Publisher: David Fickling Books
Samkad is a boy from a remote Filipino "headhunter" tribe called Bontok in the highlands of the Philippines, back in around 1899.
When the story starts, Samkad is most worried about receiving the Cut (something similar to circumcision that happens to boys in their tenth year on the cusp of manhood) and his slightly complicated friendship with a girl called Luki. He has never met anyone from the world outside of his tribe.
But then the American invaders provide a much greater threat to everything he knows and loves.
Candy Gourlay tells this brilliant adventure story from the point of view of a young Filipino boy from a time and place that most readers will know nothing about – and certainly from a previously unheard voice (most of what is written about the time is by Americans writing as tourists, anthropologists and conquerors).
Samkad’s story is told so sensitively, so lightly and so truthfully that you are completely transported (heart in mouth) to another time and world – until Samkad’s concerns are your concerns and you’re with him every step of the way.
An exciting, fascinating and beautifully written book.