David Fickling Books, 2018
On this shortlist:
Candy Gourlay was born in the Philippines and grew up with 2 sisters and 3 brothers. She always loved reading and knew from being very young that she wanted to be an author.
Candy became a journalist covering an important time in the Philippines – the people overthrew a cruel dictator in what came to be known as the ‘People Power Revolution’. In the midst of the revolution, she met her husband, who was English. With him, she moved to London and had 3 children.
When her children were older, Candy finally fulfilled her dream of becoming an author – she entered a competition called Undiscovered Voices, and she won! This led to her books being published, and she has now written several books for children.
Samkad dreams of becoming a mighty headhunter like his father, carrying his own weapons and etching tattoos across his chest to proclaim his greatness as a warrior. His best friend is a girl his age, Little Luki, and Little Luki wants to become a mighty warrior too... except in their culture, girls don't grow up to become warriors. The two friends have no idea about the world outside their isolated mountain village until a boy from the Lowlands turns up... a boy who can speak many tongues and who tells stories about the world outside that seem ridiculous and unbelievable especially the part about invaders called ‘Americans’ who are coming to take over the village.
Candy wanted her books to represent her own past and heritage – she never saw herself reflected in the books she read as a child, so she set about changing that when she became an author.
Candy’s debut novel, Tall Story, was nominated for many prestigious prizes, including the Carnegie Medal and the Waterstones Book Prize.
While she was at school, Candy became famous for decorating the teachers’ blackboards with chalk drawings.
Before becoming an author, Candy had lots of other jobs – including drawing a weekly cartoon strip for a women’s magazine.
She knew from being 6 years old that she wanted to be an author, and read every book she could get her hands on.
Hamza from Southfield Grange Campus:
Rakia from Southfield Grange Campus:
Diana from Southfield Grange Campus:
Miss Busby from Corpus Christi Catholic College:
Anna from corpus christi catholic college: