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Stevenson Classic to Inspire Scots Youngsters

February 6, 2007

THOUSANDS OF FREE COPIES of a classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel were handed out across Edinburgh last week.

Around 25,000 copies of Kidnapped, first published in 1886 and set in 1751 during one of Scotland’s most turbulent periods, were distributed to libraries, schools, cafes and community centres in a scheme to get more Scottish people reading.

The tale of teenager Davie Balfour’s adventures was chosen for the ‘One Book – One Edinburgh’ campaign because of its appeal to children and adults, as well as its strong ties with Edinburgh. It is the biggest literary project organised in the city since it became the world’s first Unesco City of Literature in 2004.

Organisers hope the books, which are being left in public places to read and pass on, and monitored on the internet, will boost the city’s literary heritage profile. The project has been backed by best-selling crime writer Ian Rankin and First Minister Jack McConnell.

Mr McConnell said: “It is our aspiration to enable all children to develop their capacities as successful learners, but we also want children to enjoy the pleasure of reading for fun too.

“I am confident that One Book – One Edinburgh will encourage more local youngsters to be interested in books and other publications.”

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Lesley Hinds said: “It is wonderful that one book can bring the city together to read.”

The £70,000 project has been funded by the Scottish Arts Council, the National Lottery, Edinburgh Council and other private sponsors. The campaign is a flagship project for the Edinburgh Unesco City of Literature Trust.

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