A Cool Review for Shine in the Guardian

Shine by Candy Gourlay
'A precious and important novel that also explores exile from neighbours, family and country. The book is about reinvention and the faces we present to the world, whether it be in person, on a postcard or on the internet, all wrapped up in an exciting and perfectly paced story with a disturbing and dramatic climax.'
Philip Ardagh, The Guardian
Read the review

Sunday, 23 November 2014

POSTCARDS: to Spike, sixth graders of Beacon School, and year sevens of Ellis Guilford


Dear Spike


Dear Spike,

I'm sorry this postcard is so late. My life is a little bit crazy. I just want to thank you properly for sending me this picture of a crocodile and a dodo. My husband got really excited when he saw it - but he can't have it because you sent it to ME! I used to visit the stuffed dodo at the Natural History Museum and stand in front of it for AGES imagining what a walking, squawking dodo would have been like. It made me sad to realise that it was extinct. And then I read the small print on the glass case and realised that the stuffed dodo was just a replica! We used to have a LOT of crocodiles in the Philippines. Now not anymore. But when found, they are MASSIVE.

A crocodile found in the Philippines in the 1920s ... but check out this one captured in 2011 and this one.

Thank you for sending me your beautiful drawing. I am going to frame it and hang it up on my wall. Love, Candy

SPIKE | BEACON SCHOOL | ELLIS GUILFORD

Dear Sixth Graders of Beacon School
in Manila




Dear Beacon sixth graders,

I was looking at that photo I took of you guys during my visit last September and wistfully remembering how much fun we had. Just then I got Facebooked by your teacher, Trixie. She said you'd all been working on projects and here were a few pictures. OMG - you guys must have been working SO hard! I love all the care and thinking that you put into your projects. And I loved how you took quotations from my book and reflected on them in so many different ways. I am so proud of what you created that I made this Slideshare to show your work off. I hope your parents and teachers are proud of you too.  Oh the amazing things children like you can do! Keep on reading! Love, Candy (and thanks again, Trixie, for sharing these photos with me!)

SPIKE | BEACON SCHOOL | ELLIS GUILFORD

Dear Year Sevens of Ellis Guilford School
in Nottingham


Dear Year Sevens of Ellis Guilford School,

I had a wonderful two days visiting your school last week. Hey, I LOVE your new school uniforms ... you all look so smart and stylish! It made me wonder if I'd remembered to comb my hair. You've got such a big school and it's a credit to your librarians, Ms Davison and Ms Greasby that I managed to meet EVERY SINGLE ONE of the 12 Year Seven classes. Phew!

Ms Davison with the work of one class. The wall was festooned with Philippine flags and suitcases (under flags) packed with ideas from Tall Story.

Now is there some kind of magic ingredient in your school puddings?  You guys were just the right mixture of enthusiastic and well behaved during my sessions - I didn't have to burst into tears even once! - and you asked such terrific questions, I was still thinking of them on the train journey home. (To the boy who wanted to know how I met my husband, I'm sorry we didn't have time to answer the question but it is such a funny story I made a comic about it - here it is: An Affair to Sort of Remember)

Before I raced off to catch my train, Ms Davison and I rushed around to see the work you'd done on Tall Story. I loved them - especially the height charts! I used to be one of the tallest girls in my class, now I'm smaller than some of you. Hmm. I also loved the models you made of London. I was sorry not to be able to visit all the classrooms.

7D's height chart which reveals that Mr. Smith is almost half Bernardo's height!
London landmarks
Downing Street
The Shard
Tower Bridge
So funny to see this wall display - sadly, Andi's head needed a transplant!

I know some of you are still reading Tall Story. I hope you like it. Make sure you show this postcard to your parents so that they can be proud of your work and how wonderful you made me feel.

Keep on reading! Love, Candy (and thank you, Katherine and Claire for your supreme biscuit hospitality and organisation)

SPIKE | BEACON SCHOOL | ELLIS GUILFORD

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