The Chessmen Thief Book Launch and Competition

Western Isles Libraries, along with eSgoil and Museum & Tasglann nan Eilean, were thrilled to help with the launch of Barbara Henderson’s latest book, The Chessmen Thief, inspired by the Lewis Chessmen.

The book, a thrilling historical adventure story about 12-year old Kylan, and his struggle to escape from his Norse captors and return to his home in Lewis, is published by the locally based publishers, Cranachan Books.

As part of the launch, Barbara visited Museum nan Eilean to chat to Archivist Seonaid MacDonald about the collection of Lewis Chessmen held in the Stornoway museum.

Along with the book launch, a competition was run, challenging children to dress up as one of the chessmen, mimicking the poses and facial expressions of some of the wonderful chess pieces in the collection.  Schools from across the Western Isles and the mainland entered with a fantastic collection of intimidating and dramatic poses.

Stornoway Primary won the local prize for their entries, while Sgoile Bhaile a Mhanaich won the overall prize.

The book launch can still be viewed on e-Sgoil’s webpage for The Chessmen Thief where you can also see Archivist, Seonaid McDonald talking about the chess pieces in the local museum’s collection and telling us which one is her favourite.

The Chessmen Thief is Barbara’s sixth book for children. Her other novels for children include Fir for Luck (2016), Punch (2017), Wilderness Wars (2018) and Black Water (2019). She is also a puppeteer and drama teacher, living in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland.

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