AN AUTHOR has penned a children’s book – based in Drumchapel – which tackles the topic of refugees through a 12-year-old Syrian girl called Reema.

Victoria Williamson’s debut novel “The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle” tells the story of the growing friendship between an unlikely pair.

Refugee Reema’s family resettle in Drumchapel and the girl becomes close with Glaswegian school bully Caylin, who is struggling to cope as a young carer to her mother.

It’s a story of friendship despite cultural and language differences and finding a sense of belonging, having been inspired by Victoria’s experience of working in special needs and latterly teaching.

The writer is visiting around 50 schools in the area – including Bankhead and Corpus Christi primary schools – and will finish her book tour at Blairdardie Primary School on Thursday, June 21.

Speaking about her inspiration, the 39-year-old said: “I used to be a primary teacher at a school that had a lot of asylum seekers in it.

“These were kids who were coming here looking for safety. I was also teaching kids who were just having a hard time in Scotland.”

She also spoke about why she decided to base the story in “Drumhill” – a fictional version of Drumchapel.

“My grandparents were in Drumchapel,” she said. “It’s nice memories of going out and playing in Ledmore Drive, playing in the park and going to the ice cream van or going to the canal. All of those memories are in the book.”

The Scottish Refugee Council will receive 20 per cent of the author’s royalties and Victoria said the reaction from young people in the area to the topic of refuge and asylum has been positive.

She said: “The kids have seen it on the news and are not entirely sure what is going on, but when they see it through the eyes of a character in a novel, they understand it a lot more.

“It’s about empathy as well, seeing the world through the eyes of a refugee character and someone growing up in Drumchapel.

“The kids have really engaged with the activities and learning about what refugees are going through.”

The children have looked at issues refugees face, such as items they would need to take when leaving home or the reaction they face in the press.

Victoria revealed the whole experience has been extremely rewarding, when She added: “It’s been amazing going into bookshops and seeing it on the shelves.

“It’s been brilliant going into the schools and talking about writing and refugee issues.”