"Sandy Chisholm's Chanter Lessons" is a novel about a ten year old boy and his friends who take advantage of the arrival in their town of a piper from Scotland to learn how to play the Great Highland Bagpipes. In addition to following the boys to their lessons, the story tells about their adventures in a small town in Nova Scotia in 1958. Read along as the boys experience the thrill of learning to play this ancient instrument, and face heavy snow, dangerous spring floods, bullies, and childhood pranks as they progress through their lessons and prepare to take part in the world famous Antigonish Highland Games, North America's oldest continuous Scottish Braemar.

17 illustrations by Antigonish, N.S area artist, Kate Brown

Editorial Reviews

The Casket, a weekly newspaper published in Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Review by Dr. Ray MacLean, retired Professor of History at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia:

"Set in Antigonish, this story of a young boy who is yearning to play the bagpipes is one that warms the heart.... The countless hours spent in learning to play the chanter and the bagpipes, and the many sacrifices made by parents in helping their children, are quite evident in this well-crafted book.... Sandy's escapades on rafting the river are rivetting; the reader feels the sense of adventure and also feels for the safety of Sandy and his friends.... The author has a remarkable ability to see and describe events through the eyes of a youngster....Adding to the quality of this entertaining book are the superb illustrations of Kate Brown.


Wygent Reeds, Ltd., 46 Saddler Drive, Christiana, PA 17509-9703

This review is from Mark Wygent, of Wygent Reeds, Ltd. Christiana, PA. It was published on the Bagpipe Mailing List on the Internet.

Scott - Thanks for your book! Visit any children's book store and you see inspirational books about young soccer, hockey, or basketball players. What has been written for the young piper? Nothing - until "Sandy Chisholm's Chanter Lessons". Scott Williams has written a charming book to inspire beginning piping students. It's an old-fashioned story of bullies and birls, D-gracenotes and dreams. This novel should be read by or to all young chanter students.

Celtic Heritage, Dec 98/Jan 99 issue

Not Just For Children, Eh? By Marjorie MacHattie

.... This is no children's book. Rather, it is a beautifully illustrated book about children, written in a style that can be universally enjoyed. ... In his book, Williams takes us into a vivid and fertile boyhood fantasy world where the lines between East (the good) and West (the bad) are clearly drawn.... Those of us past our 45th birthday can see in our mind's eyes, a terrified young Sandy, face pale under his freckles, red curls streaming as he flees Andy Gillis's wrath.... "Sandy Chisholm's Chanter Lessons" is a charming story, written by one whose affection for children touches the child in all of us. This book, with Kate Brown's illustrations, is also a valuable historical novel and will make a treasured Christmas gift.

I read "Sandy Chisholm's Chanter Lessons" three times since the start of the school year! On Friday, I took the bus to Halifax and brought it along to read. I encourage you to make a sequel.... And here's the really big news - I'M GETTING MY BAGPIPES! It's true! My mother already ordered them! They should be here by March 1st which would be exactly my birthday! I can't wait to start on my pipes!

James Goldie, Antigonish, NS, age 12, 04/02/2001


Celtic Knot Web Design