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

Friday, 20 January 2012

The Book is Dead? Not at THIS School!

An excerpt from the Reader's Cup - taken with my mobile phone!

I was thrilled when Thomas' Day School in Battersea (London) invited me to be their guest for their Readers' Cup Challenge, in which each house fielded a team of readers to compete in a quiz featuring three books.


The books were Trash by Andy Mulligan, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe by Penelope Lively, and Tall Story by me!

The teams valiantly read the books over the Christmas holidays. The atmosphere in the school auditorium was electric - children were cheering for their houses, headmaster Ben Thomas himself acted as quiz master and librarian Catherine Kmet kept score. A hundred points to win with every correct answer. And a hundred points to lose with every wrong one! Fingers on the buzzer!

Headmaster Ben Thomas conducts the challenge
Someone awesome brilliantly set up a complex technological feast of a show - with buzzers, spotlights and at the very end, an explosion of confetti over the competitors. The featured books were beautifully introduced before each round of questions. In between rounds, the audience got to answer random questions about books.

My goodness, aren't they tall! Or am I shrinking?

Schools, take note! What a terrific way to celebrate reading!


  1. Wow, I'd love to be a kid and take part in this, and what a great idea to take back to school!

  2. Who says children don't enjoy books! This is just wonderful. What a fantastic school to go

  3. What a great idea! That looked like loads of fun, Candy.

  4. Any school can do it like this! Mind you Thomas' had a really exciting stage set up - I didn't manage to get the name of the IT whiz behind the buzzers and the confetti but congrats from one geek to another!

  5. I have to say it was very exciting to hear the quiz questions about Tall Story ... I wouldn't have been able to answer half of them because it's been a while since I've been close to the detail of the book.

  6. We'll be doing something like this in our Book Club (grades 4-6) :) Thanks for inspiring me with this post!

  7. That's terrific, Jers! Good luck with it! I'm thinking of building a quiz into my school visits ... although you can't guarantee that children have read your book before you go there.

  8. Dear Candy, It was a real treat that you were there to share the fun with us. It made the pupils very proud, particularly when answering questions about 'Tall Story'. Thank you so much for coming!

  9. Hi there! The pics are lovely and the competition seemed to be very interesting! Thanks for your post and for your books! Well done.


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