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.

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.