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 crazy as she is about basketball. When he finally arrives, he's tall all right. Eight feet tall, in fact - plagued by condition called Gigantism and troubled by secrets that he believes led to his phenomenal growth.
In a novel packed with quirkiness and humor, Gourlay explores a touching sibling relationship and the clash of two very different cultures.
Candy Gourlay has a unique and heartful voice. And Tall Story is the kind of book that feels familiar and brand new, all at the same time. It will appeal to a wide middle grade audience - both girls and boys because of its strong dual protagonists - and especially to basketball lovers! It has the ability to connect the reader to him or herself, and also to the incredible, wide world we all live in. (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).
School Library Journal
Starred Review. Contemporary Tagalong and British vernacular enhance the brother/sister narration and enliven the depiction of cultures. In her first young adult novel, Gourlay offers an appealing blend of diverse characters, emotional conflicts, well-paced action, and an upbeat finale. The challenges facing separated, immigrant families and the universal teen desire for acceptance and respect ring true.
Starred Review. Gourlay spins slender threads of wishes and prayers, magic and miracles, desires and redemption and weaves together an impressively sweet and rich tale.
Starred Review. This will capture the hearts and minds of sports lovers - and just about everyone else as well.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Ridhima tall story I liked this story very much.
Perhaps Candy Gourlay writes about dismantling the walls between people because she has chosen to scale them, push on them, and break them down for herself.
Candy tells a story about leaving Manila, where she spent much of her childhood, to live in England. Her two youngest brothers (she is one of six siblings) were just little guys at the time. When she returned for a visit a year later, one of those "little guys" opened the door and she didn't even recognize him and couldn't believe how much he had grown. She meant that he was so much taller and older. But she also meant, I believe, that she had grown during that year away. She had crossed a continent, had crossed cultures, had leapt over that wall.
Born in the city of Davao, in the Philippines, Candy was a writer from the beginning. According to her website, her first job was on a newsletter called Stork News that her little sister edited. She wrote about her dogs and her brothers. Later she became a journalist, covering such life-changing events as the People Power Revolution in...
Master storyteller Jerry Spinelli has written a dizzingly inventive fable of growing up and letting go, of leaving childhood and its imagination play behind for the more dazzling adventures of adolescence, and of learning to accept not only the sunny part of day, but the unwelcome arrival of night, as well.
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