Tag Archives: great books

Peter Pan Give-away Competition!

It’s Edinburgh International Book Festival this month (in case you hadn’t noticed), and we’ve been celebrating our wonderful authors’ appearances with fun and games and, more importantly, FREE BOOK GIVEAWAYS. Today it’s no different. At EIBF today (Monday 24th) Stephen ‘Stref’ White, illustrator, and Fin Cramb, colourist, will be talking about their latest project – the recently published, first ever Peter Pan graphic novel, based on J.M. Barrie’s original text. Earlier this month, Tom Pow appeared at the Festival to discuss his own take on Peter Pan – his book tells the story of Barrie’s childhood, and the inspirations derived from it which led to the creation of Peter, Wendy, the Lost Boys, Hook, and Neverland.

SO, we decided we’d put together a short quiz, the winner of which will receive these two stunning new books.

All you have to do to be in with a chance is to answer the multiple choice questions below, in a tweet sent to @BirlinnBooks or @BCKidsBooks, and we’ll announce the winner tomorrow morning!

Question 1: What was J.M. Barrie’s childhood nickname?
A) Sixteen String Jack
B) Yellow-Bellied Jim
C) Dare Devil Dick

Question 2: What happens to the Lost Boys when they grow too old?
A) They join the pirates
B) They’re forced to leave Neverland
C) Peter thins them out

Question 3: How does Captain Hook originally plan to kill Peter and the Lost Boys?
A) In a surprise attack whilst the boys are sleeping
B) Poisoning their water supply
C) By luring the crocodile into their den
D) Tricking them into eating cake before swimming

Question 4: What was the name of J.M. Barrie’s inspirational childhood home?
A) Mount Brae
B) Moat Braille
C) Moat Brae
D) Mount Braille

Get answering, get tweeting, and you might just get winning!

BC Logo Master Maroon

Sixty Degrees North (Extract 5 – Norway)

To correspond with BBC Radio 4′s ‘Book of the Week’ shows – featuring of course our very own Sixty Degrees North by Malachy Tallack – we will be releasing short extracts from the book each day this week!

Today, in episode five of ‘Book of the Week’, Malachy reaches the last point of land on his journey along the sixtieth parallel – a small island just off the west coast of Norway. In this extract, Malachy sits by the ocean and reflects on his journey, home, and where he now finds himself:

“My destination was the island of Stolmen, a little further south along the coast. It was the last point of land on the sixtieth parallel before it dropped back into the North Sea and then returned to Shetland, and it seemed the most appropriate place to complete my journey before going home.


Sitting there beside the sea, two hundred miles from home, I thought back to the traffic that had ventured west from this coast towards my own shores. To the Vikings who had sailed in the eighth and ninth century, and who had made their way ultimately to Greenland and beyond. To the refugees of the Second World War, who were carried in fishing boats and other vessels, in what became known as the ‘Shetland Bus’. And then to the oil tanker Braer, which left the refinery just north of Bergen in January 1993, carrying 85,000 tonnes of crude oil. She was bound for Quebec in Canada, but made it only as far as Quendale on the south east coast of Shetland, where she hit the rocks and spilled her cargo. It was a few years after my family moved to the islands, and a few miles from the spot where, later, I would find the parallel.

I’d come to Stolmen by following that line around the world. Once there, I had nowhere else to go but home. I’d known all along, of course, that this was a journey with only one possible destination. But faced with that last stretch of water that separated beginning from end, I felt nervous and uncertain. Would the place I was going back to be the same place that I had left? And did I even want it to be? Perhaps I’d expected answers, but I hadn’t found any. I’d been left with only questions. Ahead, the sky was like a welt, blue and purple ringed with pink. A crack in the clouds brought sharp fingers of light down onto the blackening waves, and the cold chafed against my face. I sat for ten minutes more, perhaps fifteen, and then it was time to go. I stood and flung a stone into the water, towards Mousa, as though to reach as far as I could towards home, and then I walked away.”

Sixty Degrees North (Extract 4 – Russia)

To correspond with BBC Radio 4′s ‘Book of the Week’ shows – featuring of course our very own Sixty Degrees North by Malachy Tallack – we will be releasing short extracts from the book each day this week!

Today, in episode four of ‘Book of the Week’, Malachy arrives in St Petersburg, the most highly populated place on the parallel. In this extract Tallack describes his first day in the city in wonderful detail:

“It was a week into September when I arrived in St Petersburg, but autumn had not yet caught hold in this corner of the north. A warm wind bustled down Nevsky Prospekt as I pushed my way through the crowds towards the river. And though it had passed six in the evening the sun was still bright, lingering like a blush against the pink walls of the Stroganov Palace. From edge to edge, the wide pavements were filled with people: tourists in raincoats and baseball caps, striding businessmen in suits and shades, girls in short skirts locked arm in arm, old women whose headscarves could barely contain their peroxide perms. The street overflowed with beeping horns and screeching tyres, over-revved engines, sirens and shouts; the smell of drains and exhaust fumes thickened the air. It was loud and chaotic, a heaving pandemonium, and I kept close to the buildings, nervous of the hustle and din that seethed between them.

Crossing the sluggish grey Neva to Vasilevsky Island, I lingered beside the red Rostral Columns that tower there, with their four marble figures representing the great rivers of Russia. Once, these columns served as oil-blazing lighthouses, aiding vessels, but today their only role is to lift your eyes up and away from the filthy water below. From there I continued to Petrogradskaya and across the walkway to Hare Island, and the fortress where this city was founded. The Cathedral of Saint Peter and Paul shone butter gold in the evening sun, its gilded needle spire reaching 400 feet upward, to where hooded crows blinked like black stars against the sky. A syrupy light lay dappled among the trees around the fortress, and yellow leaves were just beginning to fall, a step ahead of the weather. In drains and on paths they were piled, dry and crackling underfoot. I kicked them as I wandered through Aleksandrovskiy Park, feeling a childish pleasure in that most irresistible of acts.

There is nowhere else like this in the north.”