Keep Your Young ‘Uns Enlightened and Entertained!

BooksfromScotland will be sharing online resources from our brilliant educational and childrens’ publishers. Here, we shine a spotlight on the brilliant Bright Red and Barrington Stoke.

As we spend our days indoors during the COVID-19 measures, BooksfromScotland will be sharing online resources from our brilliant educational and childrens’ publishers. Here, we shine a spotlight on the brilliant Bright Red and Barrington Stoke.


Bright Red Publishing

Bright Red publish the brightest, freshest study guides and course books for Scottish Qualifications Authority exams. Easy-to-use and with plenty of exam hints and tips, their books offer the best study and revision support for BGE, National 4 & 5, CfE Higher & Advanced Higher courses.

They’ve just released a BGE Level 3 Mathematics Course Book, and you can see below for a colourful sample.

There are more samples of all of their guides on their website. As well as samples, BrightRed host the Bright Red Digital Zone, a fully interactive online resource for teachers and pupils. All Digital Zone material is completely free to use and works well on its own or in conjunction with their study guides. With over 100, 000 active users and 1.5 million tests taken, it uses the very latest technology to help students learn in the most rewarding way possible.

Visit Bright Red’s website here.


Barrington Stoke

The multi-award-winning Barrington Stoke is a small, independent and award-winning children’s publisher. For over 20 years we’ve been pioneering super-readable, dyslexia-friendly fiction to help every child become a reader. Their books are written by some of our biggest bestselling, award-winning authors, including Michael Murpurgo, Malorie Blackman, Andy Staton, Julia Donaldson and many more. One of their latest books is Tanya Landmann’s brilliant retelling of Jane Eyre. The author tells BooksfromScotland about this project here.

And here’s an extract.

I was not loved.

I was not wanted.

I did not belong.

I lived with my aunt and cousins, but I was not welcome in their house. My parents had died when I was a baby, and my uncle took me in. He didn’t live much longer than they had. I don’t remember any of them.

My strange story starts on a wet winter’s day.

There was no chance of taking a walk, and I was glad of it. I never liked being out with my cousins. They had rosy cheeks, golden hair, and brimmed with the kind of confidence only money can buy. They would stride ahead as we walked, and I’d be stomping along in their shadows. I was small, shabby, and the nursemaid nagged me at every step. The chilly air bit deep into my bones, but what bit even deeper was knowing I was disliked.
That clamped its teeth right down into my soul.

The wind blew so hard that wet winter’s day the rain fell sideways. No one dared set foot outdoors. My cousins were in the drawing room, clustered around their dear mama. She lay on the sofa, basking in the fire’s warmth like a well‑fed pig.

I’d been told to go away. I was banished from their company for some sin or other, I don’t know what. I asked my aunt what I’d done wrong, but that just made things worse. Children were not meant to question their elders, my aunt said. It was unnatural. Odd. Children were meant to be cheerful and charming. And if they could not be cheerful and charming, they should at least be silent.

Very well, I thought. I walked into the next room and shut the door behind me. I took a book from the shelf, climbed on to the window seat and pulled the curtains across so I was hidden from sight.

I was all right until my cousin John came looking for me.

John was fourteen years old. He’d been kept home from school these last few weeks because his mother feared he’d been exhausting himself. My aunt adored her son John: he was an angel fallen to earth in her eyes. A genius with the soul of a poet and the heart of a saint. Never has a mother been so mistaken.

John was a selfish bully who cared little for his mother and less for his sisters. I was his one passion. He hated me. John attacked me not two or three times a week, or once or twice a day, but continually. I was four years younger and half his size. Every nerve in my body feared him. Every inch of my flesh shrank whenever he came near.

I heard the door open and I froze. John was not intelligent or observant. He wouldn’t have seen me at all if one of his sisters hadn’t pointed out my hiding place. He came in, ordered me from the window seat and demanded, ‘What were you doing?’

‘Reading,’ I replied.

‘Show me the book.’

I placed it in his hands.

‘You’ve no right to take our books!’ John said. ‘You’re an orphan, a beggar! You’ve no money. You should be on the streets, not living here at Gateshead, eating our food, wearing clothes my mother has paid for. I’ll teach you your place. Go and stand over there, by the door.

Barrington Stoke have a learning resource to match Tanya Landmann’s Jane Eyre here.

The Barrington Stoke website is also chockful of free online resources for teachers, parents and pupils. Find out more here.

Visit Barrington Stoke’s website here.


For more information on free online resources, follow the #UnitedByBooks hashtag. This marvellous #UnitedByBooks project is coordinated between Scottish Book Trust, BookTrust, Authorfy and Coram Beanstalk.

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