The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (Tom Gates Series #1)
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The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (Tom Gates Series #1)

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by Liz Pichon
     
 

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The top-selling U.K. series for middle-grade readers now crosses the pond!

Meet Tom Gates. When his teachers don’t have their beady eyes on him, he likes to draw pictures and write about stuff, like last summer’s worst camping vacation ever (five merits!), or how much he hates sitting next to nosy Marcus Meldrew, the most annoying boy at school

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Overview

The top-selling U.K. series for middle-grade readers now crosses the pond!

Meet Tom Gates. When his teachers don’t have their beady eyes on him, he likes to draw pictures and write about stuff, like last summer’s worst camping vacation ever (five merits!), or how much he hates sitting next to nosy Marcus Meldrew, the most annoying boy at school. All Tom really wants is to score tickets to see the best band ever, Dude3, when they come to town, and to impress Amy Porter, who is very nice and smart (but is currently ignoring him). Tom’s teachers think he is easily distracted and "lacks focus," but that’s a bit harsh — can he help it if his grumpy big sister, Delia, made him late for school (again), or that last night’s homework had to be sacrificed to stave off a vicious dog attack? Master of excuses, creative storyteller, and middle-school comedian extraordinaire, Tom Gates is guaranteed to get kids turning the pages — and keep them laughing.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/09/2014
From his penchant for doodling to his myopic self-interest, fifth-year student Tom Gates can easily be seen as a British cousin to Jeff Kinney’s Greg Heffley. In Tom’s first novel, published in the U.K. in 2011 (where it won a Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and a Roald Dahl Funny Prize), he recounts his ongoing antagonism of his older sister, Delia; his attempts to see his favorite band, Dude3, perform in town; and various family and school-day mishaps, including a disastrous camping trip, inedible meals cooked by his grandparents (aka “the Fossils”), and joining the school choir. The book is typeset in a handwritten-looking font, accompanied by Tom’s doodles and text that he’s embellished for emphasis. A glossary explains the Briticisms Tom uses throughout: “ ‘Rumbled!’ basically means ‘I’m busted!’ ” explains a tiny cartoon of Tom’s head—it’s a phrase he has reason to deploy more than once. Truly laugh-out-loud moments are few and far between, but readers who like their fiction heavily illustrated and their heroes mischievous should find it diverting enough. Ages 8–12. Agent: Caroline Walsh, David Higham Associates. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
Tom Gates can easily be seen as a British cousin to Jeff Kinney’s Greg Heffley. ... The book is typeset in a handwritten-looking font, accompanied by Tom’s doodles and text that he’s embellished for emphasis. ... [F]eaders who like their fiction heavily illustrated and their heroes mischievous should find it diverting.
—Publishers Weekly
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
Tom Gates is one of those kids that other middle school age students either love or hate. Told with a combination of illustration and text, this story of Tom Gates and his shenanigans at school and at home is humorous and recognizable to most kids…and their teachers. Tom loves to draw and often uses it as an excuse not to listen to his teachers, parents, or sister. He is bothered by Marcus, who Tom considers the most annoying boy at school. He is in love with Amy Porter, who routinely ignores him. And he is in trouble with most of his teachers as he spends more time figuring out how to evade his homework than do it. Tom’s other adventures include a lively field trip to a museum and an amazing effort to convince his father to take him to a concert to hear his all-time favorite group, Dude 3. Middle school and upper elementary readers will enjoy Tom’s humor and the travails of his daily life. The illustrations are a definite plus in how they underscore Tom and his view of the world around him as well as those who live in it. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.; Ages 8 to 12.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-08-27
The winner of the 2011 Roald Dahl Funny Prize for readers ages 7 to 11 makes its way across the pond. In this British contribution to the Wimpy Kid bandwagon, Tom doodles his school days away, fails to do his homework, schemes to get the upper hand on twit Marcus Meldrew, tries to attract the attention of lovely Amy Porter, jockeys for tickets to the Dude3 concert, designs logos for his band, DogZombies, and annoys his older sister, Delia. His account is set in a typeface named for the author (generated from her handwriting, perhaps?) and is liberally illustrated with Tom's cartoons and doodles. Some of his artistic tics are pretty funny: When he refers to his teacher's gaze, he adds two little eyeballs as visual punctuation; goth Delia's expression hardly ever changes, even when she's feeling "jolly"; particularly embarrassing moments are labeled "shame" with little arrows. The book has been unevenly Americanized, leaching from it some of its potential distinctiveness. Most insultingly, "Mum" is now "Mom," but some terms found in the glossary such as "biscuit" and "jumper" have been translated in the text as "cookie" and "sweater," rendering those entries rather baffling. Although Tom's account is diarylike, it is undated, making it feel like the book's action is much shorter than the school term it evidently spans. Tom may be brilliant, but he's unlikely to unseat Greg Heffley in American hearts. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763674724
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
08/26/2014
Series:
Tom Gates Series, #1
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
524,311
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

L. Pichon says that when she was little, she loved to draw, and her mom said she was very good at making a mess (this is still true today). She kept drawing, went to art school, became a designer and art director at Jive Records, and began to publish children’s books. After its publication in the U.K., The Brilliant World of Tom Gates won several prestigious awards, including the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, and the Blue Peter Book Award. L. Pichon lives in Brighton, England, with her family.

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Brilliant World of Tom Gates 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
YoungMensanBookParade More than 1 year ago
A fun and easy read! The Brilliant World of Tom Gates is a fun easy to read fictional story about a fifth grade student named Tom Gates. He keeps a daily journal for writing and drawing about his school experiences and family adventures. Tom is often bored at school and makes funny creative excuses for not doing his homework assignments. At home, he likes to play jokes on his sister and spending time planning the future of his band called DogZombies. My favorite part of this book is Tom’s preparation and description of his family’s first outdoor camping vacation. They got lost while driving and get a flat tire. The family then gets caught in a rain storm and their tent blows away. The family was not happy with the campsite experience. I feel readers and students of all ages will enjoy the characters, illustrations and the imagination of Tom Gates. I’m giving a rating of five stars for The Brilliant World of Tom Gates. Review by Young Mensan Cyrus S., age 8, Greater New York Mensa