Once upon a time in Edinburgh…

By Greg Lorraine

What do you get when ten of Scotland’s best children’s writers get together to celebrate life in the city of Edinburgh? The answer – Our City.

The recently launched book is a special collaboration in support of the One City Trust, which campaigns for social justice. The book is a collection of specially written stories aimed at primary school readers, all of which take place in Edinburgh.

It includes stories by award-winning authors including Keith Gray, Nicola Morgan, Alison Flett, Vivian French, Jonathan Meres, Cathy Cassidy and Alison Prince, with an introduction by popular children’s TV presenter Raven. All illustrations are by acclaimed cartoonist John Fardell.

Jonathan Meres, who wrote the story All Change for the book, said: “As I live in Edinburgh myself, it definitely made it easier to write for the book. The route the bus takes in my story is one I’m very familiar with.

“The book’s great as I think children who live in Edinburgh, or who are familiar with the place, will be able to relate more to the stories. Each one touches on universal themes, my own story touching on bereavement and the relationship between a grandson and his grandpa.”

Alison Prince, who talked to children at Oxgang’s Primary as part of a special day to promote Our City said: “My story is about the fear of being bullied, something children everywhere experience at some stage.

“I hope young readers will pick up on the general ‘feel’ of the city itself but it should not prevent non-Edinburgh dwellers from relating to it as well. Edinburgh’s full of inspiring buildings such as the Parliament building and the typical Georgian terraces with steps up to a grand front door. I’m a magpie as a writer, collecting any bright bits that takes my fancy.”

One City Trust’s ambassadors include Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith and Irvine Welsh.

All profits from the sales of the book will help support communities in Edinburgh, preventing inequality and exclusion of all kinds and encouraging social welfare and human rights.

Our City is available from all good bookshops. To order copies direct from the publishers go to http://birlinn.co.uk/

For more information about One City Trust go to http://www.onecitytrust.org.uk/