Written by Candy Gourlay
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The Lovereading4Kids comment
Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK.
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2011. Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2011: Favourite Story.
This is a debut novel packed with warmth, humour and quirkiness that will have you in fits of laughter one minute and in tears the next as the author explores a touching sibling relationship and the clash of two very different cultures. Andi is short. And she has lots of wishes. She wishes she could play on the school basketball team, she wishes for her own bedroom, but most of all she wishes that her long lost half brother, Bernardo, could come and live in London, where he belongs. Then Andi's biggest wish comes true and she's minutes away from becoming someone's little sister. As she waits anxiously for Bernardo to arrive from the Philippines, she hopes he'll turn out to be tall and just as mad as she is about basketball. When he finally arrives, he's tall all right. But he's not just tall ...he's a GIANT.
Titles shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2011:
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Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
Be careful what you wish for ...Andi is short. And she has lots of wishes. She wishes she could play on the school basketball team, she wishes for her own bedroom, but most of all she wishes that her long lost half brother, Bernardo, could come and live in London, where he belongs. Then Andi's biggest wish comes true and she's minutes away from becoming someone's little sister. As she waits anxiously for Bernardo to arrive from the Philippines, she hopes he'll turn out to be tall and just as mad as she is about basketball. When he finally arrives, he's tall all right. But he's not just tall ...he's a GIANT. In a novel packed with humour and quirkiness, Gourlay explores a touching sibling relationship and the clash of two very different cultures.
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Review of ‘Tall Story’ by Books for Keeps [4 stars]
Tall Story is told in turn by Londoner Andi who is a mean basketball player despite her short stature and her 16-year-old big brother Bernardo who lives in the Philippines. The two don’t know each other because it has taken years for the Home Office to allow Bernardo to join his mother in London where she works as a nurse. When Bernardo finally gets permission to travel his family are in for a shock – they have been told he is tall but Bernardo is 8ft …
While height is an advantage for a basketball player, Bernardo hates to be invited to play because of his shock value. He is beset by other problems too – the legend of the giant Bernardo Carpio who has the power to protect his village from earth quakes means that some villagers revere him as their saviour since he is so tall and also called Bernardo… Then there are his mysterious black-outs – what is the cause?
This exuberantly written, many layered novel moves at a cracking pace with lots of short, pithy chapters. It touches with a light hand on the experience of a separated family learning to get to know each again. The problem of gigantism is sympathetically broached and the reader can identify with Bernardo and with his feisty younger sister. This is an ambitious and impressive debut from Philippina journalist Candy Gourlay who has much to bring to literature for young readers.
About the Author
Interest Age: From 9 from 9 to 11 To 11
More books by Candy Gourlay
David Fickling Books an imprint of Random House Children's Books
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