Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tall Story by Candy Gourlay YP FIC GOURLAY

Everything about Bernardo is tall. Not only is he eight feet at 16, but also he is seen as a Folk Hero that protects form earthquakes in his small village in the Philippines. Everything about Andi’s life is coming up short. She’s considered too short for basketball and when she FINALLY gets to join a team her parents move her. Then when her GIANT half-brother Bernardo moves to London to live with them nothing is the same. But Bernardo is more than he seems, and after he comes miracles begin to happen.

What works so well about this book is that each chapter is told from the perspective of either Bernardo or his sister Andi, each taking turns. This helps to highlight how different they are and makes the times that Bernardo causes Andi trouble all the funnier, because we see it through both their eyes. A lot of the comedy comes from Bernardo being such and outsider to modern society and the rest comes from how spunky and quick witted Andi is. This is a funny, lighthearted read that will definitely grab sports fans. Andi’s basketball storyline provides some of the funniest and most exciting moments of the book. When the more magical (although the author never makes clear if it is magic or chance) elements appear they seem natural, because Bernardo has been talking about magic for so long. This is a kind of fun, quirky hidden gem that is filled with true to life but larger than life characters and lots of genuine heart.

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