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. From the Hardcover edition.
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A prologue is a separate introductory section of a literary or musical work. Read to find out how the author introduces the book.
Heathrow is an airport in England. Authors introduce the setting in the first few pages of a book. (This annotation contains an image)
The narrator of this chapter, Bernardo, lives in the Philippines which is a country in Asia. According to the text, he is miles away from the rest of his family. (This annotation contains an image)
According to the text, what is true about Bernardo and his father?
Did you know that you can look up any word in the book or in the questions and answer choices? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Use this feature to look up the word "scurried."
This dialogue between Sofia and Mary Ann reveals
Andi is Bernardo's sister. What is the main distinction between the two?
We have already been introduced to several characters. Watch this video to learn how characters develop in literature. (This annotation contains a video)
What does the exchange between Andi and Mum about the new house reveal about their relationship?
We can tell Andi lives in England because she uses the term "Mum" instead of "Mother." As you read, notice words and phrases she uses that distinguish her from American children.
In these lines and in this chapter, the author reveals why this book is called Tall Story. It has elements of the genre tall tale which is a story with unbelievable elements often involving magic and legends. Find elements of this genre as you read.
Which line from the text best shows that this anecdote about Bernardo has elements of a tall tale?
As a result of the move, what is the first conflict Andi endures in this story?
Use the define feature to learn what "inevitable" means.
What does this line reveal about Andi's perspective?
Dengue fever can be deadly. This image shows some of the symptoms associated with the disease. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on the descriptions in the text, in 2-3 sentences describe what the setting is like in San Andres.
Author's use figurative language to excite the reader and create an image in his or her mind. This line is an example of personification which is when non human things are given human qualities and characteristics.
Read the poem "Wishing Stone" and then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a link)
Based on the poem from the annotation, what will Bernardo most likely do with the stone?
Each chapter switches back and forth between Andi and her brother Bernardo. Watch this video to learn how authors structure a text. (This annotation contains a video)
To structure this book, the author
What does this line reveal about what may happen when Bernardo arrives in London?
We can tell that the author is employing a metaphor here. The image of the earth crushing Bernardo and the water trickling down his arms is actually the feeling of immense stress and sweating. As you read, notice the figurative language the author uses to help you better understand character emotion.
Something physical is happening to Bernardo that has yet to be explained. Read to find out if he has a physical ailment.
This line brings new insight to the plot. Why don't they want the people to know Bernardo is leaving town?
Based on the information presented in this chapter, we can reasonably infer that Mum does not want to take Andi to the Philippines again because
In this chapter, Andi describes an earthquake she endured while she was in the Philippines. They can be deadly. Watch this video to get an idea of what it is like to witness one. (This annotation contains a video)
The phrase "my feet seemed to have taken root" most likely means
This line is an example of hyperbole which is an exaggerated statement not to be taken literally. Watch this video to learn how to figure out what hyperboles mean. (This annotation contains a video)
This is an example of metaphor which is a word or phrase that is applied to an object to make a comparison without using "like" or "as." What does this metaphor mean?
This dialogue is interesting. Why is the fact that Bernardo is tall a bad thing?
This line is critical in the story. Why is this line important to notice and consider?
The author compares Bernardo to a "giant bamboo" to emphasize how tall he is. This image gives you an idea of what bamboo looks like next to an average sized man. (This annotation contains an image)
There is a parallel plot developing. The past few chapters are told from Bernardo and Andi's perspective but about the same events. Watch this video to learn about parallel plot. (This annotation contains a video)
How do Bernardo and Andi feel about Bernardo's visit?
What does Amandollina [Andi] do to quiet her peers from teasing her about her name?
What does this line mean?
Bernardo is comparing himself to the "Mountain Men." What does this phrase imply about the man he wants to be?
Mountain Men are stereotypically known to be strong, courageous men who hunt their own food and do not depend on modern invents to decide. Look at this image and think about why Bernardo compares himself to this type of man. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on this dialogue, we can tell that
Use the define feature to learn what "mending" means.
Based on the information presented in the text, Tibo most likely treats Bernardo with "VIP" status because
A barrio is a district or a town which is typically in a Spanish place. Think about why Bernardo uses this word even though he does not live in Spain.
Which line from the text best shows how excited Andi is to be in her new school's gym?
This is the image the author wants you to have in your head as you read this line. (This annotation contains an image)
In the past, women who loved basketball and wanted to be on a team started their own. Read this article to learn about the history of women's basketball. (This annotation contains a link)
Considering this line and Andi's determination, what might happen in the plot?
Consider how this image relates to the anecdotes told in this story about giants. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does the author choose to put each of these sentences on separate lines?
In 2-3 sentences, describe what Bernardo looks like.
The author uses the image of a giraffe to show what Bernardo looks like to Andi. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on this line, we can tell that Bernardo does not recognize his sister because he thinks Andi is a boy. Her clothing choices make her look like a tomboy. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on this line, what can we tell about Bernardo?
Onomatopoeia is a form of figurative language in which a word represents a sound. The author most likely includes "Zzzzt" to
Bernardo is in London. However, this line transitions the story into a flashback where you will learn what happened on the day before Bernardo's flight to London.
How do the people of San Andres view Bernardo's departure to London?
Consider how this image relates to Bernardo's feelings. (This annotation contains an image)
We learn a lot about characters by noticing what they say, think, do and how others respond to them. Here we see Mum being playful, so we can tell she is carefree and light-hearted.
Which line reveals that Andi feels uncomfortable around her brother due to his height?
Notice how Auntie and Uncle respond to Bernardo's health issue. What emotion does the dialogue on this page show?
This is an example of a simile which is a comparison between two unlike things using the words "like" or "as." The author is comparing Bernardo's body to "a thousand volts" to
It is scary when someone collapses and gets sick on a public subway car. This is what the tube looks like. (This annotation contains a link)
Authors use metaphors and similes frequently in literature to make comparisons and paint images in a readers mind. Watch this video to learn about these two types of figurative language. (This annotation contains a video)
Considering what you have learned from the video in the previous annotation, which type of figurative language is this line an example of?
Bernardo is thinking happy thoughts during this medical procedure. This action demonstrates his ability to be ____________ when problems arise.
Based on the description, we can tell Bernardo is getting an MRI to screen for issues in his body. This is what the machine looks like. (This annotation contains an image)
Read this article from WebMD to learn more about MRI's. (This annotation contains a link)
The author uses this anecdote about "Neutralizing Flashpoints" to show that Andi believes everyone should stay _________ while investigating Bernardo's physical ailments.
These are puka shells. People often use them to make jewelry in different cultures around the world. (This annotation contains an image)
What does this simile reveal about Gabriela?
Which line best shows that Mum is exhausted from staying up all night in the hospital?
Use the define feature to learn what "ghastly" means.
How does Bernardo view his MRI and time in the hospital?
Authors often italicize lines to show character thoughts and distinguish those thoughts from the rest of the text. This is a thought Bernardo is having about Jabby.
The author uses action words on this page to show Andi's feelings about basketball. Her attitude toward the sport can best be described as
The author is comparing Rocky to hydraulics to show how advanced he is at basketball. Connect this image to what Rocky is doing. (This annotation contains an image)
In 3-4 sentences, explain the differences between San Andres and the London that Bernardo describes.
This is what a taboo looks like. (This annotation contains an image)
It is clear that the people of San Andres strongly believe in the legends of giants. Watch this video to learn more about legends and see if you believe in them. (This annotation contains a link)
The idea that Bernardo should feel "guilt" for leaving San Andres keeps reappearing in the story. This idea shows that the people of San Andres
Which line from the text shows Andi is becoming increasingly frustrated by Bernardo's presence?
The author is making reference to Harry Potter and fortune cookies because these are popular forms of modern superstition.
Which line from the text best shows that Andi is starting to warm up to Bernardo's beliefs about magic?
There are stores that have clothes which are especially made for big and tall men. Bernardo buys clothes from one of these stores. Imagine what it is like for him to be this tall and to have to shop in this type of store. (This annotation contains an image)
In your own words, explain the condition Bernardo has.
Read the caption in the image to learn about the pituitary gland. (This annotation contains an image)
The author intentionally shows us Bernardo's view of Andi. Why does Bernardo perceive Andi as acting different from her usual self?
Through Bernardo's descriptions, you are learning about the culture of the Philippines. This dish is very popular there. This is what milkfish belly looks like before it is steamed. (This annotation contains an image)
This aspect of the setting, Andi's basketball duvet, furthers the idea that she is in love with basketball.
The author most likely included this line to
Which line from the text demonstrates that the boys are impressed with Andi's basketball skills?
In case you don't know much about basketball, this is where the three-point line is on the court. (This annotation contains an image)
Watch this video to get an idea of what Bernardo's Filipino accent sounds like. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the context, what does this simile mean?
Read this article about sexism. (This annotation contains a link)
Based on your knowledge about sexism from the article and of Andi's experience in the story, a central idea that is emerging is
In 2-3 sentences, describe what Bernardo notices about his new school.
Put yourself in Bernardo's shoes. Think about how this image connects to his experience at his new school. How would you feel? (This annotation contains an image)
Bernardo feels like an "alien" in his new school because he is used to a different culture. Watch this video to learn about cultural perspective and how it shapes a character's experience. (This annotation contains a video)
Through Bernardo's experience, we have learned that
The author uses this image of a hyena to show the boys are bullies. (This annotation contains an image)
What can we infer about Bernardo based on these lines from the text?
This line reveals that Bernardo is enjoying Andi's company. As you read, notice words and phrases he uses to convey his feelings.
This line reveals a turning point in the story. What does it show?
Based on this line, how is Bernardo feeling in this moment?
Mosquito screens are often used in tropical climates like the Philippines because there is a large amount of mosquitos and other bugs. (This annotation contains an image)
Consider how this image connects to the description of Nena. Imagine how Gabriela feels in this situation. (This annotation contains an image)
We know what Bernardo's Filipino accent sounds like. Watch this video to hear what an English accent sounds like. This will help you picture the dialogue between Andi and Bernardo. (This annotation contains a video)
This line reveals the idea that
What does this simile reveal about Nena?
"Sister" is a term people use to address nuns. Based on this knowledge, we can infer that Sister Lydia is in fact a nun. (This annotation contains an image)
This is what a typical confessional booth looks like. (This annotation contains an image)
A new understanding is revealed through Bernardo's story about Nena and Gabriela. In 2-3 sentences, explain why Bernardo is considered a hero.
What occurs in San Andres perhaps as a result of Bernardo's absence?
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a retired American basketball player. (This annotation contains an image)
Hay fever is a type of allergy that can cause red, itchy eyes. However, Mum does not have hay fever. Why do you think she is lying to Bernardo?
Which line from the text shows that Andi is trying to conceal the news of the earthquake from Bernardo?
What does this phrase mean?
Watch this video to learn about how earthquakes affect people and what causes them. (This annotation contains a video)
What do these paragraphs reveal about Andi?
The image represented in these lines shows a stark difference from what is happening in the Philippines. (This annotation contains an image)
What do these lines reveal about Bernardo?
Use the define feature to learn what "inert" means.
Toward the end of a story, authors typically make scenes climactical and suspenseful. Notice the moves the author has made to achieve this literary element.
Which line from the text creates a feeling of worry and suspense?
Based on the context, what can we infer is happening in this line?
Genes determine physical characteristics in living organisms such as a person's hair color. (This annotation contains an image)
How is Bernardo responding to the tragedy of the earthquake?
This image shows a paramedic at work. (This annotation contains an image)
It is interesting to know that while Andi is getting her wish and having a successful game, Bernardo is sick and on his way to the hospital. This is an example of parallel plot.
According to Andi, why is she able to play in this game?
This line brings a feeling of relief to the text. Even though Bernardo is not all better, we know that he has survived the surgery. Read to find out what happens to him.
This line reveals that Bernardo may not be in the hospital because of the
Listen to this video to hear what Bernardo's Darth Vadar ringtone sounds like. (This annotation contains a video)
This line solidifies that the text embodies a central idea about
Which line from the text shows that Jabby is tough and wants to survive?
Here are some survival techniques people use during earthquakes. If you are inside, stand in a doorway or crouch under a desk or table. Make sure you are well away from windows or glass dividers. If you are outside, stand away from buildings, trees, telephones and electrical lines. If you are on the road, drive away from underpasses and overpasses, stop in safe areas and stay in your parent's vehicle. (This annotation contains a link)
In 3-4 sentences, explain what happens to Jabby during the earthquake.
This is what the dome looks like. It is the world's largest indoor arena, and it is in the Philippines. (This annotation contains a link)
Since Bernardo is making reference to his heroes and players that he admires, it is clear that he is hoping a higher power will mend the situation he is in.
What does this line reveal about Bernardo's reaction to Jabby's possible death?
The author ties up the story in a way that brings a feeling of closure for both the characters and the reader. Andi gets to play on a girls basketball team, and Bernardo's tumor goes away.
Andi playing on a girls basketball team and Bernardo's tumor going away are examples that convey a central idea about