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 belongs.
Then 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 growth.
In a novel packed with quirkiness and humor, Gourlay explores a touching sibling relationship and the clash of two very different cultures.
Thirteen-year-old Andi's brother, Bernardo, has lived halfway across the world from her since she was born. But the British Home Office has finally allowed 16-year-old Bernardo to immigrate to London, and he arrives just as basketball-obsessed Andi is struggling at a new school where the basketball team is boys-only. Bernardo has grown up in the small Philippine village of San Andres where he is hailed as a hero often compared to the legendary, Paul Bunyanesque figure of Bernardo Carpio yet is plagued by a past tragedy. At over eight feet tall, Bernardo is indeed a giant, a fact that initially freaks out tiny Andi (the family discovers he has a tumor on his pituitary gland). The story switches between Andi's feisty narration and Bernardo's descriptions of life in his village (and the mystical responsibility he feels for it) as well as his adjustment to life in London. Small details, such as why modern-day Andi idolizes Michael Jordan instead of, say, LeBron James distract slightly, but overall first-time author Gourlay weaves just enough magic into this moving family reunion to deliver an emotional punch. Ages 10 up.