family is forced to find their monster-sized pet a new home. This charming fantasy novel is written by the beloved author Dick King-Smith and is full of relatable characters with tales of friendship and loyalty.

Katie Morag Of Course! by Mairi Hedderwick

Katie Morag is Scotland’s own literary heroine. Set on the mythical island of Struay, this collection of three illustrated stories sees Katie blossoming while experiencing island life, with her infamous Granny Island and other familiar characters. Younger children may recognize Katie from her show on CBeebies, though this trilogy is perfect to bridge the gap between pre-school and primary aged readers who still enjoy Katie’s adventures.

Bonnie Dundee by Rosemary Sutcliff

Based on a real-life historical event, Bonnie Dundee by Rosemary Sutcliff is a novel set in 17th-century Scotland. It focuses on the Covenanters, a group of Scots who want religious freedom from English rule and their rebellion. With tension mounting between the two sides of the divided country, a bloody battle ensues. Bonnie Dundee’s key themes remain relevant today.

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