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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Tall Story - 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 someones 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.

This was a nice story, having many messages within the story. Andi (real name Amandolina) lives in London with her Philippine mum and English father. Andi's half brother lives in The Philippine's with his aunt and uncle. His name is Bernardo and is eight feet tall.Bernardo and Andi's mum left Phillipine when Bernardo was a small baby to work as a nurse in England to cover high medical costs incurred following a mosquito bite which killed her husband and made her very ill in Phillipines.

In The Philippines, Bernardo lives in a village called San Andres, which is has many tiny tremors. Bernardo is seen as a giant, a protector of the village, because teh tremors stopped when Bernardo was born The villagers believe if he leaves, the village will be hit by a large, devastating earthquake. They believe Bernardo to have the spirit of Bernardo Carpio.

The story follows Bernardo and the beliefs of the Phillipine villlage he lives in and his move to England.

I enjoyed this story, it was something different to what is avaliable for children today. I am unsure of the age this book is recommended for but i would guess it to be 9+. The book highlights many issues from the world today but also passes the message about being careful what you wish for. The story also highlights gender inequality, prejudices due to medical problems and bullies and their comeuppance! The story was also funny in places, while in others sincere and true to life. Recommended to all!

Thank you to Michael from for sending me this book to review.

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