Tall Story

Tall Story[PDF] ✎ Tall Story ✐ Candy Gourlay – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk Andi is short And she has lots of wishes She wishes she could play on the school basketball team she wishes for her own bedroom but most of all she wishes that her long lost half brother Bernardo coul Andi is short And she has lots of wishes She wishes she could play on the school basketball team she wishes for her own bedroom but most of all she wishes that her long lost half brother Bernardo could come and live in London where he belongsThen Andi's biggest wish comes true and she's minutes away from becoming someone's little sister As she waits anxiously for Bernardo to arrive from the Philippines she hopes he'll turn out to be tall and just as crazy as she is about basketball When he finally arrives he's tall all right Eight feet tall in fact—plagued by condition called Gigantism and troubled by secrets that he believes led to his phenomenal growthIn a novel packed with uirkiness and humor Gourlay explores a touching sibling relationship and the clash of two very different cultures. Candy Gourlay truly loves the Philippines and it just shows in this book Tall Story This being her first novel makes me agree with one of the blurbs that she is an author to watch Having been married to a British national and now raising her three sons in London I will not be surprised to know that she has changed her citizenship from Filipino to British But the way that she carefully positively and realistically depicted the Philippines and its people culture folklore and even superstitious beliefs is just amazing Gourlay must now be dressing up and talking like a British lady but deep inside she is still a Filipina by heart For that if novel writing is the same as basketball this novel is like a successful ring less three point shot Swish Swish SwishFirst and foremost this tells the story of a widower Mary Ann who has to leave her son in the Philippines and work in London to give him a better prospect in life This is the story's basic premise Gourlay used a typical nurse which has been the country's major human export next probably to domestic helps and entertainers The son she left behind BernardoNardoBernieBernard was not maltreated by the couple Mary Ann's sister and husband who raised him like their own son While in London Mary Ann makes sure that Bernardo is growing up still feeling her love she calls him almost everyday visits him every other year and her fervent wish has been to have her son join her in London someday These show how close knit Filipinos families are and the nature of Filipina mothers nurturing caring and their love for their children is pure and unconditional Swish Swish SwishSecond the use of a well loved Filipino legend of Bernardo Carpio was brilliantly handled The Philippine Literature has its own mythology that fortunate writers like Gourlay are introducing to the world The secondary characters of the witch like mother and daughter Gabriela and Nena provide the contemporary touch to an old belief of amulet or a wishing stone These could turn off some highbrow readers but this book is classified as YA and the effective prose of Gourlay made them all entertaining and believable Swish Swish SwishThird and the last noteworthy point is that no matter where Filipinos live their hearts still remain Filipinos Bernardo has been dreaming of joining his mother in London since he became aware of his condition as a child living with his auntie and uncle However when he is already with his mother he misses the Philippines the food his auntie used to cook the people who went to their house and even his bestfriend Jabar Through Bernardo Gourlay puts a face to the many Filipinos who are overseas and missing the home they left behind Also Bernardo's new family including his stepfather who insists that he be called Dad instead of Uncle welcomed him with open arms Having met his stepsister AmandolinaAndi only the second time their bond as siblings has to take time to develop and this is part of their characters' changes clearly captured and depicted by Gourlay in her plotI just love books that make me proud that I am a Filipino Thanks to Tina for this book In all the years that I’ve been actively reading this is the first time I’ve read a book where the characters are Filipino where the majority of the story is set in the Philippines where my culture is breathing and so aliveBonus Tall Story is also written by a Filipino authorIt’s incredibly cruel And it says so much about our publishing industry We need diverse books We need marginalized authors with uniue stories to partake And we need you to champion them just as much as you do for your standard default books‘Why would a giant shudder?’‘Regret of course’ Old Tibo would shake his head sadly ‘All giants regret that they had to leave Heaven to be with their mortal mothers’I’ve been a voracious reader as long as I can remember At a young age I started devouring classic Filipino short stories about folklore from Sari Manok the different tales of how Makahiya and Mount Maria Makiling become The Story of the Piña Ibong Adarna The Monkey and the Turtle and These stories molded me  These characters are my people They are my homeAnd reading Tall Story feels like coming home“Don’t be surprised now Andi your brother is tall Tall you hear me?”Tall Story follows the life of Andi a thirteen year old girl who is obsessed with basketball She is persistent and wants to be her school’s new point guard She is eually hoping her half brother Bernardo from the Philippines will be a fan as much as herThen he strutted off from the planeAnd yep He was tallHe is an eight foot tall sixteen year old boyAnd from where he grew up he is heralded as a “hero”Because of his unusually long limbsAnd the old legend about Bernardo Carpio the giant who once saved their village from an earthuakeTall Story is consuming delightful and incredibly sweetI could easily guess this would be one of my longest reviews in a while I will try my best to highlight every bit of selling point To help with that here’s the short bullet list of what I’ll be discussingCharacters plot family and friendship dynamicsFilipino culture superstition Sexism feminismAn immigrant characterThe characters are well crafted They speak to me I love Bernardo’s intimate relationship with his Aunt and Uncle with his friend Jabbar and the way he interacts with his fellow countrymen Bernardo’s relationship with his mother and half sister Andie is fascinating I adore that Bernardo and his mother converse in Tagalog their fierce love and regard for each other is heartwarming And because Bernardo and Andie didn’t have plenty of time to get to know each other before there is strangeness coming from Bernardo He didn’t know how he would approach his younger sister who completely grew up with a different upbringing than himAndie on the other hand has pent up resentment coming from her side which she will soon find a way to understand Gourlay delivers this situation and difference very wellThe villager’s strong belief in superstition is extremely amusing to me because I know most Filipinos still follow the traditional ways It is true and my whole clan is a firm devoteeThere is indisputable intersection between Filipino culture and our strong belief in folklore and history We are very protective of this They’re as good as the gospel of the GodsOnce again Gourlay balances the firm culture of the story the magical voice of the narrator and the scientific reason This is what makes this a brilliant story Everything is effortlessly woven togetherAndie our thirteen year old female character isn’t exempt to sexism At such a young age she has a handful of people discouraging her from achieving her dream “It’s not the ideal career for women” her mom says “We don’t have a basketball team for girls” The captain of the boy’s team says But that didn’t stop her from persevering and showing everyone she can do it  This is a wonderful message to partake to everyone especially younger kidsHow were my new classmates going to react when I stepped in through the door? Would my legs fit under those desks? Would they laugh at my broken English? I had not slept a wink the night before worryingAside from the constant alienation Bernardo experiences because of his height he starts thinking about how his classmates will perceive him because of his “broken” and unusual EnglishThis left a mark on meHow many people who don’t have English as their first language feel the need to change their accent because theirs isn’t the norm? Because it seems embarrassing and they are ashamed? Because it doesn’t conform to the standard of western culture?Plenty There are hundreds Thousands MillionsThat bullshit needs to stopI am tremendously happy Tall Story discusses this in such a mannerAt this point if you’re not clamoring for this book I don’t know what to tell you any Tall Story is a book I would heartily recommend to young readers and upReview also posted at Hollywood News Source First posted at Pinoy PopMy brother doesn’t know this but I consider him to be one of my best friends He’s four years older than me and like every other sibling pair we used to have our share of screaming matches when we were kids We only started having serious conversations as we grew up thanks to the long rides from school to our house during college when he'd pick me up My relationship with him gave me a soft spot for stories about brothers and sisters so it was no surprise that I couldn't wait to read the recently released Tall Story by Candy GourlayTall Story chronicles the tale of half siblings Bernardo and Andi from the day they meet for the first time Bernardo grew up in the Philippines under the care of his aunt and uncle after his mom a nurse relocated to the United Kingdom to work Bernardo grew up waiting for his papers to get approved by UK Immigration so that he could live in London with his family Andi is a small girl who loves basketball and barely knows her older brother save for a few letters and phone calls All that Andi knows is that her brother is tall as her mom often stresses and she wants him in London so they can play basketball together but when he finally arrives Andi is in for a shock Bernardo is not just tall he’s an eight foot giant As Bernardo and Andi get to know each other Andi is pulled into Bernardo’s “magical” world and Bernardo learns how it feels to have a familyIf I could use one word to describe this novel it would be heartwarming I was thoroughly charmed by the entire book and not just because it's a brother sister story I knew I’d like Andi from her first line Rush hour So many armpits so little deodorant What Andi lacks in height she makes up with ferocity and her can't miss basketball skills Bernardo on the other hand is literally a gentle giant – he’s huge but not aggressive sometimes rash and forgetful but always bearing good intentions Bernardo and Andi's voices are distinct and they play very well off each other giving readers a chance to understand and sympathize with both points of view I ached for the two main characters to be friends and rejoiced when they grew closer as the book went on They weren’t constantly in conflict which is how some authors portray estranged siblings but instead simply ignorant of how to act around each other There was a mutual love and affection but it was hard to bridge the cultural gap that had grown between themBernardo’s Filipino culture was juxtaposed against Andi’s British culture in such a way as to highlight the differences between them Filipino was portrayed with a lot of color laden with some superstition and magic uniue to Filipinos I’m not too familiar with local folklore so I wasn’t familiar with the legend of Bernardo Carpio so I came to the story with little knowledge than these foreign reviewers and I agree that Gourlay managed to weave the legend cleverly into the story leaving readers wondering if Bernardo the human is actually a reincarnation of Bernardo the giant Candy also added another magical and scary element in the form of Nena the town witch and her daughter Gabriela which gave the story depth and showed the diversity of Filipino culture and myth If you’re not keen on magic however you aren't forced to accept that world view Gourlay provides a possible scientific explanation for Bernardo’s height and other ailments and leaves the truth open I thought this was really smart as it grounded the story into the real world while it still reached for something out of the ordinary While there were still some things in the end that seem to defy rational explanation the author leaves it up to the readers to decide which to believeview spoilerUnderneath all the height is a lot of heart as a reviewer on said I found myself in tears at several parts in the book especially when Andi and Bernardo start to bond The fate of some of the antagonists was something you’d not wish on your enemies too and my heart broke during a scene where calamity struck the Philippines In the last few chapters of the novel Gourlay effectively showed how many people turn a blind eye toward what happens in distant parts of the world Like this reviewer I found this particular passage heartbreakingly trueAnd the weird thing was everybody probably knew about it Everybody had glanced at the newspaper headlines or heard the radio in passing or glimpsed something as they changed channels on the TV Hundreds of Casualties in Massive Philippine Earthuake But 'hundreds' are not people are they? And blank faces on TV are not people eitherDespite this Gourlay also showed how resilient Filipinos can be and how distance will not stop us from caring for our homeland hide spoiler What you want is not always what you get Even when your wishes come true Andi desperately hopes her long lost half brother Bernardo will be as crazy about basketball as she is But when he steps off the plane from the Philippines she can't believe her eyes She hasn't seen him for ten year but even so how did he get to be EIGHT FEET TALL? This eight foot tall boy is about to crash into her life with his size 22 feet But Bernardo is not what he seems Bernardo is a hero Bernardo works miracles and Bernardo has amazing story to tell book's blurbI had high hopes for this little fat book and when I read this blurb which doesn't do the book justice it had me thinking that it was going to be just another run of the mill culture shock story so I braced myself for a disappointment Then I began reading and it was a page turner The warm characters and sweet storyline had me charmed laughing cheering and fighting back tears the ingredients for an unforgettable heartwarming taleThis was particularly meaningful to me because it gave a glimpse of Filipino culture particularly regarding close knit family relationships superstitions and faith This was successfully conveyed by tackling with heart dichotomies such as need vs want superstition vs science real vs magic and of course short vs tall More importantly the characters main and supporting themselves were dynamic I absolutely felt that I was walking in their shoes And in this case I did similarly walk in Bernardo's just 16 sizes smaller I too am an immigrant and assimilated to a secondary homeI did notice a slight awkwardnessconfusing writing but the powerful charm of the story had me pardon that blemish Hence this was a wonderful young reader book debut I'd vote it for a Newbery Award or the likeUnfortunately I'm not a gifted writer so I didn't do this book much justice either but my friend Jzhun did so please check out his elouent summary and review on his blogDark Chest of Wonders he didn't pay me to put this plug He's an incredibly apt writer and never ceases to amaze me So if you're serious about in depth reviews; readers follow him and authors have him review your bookFind this review and at Jinky is Reading Also Posted at my book blog Dark Chest of WondersA Giant Tale with a Giant HeartA Book Review of Candy Gourlay’s Tall Story Rush hour So many armpits so little deodorants So begins Tall Story Candy Gourlay’s fantastic debut novel about basketball sibling love cultural differences legend and magic A poignant tale that warns us of the dangers of the things we wish for and that ultimately size doesn’t really matterAndi is a basketball obsessed 13 year old half Filipino who wishes nothing than to be her school team’s point guard But the bad thing is she’s the shortest in her class and London where she lives is a place that’s not so crazy with shooting hoops Disheartened though she is with these nasty dilemmas she remains persistent to get what she wants despite things as of the moment are not really working well for her Still a ray of hope remains to be looked forward to in a few days’ time her half brother from the other side of the world will finally arrive Oh how she wishes that he’s into basketball too Years of waiting had lastly granted the Jones family’s wish and that Andi will now have a big brother Then on the big day a huge surprise caught the Jones off guardBernardo is a giant Andi saysAfter patiently waiting for years Bernardo finally made it to England from the small town of San Andres in the Philippines; his long time wish of being with his mother will at last come true But certain events seem to prevent this from happening For one how can he explain his sudden growth of up to eight feet to his Mum? That he can easily deal with What worries Bernardo no end is the time when he leaves San Andres for the locals regard him as the modern day incarnation of Bernardo Carpio a legendary hero said to protect them against deadly earthuakes that plagued the town since time immemorial With Nardo’s imminent departure villagers are once again afraid that violent tremors would once again strike Besides this Nardo is also haunted by a tragic secret from the past and a mysterious illness that will slowly unravel upon his arrival in LondonCandy Gourlay’s voice is a refreshing breath of air writing in an accessible kid friendly charming style peppered with comic wit The plot can be easily followed through alternating point of views of Nardo and Andi and though the story often use backflashes in telling Nardo’s life in the Philippines before his arrival in London it effectively moves and enhances the unfolding narrative threadI think one of the book’s amazing feats is Gourlay’s deft handling of dialogue giving Andi and Nardo their distinct voices rendering them not only with a three dimensional feel with their individual uirks but also earning the reader’s sympathy as we come into terms with their individual struggles The language is spot on as Gourlay moves from Filipino to English and colorfully distinguishes Nardo’s timid introspection with Andi’s slick wisecracking observationsWhat’s spectacular with Tall Story is its literary juggling act as it tackles topics that range from superstition and science the real and the magical tall and short of the difference between things that we want and things that really matters most — a hodgepodge that makes it a fitting whole More than being a heartwarming story Tall Story also comments on such timely social and familial problems such as poverty and corruption immigration and integration cultural identity and differences sibling relationship and the sacrifices that a family has to go through when one member is forced to work abroadJust like Ilustrado Tall Story once again confirmed my firm belief that Filipino fiction has indeed arrived on the global literary center stage; that this book originally published by the renowned David Fickling Books DFB is enough validation alone I’m eually thrilled how much stories out there are just waiting to be discovered Certainly I’ll be one of those who will eagerly await its coming Tall Story is a light and heartwarming novel for readers of all ages More than an educational and funny story of a brother and a sister it doesn’t only just give us a glimpse of what the Philippines is as a country but also the potential it holds as a key player in international literature Truly size doesn't really matter ehPublished by Cacho Publishing HouseTrade Paperback Philippine Edition 2010233 PagesStarted September 2 2010Finished September 4 2010 With four children all under the age of 10 spending the weekend here this was the perfect kind of book for me to be reading if I wanted to get any reading done at all And of course I always doBesides enjoying this book very much I learned new things about the Philippines such as that the country loves basketball I had no idea and the legend of Bernardo Carpio which I especially enjoyed as I love folktales from other countries and noting the similarities and differences among them Bernardo Carpio reminded me a little bit of our US tall tale figure Paul Bunyan though Carpio is much like the Greek mythological Atlas I liked how the author used Carpio like struggles as a metaphor for how Nardo felt when he was suffering his seizures The author also used in a subtle way Carpio's winning over the townspeople as a metaphor for the way Nardo won the little children over when he started his new schoolAndi's Nardo’s half sister voice and the dialogue of Nardo's best friend Jabby caused me to chuckle several times Though all the characters were 'real' I especially enjoyed those twoAs the story got serious I was reminded of recent events in Japan I was also reminded of Japan when it was stated that high school basketball in the Philippines is a very big deal and televised as I know the same is true in Japan with high school baseball As I read on I felt the connection I made was an appropriate response because though this book contrasts life in London with life in a barrio in the Philippines what emerges at the end are what can make us all feel similar a child’s want and need of the love of family I'm so glad this book was passed onto me it was very touching I am close to my family especially my mom and brother and to read about a family like this was emotional happy and sad I also learned a lot from this book the mythology or folklore of other cultures can be very cool My first thought after reading this was to email my favorite anthropology teacher who I took Cultural Anthropology from and see if she'd read this Maybe she'd even want to teach this book with the other ones she has on the curriculum The characters were very likable too you feel for them all of them I related to Andi uite a bit caring about your family feeling bad when you act harshly or think about acting harshly toward things and definitely being into things that are for boys In the end I felt like I had been there and that I could be happy because they were There was a time when I would be tanned so dark Sunblock was not in my vocabulary before because I’d be playing basketball in open courts at noon My younger sister too was sporting the same tan I’m the point guard she was shooting guard because she was taller by 2 inches But everyone who would come to watch a game would call us twins and if we correct them they would readily point at my sister as the Senior and me as the Sopho That was in high school we'd be juggling academics with basketball and my mom cannot complain we graduated with honors she can’t mistake us as jocksI get Andi sometimes I even think I was her I understand her drive to hold a ball and shoot some hoops I also understand her fashion her short hair and her love for jersey shorts but most of all I understand the need for her to prove to everyone that height does not matter in basketball but skills and alot of effort to perfect those jump shots Being tall has its advantage in basketball but having five giants with no skill inside the court will never win a gameFocusing on basketball and Andi's talent doesn't give right justice to Candy Gourlay’s book Tall Story has the right amount of mysticism drama sibling love and bond of friendship that could transcend to everyone The spirit of being a Filipino is also very evident The were hints of bayanihan of that subtle evidences of life in the barrio where no one can be truly lonely because no gate can keep your neighbor from sharing your lunch and vice versa Or that news either good or bad would travel among peers and in no time all of them would be by your door not just as a show of camaraderie but a stronger one Damayan I believe it is called But life in towns like San Andres is also covered with such mysticism that thrives in folklore making science and technology seem part of a futuristic story In Auntie’s words I am a scientist who believes in tectonic plates to explain seismic conditions rather than unseen giants walking in the mountains I also believe in the inner workings of hormones as the reason for Bernardo’s height rather than him as an incarnate of a giant I also believe that choices governs our fate not predestined paths that hinders our rationale Hence a wishing stone no matter how tempting to use as an explanation could not bring forth causative decisions made by the two prime characters Andi and Bernardo It was also their bond the beginning and the strengthening of it that could keep any reader plastered in their seats to finish this story The presentation of the story as chapters to each of their thoughts amuses me It was a front row view on their insights You learn the joy in Bernardo’s smile and comprehend Andi’s smirk You feel Bernardo’s ualms of being in a foreign land and sense the spirited replies of Andi because she wanted to prove her point And it was in this context that you find that they were not mere strangers to each other’s life because distance cannot break the unspoken bond between siblingsTall story is not about height matters but it is about standing tall against all odds just to be with the most essential persons in one's life the family No amount of curse mythical gods penalty shots technical fouls or even distance can stand in between This is the concept that is not difficult to believe in This is one of the sweetest and most refreshing books I've read this year It is a very sweet story extremely well written and deeply enjoyable Actually you want to know a funny story? My roomie is from the Philippines and wait for it is a nurse Exactly like the mother of Andi and Bernardo And I laughed so much when Andi transcribes what she thinks is Tagalog because that's exactly what I hear when my roomie talks to her family there Sorry I'm in a boring anecdote mode today This is a very sweet and touching story about a family finally coming together and getting to know each other after so many years apart Andi and Bernardo's mother is a Filipino nurse who went to work in the UK leaving her first son behind thinking she could make him come after But the immigration laws are such that Bernardo hasn't been granted the right to go to the UK and he spent his childhood in San Andres with his Aunt and Uncle Andi is his half sister that he met only once The story starts when Bernardo has finally the right to go to the UK and live with his family It is told from the point of view of Andi and Bernardo and we learn from their history and how they became the persons they are today Andi Amandolina is a boyish basketball fan and Bernardo is a 8ft tall teenager who is believed to be the new incarnation of Giant spirit Bernardo Carpio who saved the village of San Andres from a catastropheThe characters were all very well described and very original and uniue I profoundly love both Andi and Bernardo and the relation they have with each other I like how Bernardo wants to act like a big brother to his sister and how tough little Andi is a kickass basketball playerI loved the family spirit that come out of the story in general It is such a beautiful book And I found all the stories and traditions from Philippines very interesting There are also some serious issues developed in the plot about working immigrants in the UK not being able to bring their children in the country or how nobody really cares about earthuakes on the other side of the world I found this paragraph very spot onAnd the weird thing was everybody probably knew about it Everybody had glanced at the newspaper headlines or heard the radio in passing or glimpsed something as they changed channels on the TV Hundreds of Casualties in Massive Philippine Earthuake But 'hundreds' are not people are they? And blank faces on TV are not people either p249Anyways this is a very touching and down to earth story about a family about making choices and having to live with the conseuences You will laugh out loud at some of the moments and cry your heart out in others And as everyone in the book falls for Bernardo you will fall for this uniue and original story So many armpits So little deodorantIf you are looking for a short fun read read this novelWill give an elaborate verdict later ;