Saturday, March 19, 2011

Book Drops: Tall Story by Candy Gourlay

Tall Story by Candy Gourlay.

I read a review of this book in School Library Journal and was surprised that the main characters are Filipino. I find it is a challenge to find young adult novels featuring Filipinos. We have a lot of Japanese, Korean and Chinese YA books but Filipino is rare. We do not have that many Filipinos are our school, so far, I have had 2 students..but most go to other schools but we do have a strong Asian community so I thought it would be great to have a book that also covers Filipino culture.

I have to say, as a Filipina, there were so many things in this book that I could relate to but I think, a lot of Asian and immigrant families could relate to as well. Tall Story takes place in the Philippines, where Bernardo grows up, and England, where his mother, step-father and half-sister lives. It is filled with Filipino superstitions and tales that I remember hearing as a kid, as well as the Filipino love of basketball, and life as a family split between continents. Growing up, my folks spent years trying to get our Lolo (grandfather) to America, Bernardo's family spends 13 years waiting for approval from the British government to have him reunited with his family. These challenges are still occurring today. For example, my mom is just got approval for sponsoring my uncle and his family, we've been in the United States for 30 years.

Gourlay's story is deals with challenges that immigrant families face, the challenges of reuniting, sibling relationships and issues of growing up, finding one's self and being accepted. It was a good read and a nice reminder of my own childhood.

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