Tom Gates is the master of excuses for late homework: dog attacks – spilt water – lightning… Tom’s exercise book is full of his doodles, cartoons and thoughts, as well as comments from his long-suffering teacher, Mr Fullerton. After gaining five merits for his CAMPING SUCKS holiday story, Tom’s work starts to go downhill – which is a pity, as he’s desperate to impress Amy Porter, who sits next to him…
From School Library Journal
Gr 3-5–Fifth-grader Tom Gates has a lot of negatives in his life. His older sister annoys him and he retaliates by playing tricks on her. His teachers assign too much homework and when he runs out of time to do it he offers over-the-top, fantastical excuses for why it’s not done. Adding to these issues, his family has many mishaps, like failed camping trips and the dog chewing up his tickets to a rock concert. Tom endures it all with his penchant for doodling and writing about everything that happens. For example, whenever the teachers focus on him in class he creates doodles of them staring at him with their “beady eyes.” This helps him feel better. His self-centered storytelling is over-the-top but will be enjoyed by those who can’t get enough of Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books (Abrams/Amulet). The engaging illustrations are plentiful and will delight avid and reluctant readers alike. This title was originally published in the United Kingdom; some British words and phrases are sprinkled throughout. A humorous glossary explaining the Briticisms is appended.–Tina Martin, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, IL –This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.