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.


Solo or group reading!

We’ve just finished updating our Book Group Collections list so thought we’d flag it up to you all again as a really useful resource. Obviously its a brilliant source of information about the collections that you can borrow through the library for you and 14 members of your book group. All for free, with 4 week loans and easy collection from your local library thrown in.

It’s also really handy for non-book group members though as it’s a fantastic list of “must-read” titles. Perfect for dipping into when you’re not sure what to read next. Many of the titles are also available to borrow in ebook or downloadable audiobook format and there’s information about the formats available beside each title.

So if you are planning a cozy Christmas filled with lots of reading why not check out our book group collections list and get some first class reading ideas.

Big Library Read – digital book club

What Happened to Lizzie Lovett?  That’s the mystery that you can unravel by participating in the world’s largest digital reading club Big Library Read! The book this time is Chelsea Sedoti’s young adult debut novel, The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, and unlimited people will be able to read it from our OverDrive site at the same time from 12th till 26th October. Not only will the ebook be available, but also the audiobook so you can choose whatever format you fancy.

Told with a unique voice that is both hilarious and heart-wrenching, Sedoti challenges readers to distinguish the line between reality and fiction. Popular girl Lizzie Lovett’s disappearance is the one fascinating mystery her sleepy town has ever had. Classmate and teenage misfit, Hawthorn Creely has her own theory for Lizzie’s disappearance. And what better way to collect evidence than to immerse herself in Lizzie’s life? Like getting a job at the diner where Lizzie worked and hanging out with Lizzie’s boyfriend. After all, it’s not as if he killed her-or did he?

Author Chelsea Sedoti says “The protagonist of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is no stranger to reading; she knows all about using books as an escape. Seventeen-year-old misfit Hawthorn Creely is dissatisfied with the real world. She’d rather lose herself in fiction, where everything is bigger, better, and more magical. But when Hawthorn applies this mindset to the disappearance of her former classmate, Lizzie Lovett, life goes awry.”

Readers can join an online conversation about the book at BigLibraryRead.com. All you need is library membership so you can login with your library card and PIN. Full instructions for using OverDrive can be found on our Your Library website.



Found in Translation

Today, we hand the blog over to Cecylia from the Edinburgh and Scottish Collection to tell us about Central Library’s Found in Translation book group:

The Found in Translation book group meets in Central library every first Monday of the month and we read and discuss English translations of fiction from around the world. Every book takes us on a literary and cultural journey to a different country. We are a diverse group spanning many nationalities, backgrounds and careers. We come from different parts of Europe: Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Scotland and Ireland.

This year we were chosen to shadow the Man Booker International Prize. This prize is given annually to a book which is translated into English and published in the UK. We were asked to read the shortlisted title, ‘Compass’ by Mathias Enard, review it and join in the online conversation about the book and the prize on Twitter and Facebook. 


We have absolutely loved the whole experience – from the excitement of being picked by the Reading Agency as a shadowing group, to reading beautiful and challenging  ‘Compass’, sharing our thoughts online and finally discussing it as a group during our monthly meeting. Read our reviews to see what we thought of ‘Compass’.

We have gained so much from reading books from many languages and cultures and we’d encourage readers to get out of their reading comfort zones and join us.

The winner was announced last week and the prize went to A Horse Walks Into a Bar by David Grossman and translated by Jessica Cohen. Read this and the other Man Booker International 2017 longlist from Your Library.



Page Flipper the penguin visits the Library

Central Library’s Dyslexia Chatterbooks Group meets on the last Tuesday of each month in the Central Children’s Library. page-flipper-2The following is an extract from a story created by the group at a recent meeting. The children started by putting their ideas together on a storyboard with the help of Library Advisor, Beth Cochrane. The original idea for the story started with a missing toy Penguin, who mysteriously turned up in the library one day…

When he entered Page Flipper found himself surrounded by lots and lots of books, so he decided to pick one up and read it. It was called ‘The Giant Penguin Book.’ But as he started to read, he started to grow! Once he had finished the book, he realised he was now a giant penguin!

After searching for more fun and interesting books, Page Flipper found himself a little bitpage-flipper-1 lost. He shouted for help, and along came a friendly librarian. With a big smile on her face she said: “Hello! My name’s Sophie, would you like to come to our Chatterbooks?” Page Flipper was happy to be invited so along he went, and made lots of new friends at Chatterbooks. So many new friends, in fact, that he decided he would live in the Library forever!

For more information about the Dyslexic Chatterbooks Group contact carol.marr@edinburgh.gov.uk


Jeffery Archer launches new book in Edinburgh

Join Jeffrey Archer who launches his new book ‘This Was a Man’ as part of the
the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Booked! programme this November.

Photograph of Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer

The publication of this, the seventh and final instalment in his epic number-one bestselling Clifton Chronicles, will bring to a thrilling conclusion the spellbinding series which has captivated readers since 2011.

Archer will be in conversation about the new release, the series, and his life and career with journalist Ruth Wishart at the Usher Hall at 7.00pm on Wednesday 9 November.

Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said “Jeffrey Archer spoke at the very first Edinburgh International Book Festival, back in 1983 and it seemed appropriate to invite him back to Edinburgh to close his latest epic series as we approach the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh as a world leading Festival city.

With the support of City of Edinburgh Libraries, the Book Festival is inviting members of local reading and community groups who have never previously attended an Edinburgh International Book Festival event to come and hear Jeffrey speak, encouraging more people to develop a love of books and reading by bringing them together with an international bestseller for the first time.

This event is part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Booked! programme, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Tickets priced £12 and £10 for concessions are on sale from the Usher Hall.


Join in with the Big Library Read

blr-fb-cover-no-ctaThe next OverDrive Big Library Read is kicking off on 13th October, and its a Young Adult title this time – the #1 New York Times bestseller This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp. There will be unlimited access to this ebook from 13th – 27th October so get online and download it!

The story features an American high school shooting told from four perspectives over the course of 54 harrowing minutes. The students of a fictional high school struggle to both survive and understand why one boy started shooting at 10:00 am. The author provides a unique look into what it’s like to experience a school shooting through the eyes of students. It confronts this subject realistically but without graphic depictions of the violence the students experience.

There is a discussion board available for readers to post their thoughts and there will also be a podcast with the author. Instruction sheets are available online to help you get started with OverDrive. Why not encourage your friends and family to download it too and host your own book club evening.