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T he story is set in England and the Philippines.


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The main characters are Bernardo and Andi. Bernardo is super tall. I would want him as a friend because he is nice and always wants to help.

His half-sister, Andi, is a girl who is mad about basketball. Andi was really excited about meeting her half-brother but her feelings towards him change. Bernardo goes to live in England to be with his mother. Everyone in his village in the Philippines wants him to stay because of a legend.

Book Summary

In this legend a giant, Bernardo Caprio, saves the country from an earthquake by sacrificing himself and will return to earth again in someone else's body. I move around a lot so I understand what it is like for Bernardo to move to another country to live. I just love books that make me proud that I am a Filipino. Thanks to Tina for this book! View all 7 comments.

Tall Story by Candy Gourlay

Aug 09, Sue Hollywood News Source rated it really liked it Shelves: non-western-setting , young-adult , middle-grade , characters-of-color , filipino-characters , sister-sibling-love , authors-of-color , filipino-authors , favorite , family. Bonus: Tall Story is also written by a Filipino author. And it says so much about our publishing industry. We need more diverse books.

We need more marginalized authors with unique stories to partake. And we need you to champion them just as much as you do for your stand need industry. And we need you to champion them just as much as you do for your standard default books. These stories molded me.

These characters are my people. They are my home. And reading Tall Story feels like coming home. Tall , you hear me? She is equally hoping her half-brother, Bernardo from the Philippines will be a fan as much as her. Then he strutted off from the plane. And yep. He was tall. He is an eight foot tall, sixteen year old boy. And the old legend about Bernardo Carpio, the giant who once saved their village from an earthquake. Tall Story is consuming, delightful and incredibly sweet.

I could easily guess this would be one of my longest reviews in a while. I will try my best to highlight every bit of selling point. They speak to me. I adore that Bernardo and his mother converse in Tagalog, their fierce love and regard for each other is heartwarming. Andie, on the other hand has pent up resentment coming from her side which she will soon find a way to understand. Gourlay delivers this situation and difference very well. It is true and my whole clan is a firm devotee. There is indisputable intersection between Filipino culture and our strong belief in folklore and history.

We are very protective of this. This is what makes this a brilliant story. Everything is effortlessly woven together.

Tall Story

At such a young age, she has a handful of people discouraging her from achieving her dream. This is a wonderful message to partake to everyone, especially younger kids. How were my new classmates going to react when I stepped in through the door? Would my legs fit under those desks? Would they laugh at my broken English? I had not slept a wink the night before, worrying. This left a mark on me.

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Because it seems embarrassing and they are ashamed? There are hundreds. That bullshit needs to stop.

Arabesque - Tall story teller (Showbizzquiz 1983)

I am tremendously happy Tall Story discusses this in such a manner. Tall Story is a book I would heartily recommend to young readers and up. Review also posted at Hollywood News Source. Shelves: , ya , filipino , contemporary , , fantasy , tfg We only started having serious conversations as we grew up, thanks to the long rides from school to our house during college, when he'd pick me up. My relationship with him gave me a soft spot for stories about brothers and sisters, so it was no surprise that I couldn't wait to read the recently released Tall Story by Candy Gourlay.

Tall Story chronicles the tale of half-siblings Bernardo and Andi, from the day they meet for the first time. Bernardo grew up in the Philippines under the care of his aunt and uncle, after his mom, a nurse, relocated to the United Kingdom to work. Bernardo grew up waiting for his papers to get approved by UK Immigration, so that he could live in London with his family.

Andi is a small girl who loves basketball and barely knows her older brother, save for a few letters and phone calls. All that Andi knows is that her brother is tall, as her mom often stresses, and she wants him in London so they can play basketball together--but when he finally arrives, Andi is in for a shock.


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  • If I could use one word to describe this novel, it would be " heartwarming. So many armpits, so little deodorant. What Andi lacks in height, she makes up with ferocity and her can't-miss basketball skills. Bernardo and Andi's voices are distinct, and they play very well off each other, giving readers a chance to understand and sympathize with both points of view. I ached for the two main characters to be friends, and rejoiced when they grew closer as the book went on.

    There was a mutual love and affection, but it was hard to bridge the cultural gap that had grown between them. Filipino was portrayed with a lot of color, laden with some superstition and magic unique to Filipinos. Candy also added another magical and scary element, in the form of Nena, the town witch, and her daughter, Gabriela, which gave the story more depth, and showed the diversity of Filipino culture and myth. I thought this was really smart, as it grounded the story into the real world while it still reached for something out of the ordinary.

    While there were still some things in the end that seem to defy rational explanation, the author leaves it up to the readers to decide which to believe.

    Tall Story

    I found myself in tears at several parts in the book, especially when Andi and Bernardo start to bond. In the last few chapters of the novel, Gourlay effectively showed how many people turn a blind eye toward what happens in distant parts of the world. Like this reviewer , I found this particular passage heartbreakingly true: " And the weird thing was, everybody probably knew about it. Everybody had glanced at the newspaper headlines or heard the radio in passing or glimpsed something as they changed channels on the TV.

    Hundreds of Casualties in Massive Philippine Earthquake. But 'hundreds' are not people, are they? And blank faces on TV are not people either. Tall Story is a poignant, heartwarming story of clashing cultures, of family and sibling love, with just the right amount of magic, tears and laughter. This is one story that everyone, whether British, Filipino or otherwise, would not regret having read. View all 13 comments. Even when your wishes come true.