Cover of The The Bagpiper's Ghost by Jane Yolen

Tartan Magic: The Bagpiper’s Ghost

The Tartan Magic series:

The third book in the Tartan Magic series. An American family comes to Scotland for the summer and immediately falls into magic. The setting is in Fairburn, a made-up city that feels a lot like St. Andrews where my husband and I spend our summers. (But don’t tell anyone.) There’s a pair of twins, a dour talking dog who speaks in Scottish dialect, a feisty grandmother, a ghostly woman in white and her ghostly and ghastly brother. and I’ve appended a helpful glossary of Scottish words in the back of the book. This follows THE WIZARD’S MAP and THE PICTISH CHILD but can be read on its own.

janecath2I used bits of the story of the Lady in White, a ghost of St Andrews Cathedral, and bits of the story of the ghostly bagpiper from The Scores–another street in St Andrews–as a basis for this book. Here I am sitting in the very graveyard that the St Andrews ghost is said to haunt. Of course it is daylight, so no ghosts.

What reviewers have said:

  • “The story stands alone and is rich enough in ghosts and magic to please readers of Susan Cooper’s Boggart tales or younger Berry Ren Wright fans.” — Kirkus
  • “Passages of this book beg to be read aloud with the appropriate accent; there’s a useful glossary but no pronunciation guides. Suggest books in the series to children deterred by the length of Harry Potter’s adventures.” — Booklist
  • “Yolen has once again given us a fine new series of fantasy stories. Set in Scotland and populated by American children and Scottish family members, the story includes an old wizard and a member of the oldest race in Scotland. . . . a quick and enjoyable read.” -Kliatt
  • “Delightful”–SF Chronicle