“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” C.S. Lewis

Author Candy Gourlay holds dual British and Filipino citizenship but always describes herself as “A Filipino author living in London”. She is the author of Tall Story, in which the Philippines and London get equal billing. Her second book, Shine, does not identify the country that her mysterious island of Mirasol is set in, but her heroine is a British girl of mixed race who can live an easier life in the UK but chooses to live on the island where her life is in danger. 

Web Candy Gourlay

  • Candy is involved in a development scheme devoted to making minority voices heard in British Children’s literature. There is just one month left in which to apply. Check out Megaphone here megaphonewrite.com



What in the World is a Diverse Author?
by Candy Gourlay

Several times now, teachers and librarians here in the UK have asked me to recommend diverse authors like myself to perform author visits to their schools.

I always oblige, with a list of lovely author friends who I can guarantee will give them a good show … but it does give me pause to be called a “Diverse Author”.

What in the world is a Diverse Author?

Am I a Diverse Author because of the colour of my skin? Am I a Diverse Author because I am an “other” in a country of mainly Anglo-Saxon extraction (which by the way is debatable)?

Am I a Diverse Author because my books feature characters that might look like me, in settings that might look like the places I’ve lived in?

Am I a Diverse Author because my books reflect cultures that are unfamiliar to my host publisher’s context?

Is it because in Britain, I am BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnicity)? In America, I am a POC (Person of Color)? Which makes my children “Biracial” in the United States or “Mixed Race” in the United Kingdom (Ugh! I hate those two words so steeped in colour coding and not in humanity – I prefer Verna Wilkinsterm: “Dual Heritage”)?

Shine by Candy Gourlay

Many years ago I sent out my first attempt at a novel to universal rejection. One of the agents who read my manuscript got back to me with many compliments. She liked my idea, loved the characters and the humour, the little twist in the end, etc. etc. With every compliment, I sank deeper into despair. If she liked it so much, why did she reject my book?

She said since this would have been my debut novel, and it would have been difficult to sell this as my debut because I was Filipino.

You see, I had set the novel in England with English characters. Deliberately. Because all my research had made it eminently clear to me that apart from a few exceptions, there were no brown faces on the covers of books on display in libraries and bookstores. To get published, I was willing to hide behind the anonymity of my husband’s English surname.

When I give talks I simplify this story. I say I learned one thing from that agent. It’s not just “Write What You Know” … it’s “Write Who You Are”. Her advice gave me the courage to writing Filipino characters into my books.

Write Who You Are has been interpreted in many ways.

One could take it as a call to shed all inhibition and truly put your soul into your story.

In one of the stages of mythic structure, the hero must “seize the sword”.  This I duly did. Except to Write Who You Are, you seize the sword by the blade and not the handle – because one’s soul is a delicate thing filled with pain that one would prefer to leave hidden in the shadows.

To seize the sword, I wrote another novel (still unpublished) that explored what it was like to be left behind by a parent, based on the devastation I experienced when my own father left our family behind to work abroad (like 11 per cent of the population in the Philippines … but that’s another story).

One could also interpret Write Who You Are as linking your book to your own story as a good marketing platform. But this is not good writing advice and I don’t think this was what the agent meant.

Write Who You Are could also be interpreted to mean: cast characters who look like you.

Pink-skinned authors have always written a veritable rainbow of characters. It’s fully acceptable for a white author to write about African children or Asian characters or even Chinese fairy tales. But the path is narrower for an author who is “Other”. The disconnect between writer and written becomes more pronounced when one comes from a minority background.

But this is not why I cast Filipinos in my books. I am not writing to be inclusive or to correct an imbalance or any of the other reasons that people cite when they discuss the need for Diversity in Literature. No, diversity is not my promotion strategy.

It troubles me that Diversity is creating tick-boxes. Here let’s put a disabled character. How about a trans book to balance this publishing list? Have we covered Asian-paraplegic-autistic savant yet?

So many labels and yet the world is such a crazy cornucopia – race, social status, sex, culture, religion, etc etc etc. There is diversity in diversity and each individual in him or herself is diverse! The ticking of boxes is not good writing.

I wrote a piece the other day called The Many Faces of Diversity. I wanted to show that this vexed aspiration, Diversity — which is dominated in the media by American concerns about racism — has many, many interpretations around the world. I concluded the article with this piece of advice for writers:

The best story, the one that will captivate readers, should be built on truth and not on agenda.

I always describe myself as “A Filipino author living in London”, even though I’m British, enjoy Radio 4, watch rugby, eat Fish and Chips, and have lived longer now in Britain than in the Philippines. I love my chosen home, but my soul was shaped in the Philippines and
it is important to me to be identified as Filipino. Write who you are.

7412951I write Filipino characters not because I want to be a Diverse Author but because I’m BURSTING with stories that are inspired by my heritage. I feel an URGENCY to share these stories – it’s an urge even more powerful than the urgency to share something extraordinary you’ve discovered on social media.

I just can’t help myself.

Don’t get me wrong. I am happy to be called a Diverse Author in the United Kingdom and to refer educators to other so-called diverse authors.

But in a perfect world the term wouldn’t even exist. Because to me, diversity should not be about being different or about representing difference, it’s the way the world is. It’s a given. And if we authors are truly writing well, all our books would be diverse.

The truth is: all GOOD authors are diverse.

With thanks to Luna’s Little Library for celebrating Diversity Month so thoughtfully.


Luna: Thank you for taking part!


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Marieke Nijkamp was born and raised in the Netherlands. A lifelong student of stories, language, and ideas, she is more or less proficient in about a dozen languages and holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies. She is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. Her debut young adult novel This Is Where It Ends, a contemporary story that follows four teens over the course of the fifty-four minutes of a school shooting, will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in January 2016.

She is the founder of DiversifYA and a senior VP of We Need Diverse Books. Find her on Twitter.

On Invisibility
by Marieke Nijkamp

Here’s what you do not see when you look at me:
The dreams I hold closest to my heart,
The words with which I interpret the world,
The stories I’m telling in the back of my mind,
Not yet ready to share.
The braces that hold my joints together:
Knees, ankles, elbows, wrists.

Here’s what you do not see when you look at me:
The hope I cling to,
The stubbornness on bad days,
The defiance on good,
The nine pills I took this morning to be able.
The eight (at least) I’ve still to take.

Here’s what you do not see when you look at me:
The fear I’ve learned to hide,
The anxiety I’ve learned to hide,
The stimming I’ve learned to hide,
The pain I’ve learned to hide.

Here’s what you do not want to see when you look at me:
The cane I used for more than a decade,
(Lucky, my arms hurt too much these days)
The scars, the tears, the difference.
The scars, the tears, the difference.
The scars, the tears, the difference.

The pride with which I carry them all.

Here’s who you do not see when you look at me.






10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won’t open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival..

Expected publication:
January 5th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire

Pre-order This Is Where It Ends here:

Amazon.co.uk …………. Amazon.com ………… Book Depository

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24926015How did I get the book?
I bought it

Genre: Contemporary / LGBTQIA

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

200words (or less) review: I love this book. Go read it. It’ll make you happy. Yeah ok… reviews should probably have more contents.

Simon loves Oreos and Harry Potter, he also thinks he might be falling in love with Blue. The mysterious boy he’s been corresponding with via email. Only now one of his classmates has found out about him and Blue and his using it to blackmail Simon into helping him.

Becky Albertalli has written completely real characters. Simon might as well have been sitting next to me telling me his story (I would have bought Oreos). I loved him and his friends for being so believable. Simon isn’t Mr Perfect, he judges just as he fears he’ll be judged but that is part of why Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is so wonderful, hence the book-love-gushing.

I’m pretty sure Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is going to be one of my favourite books of 2015.

Recommend it?

Sunshine Star

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El Deafo by Cece Bell

20701984How did I get the book? I bought it

Genre: Graphic Novel / Memoir

Synopsis: Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.

Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school–in the hallway…in the teacher’s lounge…in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different… and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?

This funny perceptive graphic novel memoir about growing up hearing impaired is also an unforgettable book about growing up, and all the super and super embarrassing moments along the way.

200words (or less) review: El Deafo is the memoir of Cece Bell, she narrates her story in the form of a graphic novel – which is beautifully drawn and colourful.

From the age of 4 (following an illness) Cece is deaf. El Deafo is her story of growing up dealing new schools, friendships and her sonic hearing aid. This book gives you an excellent insight into the emotions Cece went through. Learning lip-reading, the assumption that ‘louder’ means she’ll be able to hear the TV, radio or the person better. Most of all though that minefield of trying to find friends.

I read El Deafo in one sitting, loving each new page. For me there is no age on this book, I think it’s suitable (and educational) for everyone.

Recommend it?


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23257134How did I get the book? I bought it

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: Meet Piotr, Minnie, Andrew, Flora and Sylvia – true friends and even better mystery-solvers!

Hollywood sensation, Betty Massino, has come to star in the theatre down the road and Piotr and his friends Andrew and Minnie couldn’t be more excited! But when the famous actress’s hugely expensive diamond necklace goes missing, Piotr’s dad, a security guard at the theatre, is a prime suspect. Soon, Piotr faces the very real threat of being sent ‘home’ to Poland. With the help of Sylvie and her twin sister Flora, can Piotr, Andrew and Minnie solve the crime or will they lose Piotr forever? The first in a fantastic new series filled with friendship, adventure and mystery!

Perfect for fans of Lauren St John, this is THE new mystery adventure series by Waterstones Book Prize shortlisted author Elen Caldecott.

200words (or less) review: Diamonds and Daggers is the first in Elen Caldecott’s new Marsh Road Mysteries. There are five children Piotr, Minnie, Andrew, Flora and Sylvia and each book will focus on one of them. This one is Piotr’s story and it is also how Piotr, Minnie and Andrew meet twins Flora and Sylvia.

It’s a good mystery and engaging read. Each character has a very distinct personality and I think readers will want to continue with the series – I do.

On another level Diamonds and Daggers deals with racism. Piotr’s father is the security guard at the theatre and made the suspect. He is sent home on questionable evidence. How easily Piotr’s father is dismissed by the theatre staff is saddening but not surprising.

I think the fun and adventure of the mystery is balanced very well with this. I hope the other Marsh Road Mysteries are just as good.

Recommend it?


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ACcrompressedcropA British-American citizen of Italian heritage, Alexia is an editor, teacher and writing consultant. After studying psychology then educational technology at Cambridge, she moved to New York to work on a Tony-award-winning Broadway show before completing a PhD and teaching qualification. In between, she worked as a West End script-critic, box-office manager for a music festival and executive editor of a human rights journal. Alexia has always wanted a Dragon; luckily, she has her very own rib in a pot…

@AlexiaCasale  ……….  www.alexiacasale.com

Diversity, visibility and equality

Visibility is a hugely important issue in diversity, but isn’t a simple one. It seems obvious that when people’s difference is visible they will suffer more from bigots than when it’s not visible; after all, if difference is invisible then the bigots won’t know to pick on you. But it’s not that simple.

If difference isn’t visible, but we make it so, then there’s often an assumption that that is a choice made freely and in acceptance of the fact that we are putting ourselves in the way of discrimination. It doesn’t make us responsible for bigots being bigoted but it makes us responsible for making ourselves visible to them as different, right?

‘I get what you’re driving at,’ you might say, ‘but a choice is a choice. It’s nice to even have one.’

Yes, it is. But it’s not simple.

Is it a simple and free choice to put away a walking stick when you arrive at someone’s door so, while they might see something off about your balance, they won’t know it’s because walking is hard? Is it a choice to show affection to your same-sex partner in public? Is it a choice to dress in a way that might indicate (purposefully or otherwise) something about your sexual orientation and/or gender identity?

It is possible not to do these things, but the minute we say something is more problematic because it’s visible no matter what you do, we put the impetus on people whose difference is visibly ‘escapable’ to escape it or face the consequences. ‘You don’t have to face bigotry if you don’t choose to – you’ve got the option to duck it today and tomorrow and the day after. You have a choice and I haven’t.’

Yes, to a point this is true.

But it’s not that simple. It is difficult to be different in a way that everyone will always see. But the blame that often attaches to difference that people can choose to make visible or invisible is also difficult. I don’t think one is necessarily worse than the other, at least in the abstract, it’s just different. And complicated.

It’s not simple.

And the more you look at the issue, the more complicated it is. For some people, visibility changes over time – whether they choose it to or not (e.g. when a mobility issue deteriorates). It’s complicated whether you announce a label or whether you’re silent. It’s complicated whether people draw their own conclusions and whether you hang your own labels about your neck and whether you fight against the labels other people put there. It’s complicated to try to determine yourself and how you’re seen and talked about. Identity is complicated. Visibility is complicated. It’s all really complicated whether any kind of choice is involved or not.

People are entitled to be who they are, whether who they are is visible or not and irrespective of their choices about visibility. That is what diversity should be about because diversity should be about equality.

And, yes, the world isn’t equal. We don’t stand on level ground. But we won’t level the ground or make our world more equal by cutting people up and putting their parts into labelled pots and then putting those pots on a ladder labelled ‘most unequal’. While we’re doing that, we’re arguing among ourselves – among those who already believe that all difference is valuable and important. We’re forgetting that the end goal is equality.

And here’s the point where I expect people will start to say ‘Well, what right do you have to weigh in on all of this? How are you disadvantaged? What are your diversity credentials?’

And I am going to refuse to answer. I am deeply uncomfortable talking from a personal platform. I should not need to prove my worth or worthiness. I shouldn’t have to turn myself inside-out to show everyone my diversity labels (X% this, Y% that, with A, B and C in the mix – am I enough to qualify?) unless I want to bring that information into what I have to say. I shouldn’t have to trade my privacy to raise myself above stinging comments about my right to speak. We should all have a voice because we’re all human.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong (or right) about speaking from a personal platform. I’m just saying it’s wrong for me. It would take away my dignity because I would feel undignified sharing stuff I don’t want to share. Oh the luxury of that invisibility. But it’s not a luxury when you feel you have to choose between silence and exposing what you view as private so you can be afforded basic human respect. People don’t have a right to know things about me before they’re willing to hear my voice. I’m a person. That should be enough.

Role models are vital and so is representation but we mustn’t – we really mustn’t – force people to be role models or to personally represent unless they’ve chosen that. People should be able to put their personal stories out there to help others and help us, as a society, move towards more equal values and ways of living. This should absolutely be encouraged. But equally – equally – people must be able to be personally silent and still be allowed a voice: people must be able to choose privacy and be allowed to fight for equality, including being part of debates about how to achieve that. No one should be dismissed because they won’t put their cards on the table – or because they apparently ‘have no cards’ – because they are equal too.

That’s what equality means. We are all the same – and we are all different. That is what it is to be human. We must see everyone as like us and no one as like us, then we can be equal because no difference is bigger or more important than any other – and neither are any of the things that make us alike.

And this is not to deny that the world is what it is – a disgustingly unequal place where some people have a megaphone and others are effectively muted. Or to deny that it is unproblematic when the powerful seek to speak for those who are denied power rather than listening to them or giving up their platform to redistribute that power. Or that we shouldn’t take care who is representing what and with what advantages – and with what motivations, especially when to do with profit. Or that some types of representation just aren’t afforded opportunities to be seen and heard. Or that representation isn’t complex and potentially dangerous and there must be commitments to listen and learn before speaking…

But none of these things are simple.

So before we tell people that they should shut up and not speak for others, let’s ask ourselves some questions about what we’re assuming about visibility and privacy. Let’s ask whether we have to require people to lay out their ‘credentials’ before they speak so that we can judge whether they’re speaking from the ‘outside’ or the ‘inside’ of the issue at stake and, on that basis, whether they should be speaking at all. I think the only credentials needed are being human. But then I believe in equality. I believe that is really what diversity is about: being different and still being equal.

Even leaving all that aside, shouldn’t everyone be able to speak up about what they believe is right? Shouldn’t men and women be feminists? Shouldn’t we all stand together as human beings? Shouldn’t we all care about marriage equality? No, a person who isn’t disabled shouldn’t start preaching about what it is like to experience disability… but being part of the debate about how to support everyone’s rights? Yes, everyone is eligible to be part of that. And, in any case, how do we know whether a person is speaking from experience or not? Disability isn’t always visible and people sometimes choose not to disclose it. We shouldn’t assume that what we see is all the truth there is. Yes, there are serious issues at stake about dominant groups speaking for less powerful groups, but we don’t always know which group an individual belongs to because visibility is not simple.

There are issues of representation and authority and privacy and all sorts of things at stake, but when we believe in equality we must stand on that principle and let equality coexist with complication. We make the world better by acting with integrity. By living equality. The point shouldn’t be what we see or hear or know when faced with another person: it should be that there is a person before us. Another human being. And whatever their characteristics and identity may be or may appear to be, they are – as we all are – no more or less than each other.

We don’t have to agree on anything except our goal if we can just respect our differences – our diversity – in what we see as the best route to get there. We can passionately disagree but isn’t it more important that we share a drive to make the world equal? Doesn’t that make us more alike than different? And even if it doesn’t, isn’t that the point? We can be complex equal human beings respecting each other for all that is the same and all that isn’t.

THAT is the one bit that should be simple.




Evie’s shattered ribs have been a secret for the last four years. Now she has found the strength to tell her adoptive parents, and the physical traces of her past are fixed – the only remaining signs a scar on her side and a fragment of bone taken home from the hospital, which her uncle Ben helps her to carve into a dragon as a sign of her strength.
Soon this ivory talisman begins to come to life at night, offering wisdom and encouragement in roaming dreams of smoke and moonlight that come to feel ever more real.
As Evie grows stronger there remains one problem her new parents can’t fix for her: a revenge that must be taken. And it seems that the Dragon is the one to take it.

This subtly unsettling novel is told from the viewpoint of a fourteen-year-old girl damaged by a past she can’t talk about, in a hypnotic narrative that, while giving increasing insight, also becomes increasingly unreliable.A blend of psychological thriller and fairytale, The Bone Dragon explores the fragile boundaries between real life and fantasy, and the darkest corners of the human mind.



‘The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.’ Robert Louis Stevenson

Nick hates it when people call him a genius. Sure, he’s going to Cambridge University aged 15, but he says that’s just because he works hard. And, secretly, he only works hard to get some kind of attention from his workaholic father.

Not that his strategy is working.

When he arrives at Cambridge, he finds the work hard and socialising even harder. Until, that is, he starts to cox for the college rowing crew and all hell breaks loose…

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Pete Kalu Author PhotoPete Kalu is a novelist, playwright and poet and has previously won the BBC Playwrights Award, The Voice/Jamaica Information Service Marcus Garvey Scholarship Award and Contact/BBC Dangerous Comedy Prize.

His latest book Being Me (HopeRoad Publishing) is out now.

www.peterkalu.com ……… @peterkalu

Writing about ‘blackness’ –
acting and feeling black regardless of the actual colour of your skin:
Is it possible? And if so, how?

I was sitting recently talking to a philosopher studying a branch of philosophy called phenomenology who suggested it might be impossible for any one human being ever to experience what another human being was experiencing. From that hopeless (and geeky) starting point, let us kick this question around!

White authors can and do write excellently around the idea of what black people might feel when they encounter racism and its effects, especially where the feelings being depicted are those such as exasperation, frustration, despondency, or a will to endure, to overcome. The voices of the characters they create often still sound white – which is not in itself a bad thing since we are in the realm of fiction, not science. Yet I asked myself why.

There are often missing notes the absence of which can tell me it is a white writer not a black writer who is crafting the character. Two of those notes are sublimated rage (which sounds perhaps a little fiercer than it should, but bear with me) and humour.

They say children have a natural sense of justice. If you have ever tried to give one five year old within a family two fish fingers and a sibling who is close in age, three fish fingers, you will know what I mean. All hell breaks loose. Even if the five year does not want the third fish finger it is the justice of the matter that appals them. They understand equal treatment keenly and will express their unhappiness at high volume!

Now drip into that child’s life several weekly moments where they learn they are not equal simply because they are black, then try to imagine the repressed rage, the sense of injustice at such moral irrationality these accumulating instances might foment in a black child.

(You think they are too young to pick up on such colour-coded injustice? Read the black journalist, Gary Younge’s piece where he reflects on taking his son to day-care and his son asking him to avoid certain roads: click on the link HERE)

That anger at injustice is often socialised out of their day-to-day interactions and repressed psychologically, but it goes somewhere, it colours perception, behaviour, habits, engagement with the world. It gets reinforced by further instances of racism they experience. And it’s there in the best fictional texts.

Which leads us to humour. Psychologists talk about coping strategies. There is an acerbic or fantastical humour to many black writers works that decodes for me as ways of squaring off the situation in their minds, of dealing with the double think of being a black person in a world built out of white privilege. Constantly having to adjust vision, switch focal points, slough off micro-aggressions, adjust the presentation of the self to conform, confuse, slip through the barriers and choke-points brings with it a particular consciousness, a particular humour, a particular awareness.

Black writers can of course tap into this: somewhere in their soul, in the excavation of their own experiences they can find it. And they can choose to use it to infuse it into their work, lightly, heavily or barely at all. But they have that option. With white writers it is different. They may struggle ever to find that consciousness, and so to tap it. To find it, they must first examine where they themselves are coming from, the nature of their privilege and try to set aside the assumptions they have acquired that have grown out of that privilege. It is not done easily.

Once they have emptied that cup, they can then fill it with the knowledge from experience that black people can bring. How? The biggest next step for a non-white writer would be quite simply to talk to black people, befriend them, get to know their daily routines and perhaps in time their inner lives. (If they have no black friends, they might usefully ask themselves why). A further step would be read books that provide the insights that black writers can bring to the table. For starters, maybe read Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eyes, Richard Wright’s Native Son, Buchi Emecheeta’s In The Ditch, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Steve Biko’s I Write What I Like, Audre Lorde’s Zami.

Within UK Young Adult fiction, good reads might be Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses, Catherine Johnson’s The Lady Caraboo, and Tariq Mehmood’s You’re Not Proper.

For white writers creating convincing black characters is a difficult but not impossible task. There is nothing more powerful than human imagination, it leaps over difficulties. And there are hundreds and hundreds of black stories out there in the street called life, just waiting to be told.


Being Me jacket

Meet Adele Vialli: an intelligent, funny and resourceful 14-year-old – and a born troublemaker. Bored by her privileged life in a leafy suburb, Adele prefers shoplifting and hanging out with her footballer boyfriend, Marcus (from The Silent Striker, the previous book in the series). As the weary school counsellor says: ‘there’s never a dull day with Adele.’

Adele is the star of her school’s football team, and when an England scout comes on the lookout for potential new players, Adele’s future seems full of promise. But when her city banker dad suddenly starts flirting with the mother of her ‘frenemy’ and fellow footballer Mikaela, a war breaks out between the two girls which threatens to throw everything off course.

Teenage rivalry, family troubles – and the beautiful game. Being Me is an honest, tender and witty examination of what it means to grow up in a culturally-diverse Britain today, and the struggle every young person goes through of finding out and understanding who they really are.

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