Thursday, 2 December 2010

Books Do Grow On Trees - Nicola Morgan

The lovely people at Blackwell's Bookshop in Edinburgh invited me to the launch of a fabulous event but I couldn't go because I was in London, hobnobbing with Brian May, Roger Daltrey, Roger Taylor and a load of other stars. (Ouch, the name-dropping! Actually, there were a lot more I could have dropped but I held myself back. Besides, when I told my daughter the other names, her response was, "What sort of a tacky event was this, mother? Please don't tell anyone you were there.") Anyway, although the launch has happened, the event is still going on, and it's SUCH a wonderful cause and idea that I wanted to be able to say something about it here.

So, here's a message from Julie Gamble at Blackwell's:
"The Children's Book Tree at Blackwell's Bookshop in Edinburgh is a scheme that lets customers donate a book to a vulnerable child in the city who is living in care or in difficult circumstances. We are working together with Edinburgh Women's Aid, Edinburgh Young Carers, Barnardo's, many support units run by The City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Foster Care to find out what each child would like. We then attach their requests to tags and hang them from our 'Book Tree'. From 25th Nov until 19th Dec customers can drop into the Children's Dept. at Blackwell's on South Bridge, choose a tag from the tree and buy a book to go with it. We'll then wrap and send the books in time for Christmas.

If you'd like to gift a book but can't make it in person you can get in touch with us on 0131 6228225. If you would like to buy a book on behalf of someone else we can also provide a lovely gift certificate!

Thanks for making Christmas a little brighter for these kids."

Hooray!! Fab idea. I'm going there very very soon. There's the tree, all ready and waiting for wishes to be fulfilled.

Does anyone know of any other schemes like this in your part of the country? Would you like to name them here? Or, if you don't, why not contribute to the Edinburgh one by dialling that number?

If we believe that books are important and enriching and wonderful, we must believe in their utmost importance for vulnerable children who have had such a bad start in life.

Oh, and as an extra treat, here's a pic of Julie, thinly disguised as an elf, standing with Sarah Brown, whom you might recognise. 


catdownunder said...

Really nice idea Nicola...our shopping centre does something similar but does not confine it to books. However the tree IS right outside the bookshop - which has to be a massive hint.
And, if anyone wonders at the value of this, a late friend of mine kept a book she was given as a present by her foster family until she died - because it meant so much to her. I would wholeheartedly recommend!

Elaine AM Smith said...

What a fabulous idea! There is no feeling better than knowing you gave the right present. With the personal quality of this idea you would know you are giving a present with so many layers of care. I am sure it will make a huge difference to any recipient.

Sue Purkiss said...

I think this is a brillint idea. So far as I know, there's nothing like it in wildest Somerset, so I rang up Edinburgh. Thanks for telling us about it, Nicola.

Nicola Morgan said...

Sue - that's amazing of you - thank you so much!

Cat and Elaine - I so agree.

Christina said...

I am running the Children's Book Tree in Cheltenham at the Waterstone's on the Promenade (this scheme was originally set up by my sister). We are working with Gloucestershire Young Carers and Stonham who provide supported housing to teenagers, a domestic violence refuge and loads of other support services to families in Cheltenham. It's going well but any help to spread the word amongst Cheltonians would be brilliant. There's a facebook group - Children's Book Tree, Cheltenham

Thank you!

Linda Strachan said...

It was a lovely launch at Blackwells. The Christmas book tree is such a great idea.
There were quite a number of children's authors there and Julie had baked some delicious lemon drizzle cake - I loved her elf costume - there were mince pies and much merriment - shame you missed it, Nicola!

BTW There is a facebook page -
The Children's Book Tree, Edinburgh.

Stroppy Author said...

Borders used to do this in Cambridge. I'll go to Blackwells and see if they've picked it up this year in the absence of Borders - and suggest it if they aren't doing it!

Thank you, Nicola.

Julie P said...

It's a wonderful idea, Nicola. We don't have anything like that up my neck of the woods as far as I know. Maybe I should start something! I'm sure one of the local book shops might be interested for next year.


Nicola Morgan said...

I've now heard fgrom several people who have phoned Edinburgh's Blackwells to donate a book after seeing this post - hooray!!

Michelle at Clover Hill Book Reviews said...

What a fantastic idea!

I'm not aware of a similar project in Norfolk...more's the pity.