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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007, 15:10 GMT
Stevenson novels given away free
Copies of Kidnapped are given away
The scheme hopes to get people reading the classic across the city
Thousands of free copies of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic novel Kidnapped are being handed out across Edinburgh.

About 25,000 copies have been distributed through libraries, schools, cafes and community centres in a scheme to get people reading.

The One Book - One Edinburgh campaign is the biggest literary project in the city since it became the world's first Unesco City of Literature in 2004.

Organisers hope it will boost the city's literary heritage profile.

Books are also being deliberately left in public places to read and pass on, all the time monitored on the internet.

The project has been backed by best-selling crime writer Ian Rankin and First Minister Jack McConnell.

It is wonderful that one book can bring the city together
Lesley Hinds
Lord Provost

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."

The historical novel was first published in 1886 and is set in 1751, one of the most turbulent periods in Scotland's history.

The classic tale of teenager Davie Balfour's adventures was chosen for the scheme because of its appeal to children and adults, and its strong ties with the city of Edinburgh.

Copies of the three editions of the book, the paperback of the original text, a specially-commissioned graphic novel and a simplified version for younger readers, have been given away free to schools, libraries and coffee shops.

Graphic novel

A simplified version and a Scots language version of the graphic novel went on sale on Thursday.

More than 30 associated events, from drama workshops to family fun days, will also take place over the month.

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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