From the Publisher
Tom's doodles are appealing … particularly the unsmiling, sunglasses-clad face of sister Delia, repeated whenever her name appears throughout
Middle grade readers looking for more books with "Wimpy-appeal" should find a lot to enjoy in this UK import.
—School Library Journal
Pichon hits the elementary-school-boy sweet spot by blending humor and tween embarrassments (parents, having to wear teddy bear swimming trunks) with Tom’s hilarious doodles and insights...Ample white space and illustrations make this perfect for reluctant readers or those not quite ready for Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series.
Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid are a natural audience for this British import, the second in a series that will surely please budding Anglophiles; an illustrated glossary of Britishisms is included.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Children's Literature - Kristen Klotz
Take a look inside the journal of Tom Gates, a British middle school boy, who can find funny excuses for anything. In the second book of the “Tom Gates” series, Tom is on break from school for two weeks and looks forward to inventing ways to annoy his sister Delia, drawing pictures that annoy Delia, watching television, and eating caramel wafers. Tom also looks forward to spending time with his best friend Derek Fingle Marcus. The only thing that Tom does not want to do over break is his review homework. Tom takes his funny antics back to school when the break is over. This chapter book has a layout similar to a graphic novel’s, featuring text in various sizes and formats on each page broken up with drawings and pictures that Tom created. Children in middle school would enjoy reading this book. It would be helpful in encouraging reluctant readers to finish a chapter book. Reviewer: Kristen Klotz; Ages 8 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Tom Gates, a British lad in year five, can't wait for his two-week holiday from school. He and his best mate, Derek, have some grand plans: doing nothing; having sleepovers; practicing being rock stars in their band, Dogzombies; annoying Tom's snarky older sister, Delia; and watching lots of television. Unfortunately, a letter home from Tom's teacher Mr. Fullerman puts the brakes on the fun. Mr. Fullerman may or may not have fallen for Tom's "attacked by a vicious dog on the way to school" excuse regarding his missing homework. His mother insists that the homework be completed before anything else and throws in the demand for a clean room to boot. Faced with this task, Tom draws a total blank and ends up drawing cobwebs in his notebook instead. Hilariously unreflective and self-absorbed, Tom aspires to avoid schoolwork at all costs and become a rock star, even though he hasn't mastered the music part and his band lacks a drummer. Tom and Greg Heffley are kindred spirits, and Tom's notebook, filled with frenetic, free-wheeling attempts to avoid homework, responsibility, Marcus Melgrew, his uncle, and all things remotely unpleasant, should entertain, if not resonate. This is not the first in the series, but readers will have no problem jumping into the story. Many terms have been Americanized, such as Mom instead of Mum, but those Briticisms that were not, such as bodged or bogey, are explained in a short glossary at the end of the book. VERDICT Middle grade readers looking for more books with "Wimpy-appeal" should find a lot to enjoy in this UK import.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ
That wimpy kid from across the pond returns in a sequel to The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (2014).The pleasure of a two-week school vacation is only somewhat blunted by Tom's need to make up the homework so tragically "eaten" before the holiday. After a few mulligans, Tom is at liberty to go to his mate Derek's and rehearse with the up-and-coming rock sensation DogZombies. Since they need a drummer for "Wild Thing," the band mates decide to audition one as soon as school resumes. Cartoon-punctuated high jinks ensue. Tom must cope with an epic toothache (eating sweets occupies much of his narrative), his and Derek's brief stint in the school band (the members of which play recycled instruments with great accomplishment, unlike the DogZombies), new trio DogZombies' debut at Tom's granddad's retirement home, and his teacher's irritating insistence that he do his homework properly. Also his nemeses, goth sister Delia and class suck-up Marcus Meldrew. Like his Yank counterpart, Tom's narrative is episodic, rambling, and only unevenly funny. Tom's doodles are appealing, though, particularly the unsmiling, sunglasses-clad face of sister Delia, repeated whenever her name appears throughout. An appended glossary unpacks such British mysteries as "biscuit" and "dodgy." The only thing that materially distinguishes Tom Gates from Greg Heffley and his legions of pretenders is his accent; some readers may feel that's good enough. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)