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

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Gr8 Book Debate - a message from me

By Candy Gourlay

I was thrilled to hear that Shine was one of the five books chosen for The Gr8 Book Debate, held between Ridgeway School and Sixth Form College, Isambard Community School and Nova Hreod Academy, all in Swindon. Here is a quick message to spur the debaters on for the grand finale on 6 July 2016. Thanks to LRC managers Sarah Day, Stella Rogers and Jacqui Fawcett for the heads up. Have an amazing time, everyone!


And ... Shine won!

Woo hoo! thank you to the young people who read and discussed the books, including: The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle, Cowboy by GI Gemin, Shine by me, Smart by . And thanks to Book Trust who supplied the titles! Here are some tweets from Isambard School on the day (and an incredibly impressive video - love the part where they announce that Shine won and you hear groans from the dissenters!). So glad there's a video, it's almost as if I was there!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Fun Ways to Teach Tommy Donbavand's Scream Street

By Candy Gourlay

So my friend, the author Tommy Donbavand, is having a terrible, terrible time at the moment. His illness means he's had to cancel all his school visits, which is the bread and butter of children's authors.

Tommy has to be one of the most impressive figures in the UK children's book scene. He's got a majestic output -- he wrote the Scream Street books on which the CBBC TV series is based, he's written a Doctor Who book, he has written for Beano, and has written plenty of other hilarious, creepy, scary books that children love.

Not only that, Tommy used to be a CLOWN.

I will let that sink in.

Anyway, this being the generous and kind world of KidLit, children's book people have got together to help Tommy out with a book tour. I signed up immediately of course, even though the last time I saw Tommy, he threatened me with his werewolf's claw ...

Then wrapped me in toilet paper.

He's just that kind of guy.

Monday, 27 June 2016

One Immigrant's Story

By Candy Gourlay

Last week's referendum has revealed us to be a divided society here in Britain. Watching jubilant Leave voters on TV explaining that they wanted to rid the country of immigrants is not easy for someone who is exactly that.

Oddly enough, when I arrived in this country as a blushing bride twenty-seven long years ago, the thing that most astonished me about the UK was its incredible diversity.

We moved here from Manila, which at the time was pretty homogenous - my English husband and I suffered catcalls and rude comments because my fellowmen assumed that  any Filipina in the company of a Westerner had to be a prostitute. What a relief to move to multicultural North London where not an eyelash was batted at our two-tone relationship.

Having grown up in the Philippines where my only exposure to Brits was of the cinematic kind, I expected the UK's denizens to speak in round, well enunciated syllables ... the men pale and foppish like Michael York or dark and villainous like Oliver Reed, all the little children sweetly singing 'Whe-heh-heh-her is love?', and all the women twinkling like Vanessa Redgrave in Camelot.