Saturday, November 30, 2013

St. Andrew's Day: Books in Scotland

It's Saint Andrew's Day! Saint Andrew's Day is also the national day of Scotland, so here are some books that take place in Scotland to read with your shortbread and haggis.


The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson. Set in Scotland in an alternate 1930s, where Napoleon won Waterloo, the Hanseatic League still exists, and spiritualism is real and you can talk to ghosts through radio waves, Sophie and her friend Mikael are investigating the mysterious murder of a famous medium when they realize the plot goes much, much deeper than they ever imagined and has ties to the highest levels of government. Follow it with Invisible Things.

Selkie Girl by Laurie Brooks. Set in Orkney, Elin Jean knows she doesn't fit in. When she finds her mothers seal skin, she learns her mother is a Selkie. Elin Jean must then decide if she should return the skin. Being half-Selkie herself, she must also decide if she wants to go to sea, or stay human.

Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa Klein. Albia was raised by the three weird sisters, not knowing anything about her parents. When Macbeth shows up to hear his future, she learns the truth and then does everything she can to help her father's rival.


Girl in a Cage by Jane Yolen and Robert Harris. When Robert the Bruce becomes King of Scotland, the King of England vows vengeance. He kidnaps the Bruce's daughter, the newly minted Princess Marjorie. He then keeps her in a cage in the town square, exposed to the elements and the public. The second in the Stuart Quartet, start with Queen's Own Fool.

The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary, Queen of Scots by Carolyn Meyer. Part of her Young Royals series, Mary was 5 when she went to France to be with her future husband. At 18, she's a widow and no longer Queen of France, so she returns to Scotland to claim her crown there, hoping to also wear the English crown.

Undead by Kirsty McKay. On the way back from a ski trip, a busload of students gets snowed in at a rest stop where most turn into zombies. Follow it with Unfed.


Running on the Cracks by Julia Donaldson. After her parents die in a plane crash, Leo runs away to Glasgow, trying to find grandparents she's never met.

An Earthly Knight by Janet McNaughton. In this retelling of Tam Lin set in the 12th century, Jeanette is called on to restore her family's honor.

Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray. Ross always wanted to visit the Scottish town of Ross. But he's dead now, so his best friends steal his ashes to take them to Ross-- but what should be a simple journey quickly turns into something much crazier.

What are your Scottish must-reads?

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