Candy Gourlay is a London based author and journalist. Born in the Philippines, Candy grew up under a dictatorship and met her husband during a revolution. Her books for young readers have been listed for many prizes and awards. When she’s not writing novels, Candy loves drawing comics and fighting the snails in her garden.

Her first two novels, Tall Story and Shine, were published by David Fickling Books. Tall Story won the National Children’s Book Award of the Philippines and was chosen in the ‘100 Best Books of the Last 100 Years’ by BookTrust, the UK’s largest literacy organisation. Tall Story was also listed for 13 prizes including the Carnegie Medal, the Blue Peter and the Waterstones Prize. Shine was longlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.

Candy’s also written Ferdinand (Magellan) for David Fickling Books’ First Names series.

Candy’s book, Mike Falls up, published by Little Tiger and illustrated by Carles Ballesteros was included in Imogen Russell Williams’ roundup of the best new children’s books for The Guardian: “Gourlay’s pared-back text and Ballesteros’ involving images create the absorbing sense of a child’s imagination at play in this splendidly surreal adventure for 5+.”

Her first picture book, Is It a Mermaid?, illustrated by Francesca Chessa, was published in the UK and the US by Otter-Barry Books – and nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Candy’s novel Bone Talk, an upper middle-grade story also published by David Fickling Books (UK) and Scholastic (US), was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award and the Carnegie Medal. It was a Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week as well as a Guardian Book of the Month and one of The Times’ Books of the Year.

Praise for Bone Talk:

“One of the standout titles of the year” – The Independent

“Candy Gourlay […] opens our minds to a little-known corner of history through Samkad’s authentic, transfixing voice. Very special.”- The Times Books of the Year

“Gourlay paints an intricate backdrop steeped in mystical and brutal
imagery. Carefully built suspense and twists engage readers”- Kirkus Reviews

The sequel, Wild Song, a YA novel set 5 years after Bone Talk published in March 2023 from David Fickling Books. Wild Song was chosen as The Bookseller’s Book of the Month for the March 2023 Children’s Previews, described as “a stunning achievement” thanks to “Gourlay’s brilliant storytelling”.

For the full The Times review click here

For the full Kirkus review click here

For the full BookTrust’s 100 Best Children’s Books of the Last 100 Years article click here


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