MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Reading guide for Tall Story by Candy Gourlay

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Tall Story

by Candy Gourlay

Tall Story by Candy Gourlay X
Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2011, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2012, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Ellis Smith
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Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. Tall Story alternates between the voices of Bernardo, who lives in the Philippines, and his half sister, Andi, who has only ever lived in England. How is Andi's voice different from Bernardo's?


  2. It is clear from the beginning that both characters have very strong desires. What does Andi really, really want? What does Bernardo really really want? How does the story show what they want?


  3. Though they are brother and sister, Bernardo and Andi have grown up in two very different cultures. Culture refers to taste, style, manner and beliefs. Discuss some of the cultural differences between Bernardo and Andi.


  4. Bernardo is desperate to be with his family in London. What is holding him back? Andi is desperate to play basketball. What stands in her way? Contrast the way Andi and Bernardo respond to the obstacles that get in the way of what they want.


  5. Though he has a loving home with his Aunt and Uncle, Bernardo has been separated from his mother and sister for 16 years. When she gets to know Bernardo better, Andi says: "The truth is, even though I didn't know him, I have missed him just as much as he missed me." What does she mean?


  6. Filipino legends are woven into Bernardo's story - how do the legends explain the origin of giants? Why do the people of San Andres want to stop Bernardo from going to London?


  7. There are magical elements in Tall Story - Bernardo's wishes come true and so do Andi's. But the book doesn't tell us if it is because of magic or not. Do you think it was magic? Why or why not?


  8. On the inside flap of Tall Story's cover, the blurb says: "What you want is not always what you get, even when your wishes come true." What does that mean? How does the story demonstrate this?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Yearling. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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