We are finally able to reveal the cover for The Race by Roy Peachey. Out on 3rd June, with sport as the central subject, The Race combines contemporary drama with illuminating historical flashbacks, and explores crucial themes including, adoption, racism, family and friendship. An inspiring tale of perseverance and personal achievement, it’s a perfect read for young people in the run up to the 2021 Olympics.
Get ready for the race of your life…
12-year-old Lili is preparing to race in front of the Queen as part of her school’s anniversary celebrations. Having been adopted from China as a baby, Lili also has issues to work through. When her training is thrown into chaos by events outside her control, she must choose between family and the race of her life.
Meanwhile in 1944, Eric Liddell, hero of the 1924 Olympics, finds himself in a war zone. Separated from his family, he is getting ready to run his final race in a prison camp in China. But his lifelong principles are challenged by the imprisoned children he is trying to help…
Praise for The Race
‘An original, immensely readable take on the Eric Liddell story for the 21st century.’
‘Not your typical happily ever after, Roy has written a wonderfully relatable and inclusive tale, where all are welcome, and the beauty of sport brings everyone together in the end. There are life lessons to be learned in this inspiring story with friendship at its heart.’
SHAUNAGH BROWN International Rugby Player and Former Commonwealth Games Athlete
The Race by Roy Peachey
Children’s Fiction 8-12 | Contemporary | Sport (Olympics tie-in)
Scottish indie Cranachan, is to publish Hag Storm by Victoria Williamson, a spooky, historical adventure based on the life of Robert Burns and one of his most famous and best-loved poems, Tam O’Shanter.
The children’s novel, acquired in a world all-language rights deal directly from the author, will be published in January 2022 to coincide with the Scottish bard’s birthday celebrations.
The synopsis reads: In 1771, Robert Burns, future national poet and folk hero of Scotland, has big problems. 12-year-old Rab spends all of his time doing backbreaking work on his family’s farm instead of attending school, but when he finds a hag stone in one of the fields, everything changes. Looking through its circular hole, he sees witches gathering in a coming storm, and they’ve set their sights on his family. It is up to Rab to save his sisters from the clutches of the witches’ coven before their Halloween ceremony in the old kirk.
Anne Glennie, publisher at Cranachan, said: “To have Robert Burns brought to life in this way is fantastic. In Hag Storm he is no longer a pale picture of an old man that children today can’t identify with. This gripping story, with a supernatural twist, is wonderfully evocative of the time period and is filled with mystery and magic. Currently, there is no published fictional account of Robert Burns’ childhood, and so this book will fit a unique gap in the market.”
Williamson added: “I have fond memories of the yearly Burns competition at primary school, when pupils would study the poetry of Robert Burns. Tam O’ Shanter captured my imagination, and ever since, the idea of a spooky children’s book based around the life of the young Robert Burns and an encounter with the witches on the Brig o’Doon has been bubbling away in my head. I can’t wait to share it with young readers.”
Williamson is also the author of the MG novels The Boy with the Butterfly Mind (Kelpies, 2019) and The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle (Kelpies, 2018).
Our only YA title for 2021 is the hotly anticipated third book in the Four Treasures series by Caroline Logan. Be reunited with Ailsa and her ragtag gang of creatures and misfits as we pick up where Book 2, The Cauldron of Life, left us reeling from all the plot twists and turns!
Haven’t joined the journey to Eilanmor yet? Start this Scottish fantasy epic now with The Stone of Destiny. In the meantime, we must show patience as The Sword of Light isn’t out until 7th October 2021. But to whet your appetite, here’s the cover with unicorn Laire taking pride of place.
Get ready for battle…
With everyone still healing after their encounter with the faerie queen, Ailsa MacAra had hoped to spend time with her long lost brother. But something strange happened to Cameron in the land of the fae, revealing that the world is under threat. Wicked and powerful forces have come to Ossiana and there is only one way to stop it: find The Four Treasures and ready yourself for battle.
Relying on rumours and secrets, Ailsa and her friends are sent off to scour the kingdom for the mythical weapons: to the north, where tales of witches and monsters are told; to the faerie court, where the defeated faerie queen might be the key to their salvation; and to a remote village, where fae have been disappearing for years.
Now, with war brewing across the continent, they’re in a race against time to find The Four Treasures. But will the magical objects be enough to defeat a god?
Thank you to all the teachers who have been contacting us about continuing to read our books to their classes. There is no need to email us to ask for permission, we simply ask that you follow these guidelines:
Please note at the beginning of the video or audio recording that you are reading with permission of Cranachan, and note the title, author (& illustrator if appropriate) of the book. Live reading to your class is also permitted.
Please only post your video through your school’s private platform or through another channel with private or limited access for your pupils only. Please delete your video or disable access once you are finished with it.
You are all stars. Thank you for all you are doing.
We are super excited to reveal the cover for Barbara Henderson’s sixth (!) children’s novel The Chessmen Thief which will be coming to a bookshop near you on 29th April 2021!
Win. Lose. Survive.
I was the boy with a plan. Now I am the boy with nothing.
From the moment 12-year-old Kylan hatches a plan to escape from his Norse captors, and return to Scotland to find his mother, his life becomes a dangerous game. The precious Lewis Chessmen pieces—which he helped carve—hold the key to his freedom, but he will need all his courage and wit to triumph against Sven Asleifsson, the cruellest Viking in the realm. One false move could cost him his life.
Barbara Henderson has woven a thrilling origin story around the enduring mystery of the Lewis Chessmen, their creation in Norway, and how they ended up buried in the Hebrides before being discovered on Lewis in 1831.
Island-based publisher Cranachan has launched a free, illustrated anthology of poems and stories for children aged 8-12. Stay at Home! Poems and Prose for Children in Lockdown is a collection of 40 lockdown-themed contributions by writers based in Scotland.
The new book, which is available for free and available on the Books from Scotland website, is described as “a book about lockdown– the good bits, the bad bits, and the ugly bits when nobody could get any toilet roll. It’s divided into three sections – Life in Lockdown, Everyday Superheroes, and the World Beyond Our Windows.”
Stay at Home!, illustrated by Darren Gate, aims to help children reflect on their time in lockdown. There is something in the anthology for everyone, from the serious to the hilarious, with short stories, flash fiction, poems, letters and diaries (including some in Scots) all giving their take on lockdown life topics such as kitchen haircuts, birthdays, home-schooling, daily exercise, pets, nature, neighbours–and even toilet roll alternatives.
The collection is edited by debut novelist Joan Haig and comprises work written especially for the lockdown volume, from well-loved children’s authors and new writers including:
Raisah Ahmed, Annemarie Allan, Dean Atta, Nayanika Basu, Pamela Butchart, Philip Caveney, Maisie Chan, Suleman Chebe, Alastair Chisholm, Justin Davies, Lari Don, Elizabeth Ezra, Matthew Fitt, Kerry L Fleming, Merryn Glover, Laura Guthrie, Joan Haig, Yasmin Hanif, Robert J Harris, Callum Heitler, Barbara Henderson, Diana Hendry, Emily Illet, Lindsay Littleson, Joseph Lamb, Elizabeth Laird, Joan Lennon, Caroline Logan, Janis Mackay, Alan McClure, Miranda Moore, Raman Mundair, Alex Nye, Rachel Plummer, Ross Sayers, Linda Strachan, Chae Strathie, and Victoria Williamson.
Explaining her motivation for creating the book, Haig says: “Originally, I had an idea at the start of Lockdown for a recipe book from children’s stories and contacted a few authors then to gauge interest. It was pointed out that ingredients were short in the shops and I gave up thinking about it! But I still felt that there was an opportunity to do something incredibly positive through writing in the Covid crisis, to reach out to children, but also to bring together children’s authors in Scotland.”
The book’s publisher, Anne Glennie of Cranachan, added: “It is the job of writers to record and to make sense of this new world. We are living through an historical moment in time–and this collection does not shy away from that reality but explores it, and hopefully, helps children come to terms with it as they recognise themselves and their experiences in its pages.”
Stay at Home! Poems and Prose for Children in Lockdown launches on 28th May and is available to read for free here: www.booksfromscotland.com and on Cranachan’s own website.
About Cranachan Publishing
Based on the Isle of Lewis, Cranachan publish high quality children’s fiction for 8-12s, with a focus on Scottish historical fiction through the Yesteryear series. Their YA imprint, Gob Stopper, covers a diverse range of titles including fantasy, contemporary, and historical fiction. Readers, young and old alike, can escape to Scotland by experiencing its exciting culture and history, wherever they live in the world. Cranachan also publish educational resources for teachers.
Cranachan were shortlisted for the Saltire Society Emerging Publisher 2019
Winner of the 2020 Favourite UK Children’s Publisher poll run by Enchanted Books
Scottish publisher Cranachan has signed author Roy Peachey to its middle-grade imprint, Pokey Hat, for his debut children’s title, The Race.
The dual narrative, which will be published by Cranachan in early 2021, introduces Lili, a young athlete with her own point to prove, and features Eric ‘Chariots of Fire’ Liddell, the hero of the 1924 Olympics, as they both prepare for the race of their lives.
In 1944 Liddell is getting ready to run his final race in a Japanese prison camp in China, while in present day Lili DeLisle is preparing to race in front of the Queen when she visits the school as part of their anniversary celebrations at her school Sports Day.
United by the country of their birth, and their love of athletics, Eric and Lili face very different challenges. Having returned to China, the country where he was born, Eric finds himself in a war zone. Separated from his family and locked up in a prison camp, his lifelong principles are challenged by the imprisoned children he is trying to help.
Having been adopted from China as a baby, Lili also has issues to work through. When her athletic preparations are thrown into chaos by events outside her control, she too has to decide between family and the race of her life.
Anne Glennie, publisher at Cranachan, acquired The Race in a world rights deal directly from the author. Glennie said: The Race is a fantastic and refreshing addition to our Pokey Hat list, with sport as the central subject, it combines contemporary drama with illuminating historical flashbacks, and explores crucial themes including, adoption, racism, family and friendships. An inspiring tale of perseverance and personal achievement, The Race would make a perfect read for young people in the run up to the 2021 Olympics.”
Peachey added: “I am really delighted to be joining Clan Cranachan and am excited at the prospect of introducing readers to Lili, a dynamic young athlete with a love of running. As the Olympics approach, it’s also a great time to look again at the life of Eric Liddell, an inspiring athlete whose life became even more remarkable after he retired from the sport.”
About Roy Peachey
Roy lives with his wife, two daughters, two dogs, two cats, one rabbit, one tortoise, and a few fish. When he isn’t spending time with his family, writing books, or looking after the menagerie, Roy is a teacher and charity worker.
Peachey’s first novel for adults, Between Darkness and Light, the story of a translator with the Chinese Labour Corps during World War I, was published in 2019 by Eyrie Press. He is also the author of three non-fiction books: Out of the Classroom and Into the World; 50 Books for Life; and Did Jesus Go To School?
Publishing has signed debut author Joan Haig to its middle-grade fiction
imprint, Pokey Hat, purchasing the Worldwide rights to her first title Tiger
action-packed adventure tale, with elements of fantasy sprinkled throughout, takes
the reader from the Scottish drizzle to the Indian monsoons using beautiful
descriptive writing that brings both the Indian and Scottish landscapes and
culture to life.
Glennie, Publisher, says she is delighted to welcome Joan to the Clan Cranachan
family, adding, “Tiger Skin Rug is a wonderful addition to the Pokey Hat
imprint; it adds a very welcome splash of light fantasy and a diversity in
terms of characters and locations. A thrilling adventure, where the children
are in charge, it is also a gift for the classroom – an exciting, whole-class
read that can also be used a springboard for learning about India, other
customs and cultures, and Hinduism in particular. The novel also explores the
concept of home and what that means to each character – such an appropriate
theme for today.”
in the Scottish Borders, although she grew up in much hotter climates, Joan
says of joining the clan “I’m thrilled that Tiger Skin Rug will sit alongside
such wonderful talent. Cranachan was my first choice of publisher for my novel
and I’m so grateful it’s been picked up.”
writing dream is that her stories for children are enjoyed far and wide – and
touch some grown-up hearts along the way, a perfect fit for the Cranachan
Tiger Skin Rug will be published in February 2020, appealing in particular to fans of Jess Butterworth and fellow Clan Cranachan author Lindsay Littleson.