The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon

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The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon

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Buy The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A cross between a book and a comic but in book form this story of his life as told by the year 5 lad is a great read - particularly for reluctant readers. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: April 2011
Publisher: Scholastic
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1407120690

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Tom Gates is your typical year 5 lad: frequently late for school and fond of reading comics and doodling in school when he should be paying attention. Things change slightly when he's moved to sit at the front of the class between Amy - a clever girl - and Marcus who's a bit of an idiot. Tom tells us the story of his daily life, his attempts to impress Amy Porter, his favourite band and all the excuses he uses to get our of doing homework - or PE - or swimming - or for being late. He puts so much effort into doing all this that you really wonder why he doesn't just do the schoolwork. But then that would be too simple, wouldn't it? And we wouldn't have such a great book to read.

It's a cross between a comic and a book, with liberal use of illustrations and Tom's doodles. It looks like quite a thick book but is a remarkably quick read and if you have a reluctant reader whom you're trying to tempt into the space between book covers then this could be just the ticket. It's brilliantly funny with the sort of humour that will appeal to the primary school child (female teachers with moustaches, annoying elder sisters, embarrassing parents - you get the picture...) with its gently subversive approach to life. It's good to note though that Tom usually gets his comeuppance!

Once you open this book you'll spot its secret - it doesn't look like a book and there's very little of that print stuff that parents and teachers are so keen on getting a boy to read. The story's told in Tom's handwriting - and a remarkably fine and clear hand he has for one so young. The doodles are great, putting me in mind of the sort of graffiti which you think ought to be art, but then Liz Pichon was a graphic designer before she was a writer.

We pass our review copies on to a local school and the teacher tells me that the boys are getting a lot out of all the Tom Gates books.

For a taste of what the book's all about have a look at Tom's blog.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

The publishing phenomenon seems to be Diary of a Wimpy Kid. We reckon Tom Gates is a good contender for the crown.

Buy The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon at Amazon.com.

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