Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
16 yr old Bernardo lives in the Philippines with is aunt and uncle. His mother lives in London with her husband and Andi, his step sister. For years Bernardo's family has been trying and waiting to get his Visa. Finally Bernardo is allowed to be with this family.
12 yr old Andi is looking forward to welcoming her step brother to London. Though when Andi discovers that Bernardo is 8ft tall, she doesn't know what to make of him and keeps her distance.
Andi's short like their mom. She loves playing basketball and really wants to make her schools basketball team, no matter that its boys only. Bernardo lives in a small village, named San Andres. Everyone believes Bernardo's height has kept the earthquakes away. Bernando believes we was cursed by Gabriela, the meanest girl in his school. The entire village is afraid of Gabriela's mother and thinks she's a witch.
The story alternates between Andi and Bernardo as the two get to know each other. Tall Story was very good and looking back on it I like it that much more. Gourlay fully develops Andi and Bernardo, surrounds them with great secondary characters, gives the reader a glimpse of London and the Philippines, a great basketball game, all without missing a beat. And its also laugh out loud funny. I absolutely loved the beginning.
Rush hour. So many armpits, so little deodorant. The whole world is heading out to Heathrow to meet long lost relatives. I am wedged between the tummies of the two fattest men in the world. Rank.
Bernardo's best friend Jabby (in honor of Karem Abdul Jabbar) might be one of my favorite secondary characters of the year. I have much respect for authors who put as much care and effort into their supporting character as they do their main ones.
Reviews via the author's site (inculding a starred Kirkus review)
An excerpt via the author's site (I wish all authors made it this easy)
Finally check out the great trailer