Tall Story by Candy Gourlay.
David Fickling Books
Publication Date: February 2011
List Price: $16.99
Review: Imagine being eight-feet tall and moving from a small hometown city to a large, busy, noisy city in England. Candy Gourlay has designed a remarkable book that keeps you predicting on the several outcomes of the story. Andy lives peacefully with her mom and dad, but she sometimes forgets that she has a very tall brother across the ocean in the Philippines. Bernardo on the other hand lives in the Philippines with his aunt and uncle wishing for the government papers to come saying he can move to London where the rest of his family is living. When the papers finally come, Bernardo has to make a decision that will change his life forever.
Andi is peacefully living her life, but the one problem that she faces is that her parents want to move into a fantastic new house. At first she goes along with getting the new house because she doesn't realize that she is going to have to transfer schools. She goes to school one day and learns that she has been chosen to be the point guard on her basketball team, but on the same day she also learns that she has to transfer schools and Bernardo will be in the new house with them in less than a week! Bernardo lives with his aunt and uncle who are the only ones that know about the letter, but Bernardo worries about his best friend Jabby. He and all the other people in Philippines believe that Bernardo is a giant after his father Bernardo Carpio who has a reputation for saving the town from the collapsing of mountains from deadly earthquakes in a legend. When he finally reaches London, Andi dislikes him because her level of responsibilities have doubled, but will basketball unite the two siblings, or will Bernardo go back to the Philippines after an earthquake destroys his hometown?
This is the first book I have read by Candy Gourlay and it is extremely fascinating. This book is what I like to call an amazing page turner because from the first page you get caught into the book and you will never want to stop reading. An important factor in Candy Gourlay's writing is the immense descriptions of all events and characters that make you feel like you're watching a fantastic movie. Tall Story is like a bumpy rollercoaster that shows how the relationship between Bernardo and Andi go up and down, but in the end they love each other equally. The layout of the story is also captivating because it alternates from Bernardo's point of view to Andi's point of view at every chapter, and as the story gets closer to the end, it becomes one. This shows how the separation between the two siblings gets smaller. From the first chapter of Andi the book is very fast and exciting, which to me is a great way to start a story. Although, the second chapter on Bernardo starts off very slow, and I think it would have been better if it was in a quicker pace keeping the reader tied to the book. Tall Story's topic is also very interesting because it shows how a separated family meets and works together to form a strong bond. Lastly, the fact that Bernardo has a brain tumor in his pituitary gland makes the reader predict and continue to read about Bernardo being 8 feet tall. The ending of the story finishes the story like frosting on a cake with a life or death situation. This part brings action into the story and helps you understand how all of the characters are feeling. Do not stop until you read all 296 pages of this marvelous story.
Review written by Ravi (6th grade student).
We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Tall Story for this review.
Have you read Tall Story? How would you rate it?