Spring forward with Chatterbooks

Chatterbooks reading groups give children a chance to build a lifelong love for reading and to share their love of books with others. It’s estimated that there are almost 9000 children belonging to Chatterbooks groups across the UK. Contact your local library to find out about a Chatterbooks group near you!

As the clocks go forward this weekend some of our Chatterbooks groups will be reading books about time travel. Here are some of our favourite time travel stories to get you started:

A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
A children’s sci-fi classic recently made into a film starring Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon.

When Charles Wallace Murry goes searching through a ‘wrinkle in time’ for his lost father, he finds himself on an evil planet where all life is enslaved by a huge pulsating brain known as ‘It’. How Charles, his sister Meg and friend Calvin find and free his father makes this a very special and exciting mixture of fantasy and science fiction, which all the way through is dominated by the funny and mysterious trio of guardian angels known as Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which.


The Many Worlds of Albie Bright  – Christopher Edge
When Albie’s mum dies, it’s natural he should wonder where she’s gone. His parents are both scientists and they usually have all the answers. Dad mutters something about Albie’s mum being alive and with them in a parallel universe. So Albie finds a box, his mum’s computer and a rotting banana, and sends himself through time and space to find her.


Fortunately, the Milk – Neil Gaiman
You know what it’s like when your mum goes away on a business trip and Dad’s in charge. She leaves a really, really long list of what he’s got to do. And the most important thing is DON’T FORGET TO GET THE MILK. Unfortunately, Dad forgets. So the next morning, before breakfast, he has to go to the corner shop, and this is the story of why it takes him a very, very long time to get back.


Felix Frost, Time Detective: Roman Riddle – Eleanor Hawken
Join Felix Frost, secret boy genius, his chameleon Einstein and his classmate Missy as they travel back in time to Ancient Rome, where terrifying danger and embarrassing togas await.

But can they solve the riddle of a mysterious gladiator skeleton without getting themselves skewered in the gladiator arena?


Myth Raiders: Claw of the Sphinx  – A.J. Hunter
Geology-mad Sam and her American cousin Trey are the Chosen Ones, destined to save the world from destruction by gathering together the scattered fragments of The Warrior’s Shield. They’ve already rescued one section of the enchanted shield from the terrifying Medusa, and now learn that the second piece is being guarded by a fearsome sphinx – a creature with the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle and the face of a human. So Sam and Trey must travel to Ancient Egypt, and face mummies, beast-headed warriors… and the deadly sphinx itself!


Strangers from a strange land

The Rare Books Edinburgh festival is dedicated to rare, important books and the history of the book.

In support of the festival, Central Library is putting on a display of special books entitled ‘Strangers from a Strange Land’. The exhibition showcases books which started life in faraway places and have travelled to Scotland and found a home on the shelves of Edinburgh Libraries.

One of the highlights on display is a Latin edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle printed in 1493.

Visit the exhibition on the Mezzanine at Central Library until 26 March 2018 for a rare chance to see these gems from our collections.


Magazines galore!

Edinburgh Libraries has an amazing 500 British magazines for you to download (and thousands of international ones)!

We’ve two brilliant downloadable magazine services to choose from:

RBdigital – over 100 hand picked bestselling British magazines available on a super easy to use app or website. Download as many as you like and keep them forever.
PressReader – over 300 British and almost 3500 international magazines. Download up to 20 a day through the app or stream unlimited numbers through the website.

Use your library card to login on your tablet, smartphone or computer – there’s full instructions available on our Your Library website. You can use these services from anywhere so whilst on holiday or when your train gets suddenly delayed – you’ll never be stuck for something to read again!



The latest issue of Teen Titles is just out!

Teen Titles is the book review magazine that is packed full of Edinburgh teenagers’ (very) honest and uncensored opinions of the latest books for teenagers.

Publishers send copies of their latest books for young adults to the Teen Titles editorial team, who read each book, carefully write a synopsis, and then send on to each secondary school library in Edinburgh.

Teen Titles 70 front cover

Teen Titles Issue 70

In effect, students from every high school in the city get the opportunity to contribute, and the result is a magazine that honestly reflects what students think, making it a very valuable resource for students, authors and publishers alike.

The magazine is available from every public and school library and TT70 features these interviews and highlights:

Cat Clarke talks to Craigmount High School about her new book Girlhood, why her novels always have female leads and why she is not afraid to examine in them potentially taboo subjects such as mental illness, death and loss.

St Thomas of Aquin’s chat to Cathy MacPhail about her new novel Between The Lies which tells of a girl’s sudden disappearance, why social media can be both a good and a destructive influence, and why she has decided to collaborate on her next book with her son!

Pupils at St Thomas of Aquin's met Cathy MacPhail

Pupils at St Thomas of Aquin’s met Cathy MacPhail

John Young speaks to Boroughmuir High School about his debut novel Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist – which is about a teenager dying of cancer who goes on a wild road trip across Scotland to find his dad – and how his daughter’s own illness inspired his story.

Author, John Young at Boroughmuir High School

Author, John Young visits Boroughmuir High School

The Royal High School meet Kiran Millwood Hargrave, whose award-nominated novel The Island at the End of Everything is set on the Philippines Island of Culion and ask why she has made leprosy and butterflies its main subjects.

There are also reviews of over 60 books, factfiles about many of the authors we are featuring, and our popular Readers Write column.

Teen Titles is the only magazine of its kind in the UK, we think! It can boast subscribers from all over the UK and abroad, and publishers and authors are not only very keen to get their books included, but are desperate to know what their readers genuinely think of them.

To purchase your own subscription to Teen Titles, contact the Publication Unit  learning.publications@ea.edin.sch.uk

Raising awareness of Young Carers

25 January 2018 was Young Carers Awareness Day, a day with the aim to identify and raise awareness of the 700,000 young carers across the UK who care for a sick or disabled family member. By raising awareness, they hope it will help young carers to get the support they desperately need.

Portobello Library has been running a book group in partnership with Edinburgh Young Carers since March 2017. The group meets monthly during term time and has varied in size and composition during this time but has a core of 6 regular members between the ages of 7 and 9. The reading group involves a book discussion, activities and a snack. Themes for these meetings have included favourite books, countries and Halloween horror with some spooky reads.

Last month, to mark Young Carer’s Awareness Day, the group accompanied by a member of staff from Portobello Library and Edinburgh Young Carers support workers went to Blackwell’s Bookshop to buy children’s books for Portobello Library and were also able to select a book for themselves.

The group will next meet in Portobello Library on Tuesday 27 February, when the theme will be Poetry and Jokes with readings from Roald Dahl’s classic ‘Revolting Rhymes’.

Edinburgh Young Carers aims to make a positive difference in the lives and futures of young carers through support, information, respite, personal development and training. Get in touch with Edinburgh Young Carers if you know someone who would be interested in joining the young carers book group.

Stockbridge Library celebrates LGBT History Month

Stockbridge Library is delighted to be hosting Edinburgh City Museum’s Proud City exhibition. This celebrates LGBTQIA+ lives in Edinburgh. It incorporates material from the 2006 exhibition Rainbow City: stories from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Edinburgh which opened at the City Art Centre.

The current exhibition revisits these collections, plus some new material has been added. Museums working with LGBT Health and Wellbeing chose objects for the new display, and some of the participants gave interviews for a film about their lives in Edinburgh in 2016.

Many thanks to Diana Morton, Outreach and Access Manager and her colleages from the City Art Centre. The exhibition runs through LGBT History Month until the end of March where Stockbridge Library also have a great selection of books on display too.



Some of our favourite books of 2017

Ever wondered what your library staff choose to read? We asked colleagues to recommend their favourite books from last year.

Susan’s book of the year was Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham
“This memoir, mostly covering Chris’s childhood and young adulthood, will be unlike anything you have ever read.  His prose is so rich and description laden and you quickly realise that this is how Chris sees the world – in intricate detail; a series of tastes, smells and sensations that he remembers with complete clarity even years later. It was such a privilege to be given access to someone else’s mind and to experience what it’s like to have Asperger’s. The descriptions of young Chris’ connections to animals and nature are both extraordinary and heartbreaking. Rarely has a memoir been written with such honesty, it truly is a unique and special book.”
Available as an ebook

Clare recommends Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
“Based on a true story, a group of people are brought together in their desperation to flee war-torn Europe. Upsetting and gripping, it’s not an easy read. Despite being set during World War Two, the story’s themes resonate with the world today: a vital read.”
Available as an ebook


Karen says,
“If you don’t want anything too taxing, then read Mick Herron’s Slough House series. The first one is ‘Slow Horses’, but I think you could read them in any order and still enjoy. Certainly, ‘Spook Street’ was both funny and suspenseful. I’m now reading all the series!”


Win has read a few this year, some of them better than others… however, she’s just started The stars are fire by Anita Shreve, one of her favourite authors.
“Her prose is wonderful – pared back – but, in those short paragraphs and sentences, she draws a picture of the characters. She opens up the lives of ordinary people and compels us to walk beside them as their stories emerge. She writes with ease, and I always feel confident in her ability to write a cracking good read. I get hooked very quickly each time I start one of her books!”

Nicola really enjoyed His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
“This was a really disturbingly dark read, but one which has you gripped from the start to finish! It’s set in the 19th century in a small crofting community in the Highlands. The historical content and attention to detail were brilliantly executed and I really felt the sense of oppression and poverty of that period.
A gruesome crime has taken place and the reader hears the confession of the main protagonist Roddy, but there is a lot more that is gradually to be uncovered which explains the circumstances which led to Roddy’s actions. I ended up having a great deal of sympathy for the main character, which was completely unexpected.
It was a fascinating read, especially the detail of day to day life in a crofting community, and the influence and corruption exerted by those in authority.
I would highly recommend this book.”
Available as an ebook

Janette chose The Tent, the Bucket and Me by Emma Kennedy.
“I had a notion a few months ago, that I would randomly pick a book of the type I wouldn’t normally go for and see what I found. Well, this was one of them.
Emma recalls tales of nine consecutive years of camping holiday catastrophes with her mother and father in the 1970s, whether it was being swept away by a force ten gale on the Welsh coast or suffering copious amounts of food poisoning on a trip to the south of France. It’s been a long time since I have laughed out loud reading a book, but I did with this one.”
Available as an ebook

And ahead of this year’s anniversary of Muriel Spark’s birth, Carol’s book of the year was revisiting The prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
“She is a fantastic writer. I read it for my book group, there were lots of themes to talk about: social class, schooling, adolescence, society and politics in the 1930s, gender. Plus, the crème de la crème – Edinburgh, of course!”
Available as an ebook

What was your favourite book of the year?