Wild Song by Candy Gourlay

Recommended by: Stephen Dilley/@stephenjdilley

Form and Genre: Prose /Historical Fiction.

Length: 324 pages.

Summary: This novel follows members of the Bontok people in Philippines as they travel to America to take part in the 1904 World’s Fair in St Louis. Narrator Luki thinks this will give her more freedom, but in America she discovers many forms of prejudice and inequality.

Age recommendation and challenging content: Suitable for Year 7 upwards – some references to death and violence which older primary readers might find distressing.

Notable reasons for recommending this book: This novel presents a part of colonial history that will be unfamiliar to many readers, and explores many issues to do with cultural differences in a nuanced way which resonates with many contemporary topics of debate. Gourlay’s writing, characterisation and plotting are highly skilled, and this could make an excellent KS3 class reader.


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