Tall Story

Tall Story

Andi, the smallest girl in Year Eight, is squeezed into the crowd at the airport waiting for her half-brother, Bernardo, to arrive from the Philippines. As she and her mum and dad finally catch a glimpse of him, Andi is shocked to see that Bernardo is a giant. He is literally eight feet tall. Told in alternating points of view between Andi and Bernardo, the story unfolds in London as Bernardo begins his transition into the British culture, his new family and his new school. He has left behind his best friend, Jabbar, and his Aunt and Uncle who have raised him amidst the village life of San Andres with its tall tales and magical beliefs. Bernardo has left all this behind very reluctantly and with a tinge of guilt because the villagers have entrusted their safety to Bernardo's giant hands. They believe his presence protects them especially from earthquakes but also from the magical powers of the local witch. We bounce from the passion of Andi to play basketball, to Bernardo's stories of his life back on the island, to the brain tumor in Bernardo's head. This comes down to the story of two siblings who are finding themselves and each other. One is the a short, determined sister who wants more than anything to play basketball. The other is a giant hearted boy whose pituitary gland has outperformed his wildest expectations and who is struggling to understand how he fits into the world at the same time he stretches himself to take care of those he cares so much about. I have to say this felt a bit far-fetched to me at times but you come to care about the characters and you hope right along with them that wishes can come true and that the challenges of life can open doors to good things. Do you believe in miracles? 298 pages Ages 10-14

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