Tall Story

Candy Gourlay, Random/Fickling, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-75217-6
Thirteen-year-old Andi's brother, Bernardo, has lived halfway across the world from her since she was born. But the British Home Office has finally allowed 16-year-old Bernardo to immigrate to London, and he arrives just as basketball-obsessed Andi is struggling at a new school where the basketball team is boys-only. Bernardo has grown up in the small Philippine village of San Andres where he is hailed as a hero—often compared to the legendary, Paul Bunyanesque figure of Bernardo Carpio—yet is plagued by a past tragedy. At over eight feet tall, Bernardo is indeed a giant, a fact that initially freaks out tiny Andi (the family discovers he has a tumor on his pituitary gland). The story switches between Andi's feisty narration and Bernardo's descriptions of life in his village (and the mystical responsibility he feels for it) as well as his adjustment to life in London. Small details, such as why modern-day Andi idolizes Michael Jordan instead of, say, LeBron James distract slightly, but overall first-time author Gourlay weaves just enough magic into this moving family reunion to deliver an emotional punch. Ages 10–up. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-96876-0
Paperback - 295 pages - 978-0-385-75233-6
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-375-89847-1
Library Binding - 295 pages - 978-0-385-75218-3
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4070-7651-5
Prebound-Glued - 295 pages - 978-1-61383-351-3
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