Tall Story

Publisher: David Fickling Books

Review

Engagingly told in alternate chapters by four-foot, thirteen year-old Andi, in the UK, and her eight-foot, sixteen year-old half brother Bernardo, in the Philippines, Candy Gourlay’s novel draws on her own experience as a Filipino.

Andi has moved house, and is fighting to be able to continue playing basketball in her new school. Bernardo is awaiting papers which will allow him to rejoin his mother and stepfamily in England, and already has a local reputation for his basketball skills.

While readers will readily empathise with Andi’s situation, Bernardo’s is a revelation. His country is a mixture of twenty-first century internationalism with primitive living conditions and superstitions. His departure to England highlights the conflict, and reveals the terrible reason for his height.

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