Opinion

Book Review: "The Candy Girl"

Marcella Camara-Macauley

Marcella Camara-Macauley was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa. At the tender age of 18 months, she was afflicted with the poliovirus, and for almost three years she could not walk. As a toddler, her development appeared slow, especially to her mother Mary Ife Coker, who assured anxious folk that her child was normal. When her baby began to walk she took baby steps the first time around, impaired by the debilitation of polio. Presently, Marcella still needs a higher supportive leg brace that would support her defective leg to walk 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 and 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 have been a real blessing to her.

Her mother wasted no time after finishing high school in sponsoring her to to pursue an education in nursing in the United States. 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 pathway, studying early childhood education, since innately her passion and love was for little children. For the past 14 years, Marcella has enjoyed every moment of teaching young kids, mostly at Capital Hill in D.C., 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, and she published her maiden book, "The Candy Girl." It marked a giant leap for this energetic writer, and she received encouragement from the leadership 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 60's when she herself was a renowned primary school teacher.

"The Candy Girl" is a delightful and passionate read that targets children ages 5-11, teaching them and adults alike the golden rule, do unto others as you would like others to do unto 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 is often a quarter short of the price. Eventually, Faith grows up, works hard, and saves 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 Marcella's goals is to return to Sierra Leone to help handicapped and orphaned children traumatized and psychologically at risk by 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 back generously to others and caring for the less fortunate children. She intends to get the children off the streets of Freetown, give them a place they can 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 would love to introduce the 'No Child Left Behind' philosophy instrumental in the United States to this nation's educational system. She prays that people around the world will see this urgent need and rise to the call, helping very poor kids in one of the poorest nations in the world.

Marcela Camara-Macauley holds degrees in counseling from Bethel University in Silver Spring, Maryland; in Early Childhood Education from Prince George's Community College; and a Child Development Accreditation C.D.A. Certification.

I would recommend "The Candy Girl" to every child and school all around the world, and adults too. Investing in her book means supporting a worthy cause, helping to educate and care for destitute kids in Sierra Leone. It's never too late to learn the ABC's of living fulfilling and peaceful lives. "Do onto others as you would like them to do onto you." The message in this book is as universal as it is full of hope and a new mindset for all humanity.

View the Worldpress Desk’s profile for Roland Bankole Marke.

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