Lavinia Derwent

Out of print

Quick Look

The first of four books about life on the tiny west coast island of Sula and the adventures of Magnus Macduff.

198 x 130 mm
Floris Books
Age Range:
From 8 to 12 years
144 pages
Publication date:
24 Feb 2005


The island of Sula is the whole world to Magnus Macduff. He loves every inch of it and knows all the animals and birds. Magnus is not like the other children on the island. Often, instead of going to school, he makes his way up the shore to visit Old Whiskers the seal, or up Heathery Hill to sit with Mr Skinnymalink the hermit in his cave.

Magnus is afraid that Mr Murray, the new teacher on the island, will spoil his fun. But Mr Murray is nervous too. He is an outsider. Life threatens to become difficult for both of them -- until Mr Murray discovers that Magnus has a wonderful gift for drawing, "seals, birds, dogs - so fresh and life-like that the creatures seem to be crawling across the arithmetic book."

Sula is the first of four books about life on this tiny west coast island and the adventures of Magnus Macduff.


'Sula, by an old favourite of mine, Lavinia Derwent, sees the first of four classic books set on the fictional west coast Isle of Sula -- books that will open the minds and imaginations of 10 to 12-year-olds.'
-- Greenock Telegraph, June 2005

'I thought this book gave a good idea about life on the island. A good read for 10-13 year olds.'
-- Kit, age 12, Education Otherwise

'The story of Magnus and his new teacher's changing relationship amid new difficulties on the island is skilfully and sensitively told.'
-- Woman Alive, April 2005

'Lavinia Derwent involves her young readers closely with the characters in Sula and keeps them on tenterhooks for the next adventure.'
-- Books in Scotland

'Suited to readers in the later primary stages, this novel employs an unusual blending of whimsical fun and quite stark realism. There is strength and originality in the portrayal of changing relationships between Magnus and his inexperienced teacher.'
-- Treasure Islands: A guide to Scottish fiction for young readers aged 10-14, Summer 2003


Lavinia Derwent is famous for her ability to capture the imagination of Scottish children. Her tales about Tammy Troot, read on Auntie Kathleen's Children's Hour on Scottish Radio, were voted the best stories on radio by nearly five million children. The other three books in the Sula series are also available from Floris Books.


Also in the Sula series:
Return to Sula
The Boy From Sula
Song of Sula

Don't miss the Discover Kelpies website for children with exclusive author interviews, fun stuff and latest gossip on your favourite Scottish stories.

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