Book Review: Tall Story by Candy Gourlay

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 mad on basketball as she is. But when he steps off the plane from the Philippines, she cannot believe her eyes. She hasn't seen him for ten years, but even so, how did he get to be EIGHT FOOT TALL? An eight-foot tall boy who 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 an amazing story to tell. A bittersweet story, funny, sad, and magical.


TITLE: Tall Story

AUTHOR: Candy Gourlay

RATING:  ☆☆☆☆ (4/5)

This book was written by a Filipino Author named Candy Gourlay and this is her debut novel. She inadvertently became a web designer while avoiding doing the dishes. She takes procrastination to new levels by blogging, drawing and making YouTube videos for fun. This book  has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for 13 awards. It won the 2012 National Children’s Book Award in the Philippines as well as the 2011 Crystal Kite Prize for Europe. (This bio was copied at Goodreads.)

I came upon this book while browsing Goodreads and some friends have read this one already, of course being a Filipino it is always a delight to read books coming from a fellow Filipina, right?

This is interesting and I enjoyed this book.. The story of a mother who left his son (from a previous marriage) in the Philippines to work in London but as you read on, this particular mother never forgets his son, even though she already has a new family and shows him that she loves him and that she is doing her best to be with Bernardo soon. The idea of siblings who are raised in different sides of the continents, the fact that the other sibling was raised in London and the other one who was raised in a baryo in the Philippines. Here you can see some of the differences in culture and attitude and even the way they think.

This book has so much Filipino values like how Filipinos are close to each other, the values parents teaches their kids, to still respect the elders, on how we Filipinos show love for our family and even our friends, here you can still see the “mano po” gesture which all Filipinos are accustomed to.

This is my first time reading about the legend of Bernardo Carpio which was really interesting and it is interesting enough that I like this book already even if I was just starting to read its few chapters. I also love this because yes, it’s basketball, this also shows how Pinoy’s are so into that sport. Filipinos generally adores basketball, in here you get a big fan base. The depiction of Mad Nena and her daughter was one of the highlights in this book which I totally adore. The superstition and all was very indigenous to us Filipinos.

I definitely love how well this book is written in Bernardo and Andi’s point of view. Also, I love how the book ends. It’s very Filipino with regards to a family’s love. I love Andi’s father on how he accepts Bernardo as his son. I love the relationship that is blooming between the siblings. I think also that Jabbar is so funny, he is the typical teenager who won’t stop playing ball.  And in the end everything is fine and great even in San Andres, everything worked out really well. Everyone got their share of ups and downs but eventually was granted with what they’re wishing for. This book is downright an amazing read. Great Job, Ms. Gourlay for this wonderful book!

You may get a copy of this in any of our local bookstore here. So, check this one out!


Binibining `E


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Binibining `E

Binibining `E works for a BPO company by day and is a supersized, weird and peculiar super hero by night who loves the sea, the sand and the sun. She has been eating books for breakfast, lunch and dinner and even for desserts too. An amateur sketcher, can draw when bored. Can write at times and whenever she thinks she can. A certified bibliophile, expect lots of book reviews and adventures with this ugly writer. She is not an ordinary girl. She is peculiar indeed. Will prefer basketball over drama, books over telenovelas, a good book and a cup of coffee over tv.

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