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Book Review: Appraisal of “The Candy Girl”

Book Review: Appraisal of “The Candy Girl”

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation: www2.xlibris.com
Author: Marcella Camara-Macauley
ISBN: 1-4363-8789-2 (soft cover) / ISBN: 1-4363-8790-6 (hard cover)
Date published: December 31, 2008

Marcella Camara-Macauley was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa. At the tender age of 18-months, she was afflicted with the polio virus, and for almost three years, she could not walk. As a toddler, her development appeared slow especially to her mother Mary Ife Coker, who cautioned negative folk that her child was normal. When her baby began to walk, it took baby steps the first time around, impaired by the debilitating virus. Presently, Marcella still needs a higher supportive leg brace annually to support her defective leg while walking unaided.

Growing up in Sierra Leone was fun. During her primary school days at the King Harman Preparatory School, and the Methodist Girls High School in Freetown, where she completed her secondary school education. But her childhood and teenage years were not without obstacles or challenges, which she faced tenaciously and valiantly. Her parents encouraged her to be herself: instilling in her vulnerable mind good moral values that contributed to her healthy maturity, with God’s blessings. She’s grateful to the folk involved in her life who remain a blessing to her.

Her mother wasted no time after finishing high school in sponsoring her to the United States, to pursue an education in nursing. But the young and timid teenager had no passion for nursing. She could not tolerate the sight of sick people in pain. So she charted her own direction, studying Early Childhood Education. Since innately, her passion and love was rooted in little children. And for the past fourteen years, Marcella has enjoyed every moment of teaching young kids, mostly at Capital Hill in DC, where she carved a name and career for herself with distinction and admiration.

Last summer she started writing children’s stories. This urge to write, she had been postponing. But the opportune time eventually arrived. She then published her maiden book “The Candy Girl.” It marked a giant leap for this energetic writer, who hopes to bear the torch in Sierra Leone’s literary community, from the prolific veteran children’s books writer, Dr. Talabi Aisie Lucan. Dr. Lucan has authored numerous books, dating back to the 60s, when she was herself a renowned primary school teacher. Marcella needs all the encouragement she could get, in an industry that is not very attractive to the youth. The Candy Girl is a delightful and passionate read that targets children ages 5-11: teaching them and adults alike the golden rule, do onto others as you would like others to do onto you. The story encourages children to help others who are in need.

In the story, Mr. Joe the Candy Store owner always gives Faith the requested candy though she was often a quarter short of the price. Eventually, Faith grows up, works hard, saving enough money to buy the store from Mr. Joe. It mirrors that no condition is permanent in life. Sharing is caring, in a world seemingly selfish, greedy and laden with multiple problems. One of her goals is to return to Sierra Leone to help handicapped and orphaned children traumatized and psychologically at risk as a result of the nation’s decade-long gruesome civil war. She hopes to invest the profit from the sales of her book for this purpose. Marcella enjoys giving generously to others and caring for the less fortunate children. Growing up, it was hard for her to begin a nonprofit organization in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

As a result of the war in Sierra Leone, many children have been left handicapped or orphaned. Her heart goes out to these kids with special needs. She intends to get the children off the streets of Freetown, give them a place they could call home, and a better education and life. As an accredited educator, she believes that education is the key to be successful, and she yearns to see every child get an education. She’s passionate to introduce the ‘No Child Left Behind’ philosophy instrumental in the United States, to this nation’s ailing educational system. She prays that people around the world would see this urgent need, and rise up to the call: helping these poor kids in one of the poorest nations in the world.

Marcela Camara-Macauley holds degrees in Counseling from Bethel University, Silver Spring, Maryland: and in Early Childhood Education, from Prince George’s Community College, and Child Development Accreditation CDA Certification. I would recommend the Candy Girl to every child and schools all around the world, and adults too. Investing in her book means that one is supporting a worthy cause, helping to educate and care for destitute kids in Sierra Leone. It’s never too late to learn the ABC of living fulfilling and peaceful lives, around the world. “Do onto others as you would like them to do onto you.” Pioneering achievements often sprout from humble beginnings. The message in this book is as universal as it is full of hope and a positive mindset for all humanity.

Roland Bankole Marke is a widely published poet, author, and advocate for children and women without a voice. He’s the author of 3 books: Teardrops Keep Falling, Silver Rain and Blizzard and Harvest of Hate: Fuel for the Soul. He lives and writes in Jacksonville, Florida. Marke’s work has appeared in world press, Guardian Weekly,  The Journal of the African Literature, Pambazuka and Florida Times Union, to mention a few. Visit his website on: www.rolandmarke.com
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