Review Blog

Jul 17 2018

My life and other failed experiments by Tristan Bancks and Gus Gordon

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Tom Weekly Book 6. Penguin, 2018. ISBN 9780143781615
(Age: 8-11) Recommended. Themes: Pets. Brothers and sisters. Humour. What's next for Tom Weekly, his sister torturing his guinea pig, taking on the most annoying ice-cream man and dealing with a killer possum attack? Tom has a new motto 'never give up, never give in' and he's determined to survive the crazy situations he encounters. Tristan Bancks continues to raise the bar for Tom whose goals include eating a car and most importantly getting your parents off social media - there's photos of baby poo!
Older sister Tanya dangles Tom's guinea pig out of his open window demanding all his birthday money for Gus's safe return, and Tom needs to take quick action. A quick pull on his bedroom rug sees Tanya fall, land in the compost bin and unfortunately Gus poops pellets in her mouth. That's just the first of many laugh out loud incidents. In 'Razorblade Fruitcake' there are fruitcake frisbees, and Tom is chased by a mad woman in a hot-pink granny cart. He won't be helping his Nan again anytime soon. Tom's personal problems are aired in 'Buttman', his Mum says 'his bum makes unpleasant odours on a far too regular basis.' Tom's solutions involve either a total butt removal or inventing a chemical freshener 'Buttfresh' that will sell to millions of people and save the world from the methane emissions of cows. Tom's Santa suit experience and unfortunate candy cane regurgitation end this novel with a reality check for this relatable character, no special Christmas kiss for him!
My life and other failed experiments is a hilarious novel. Bancks includes humour, jokes, cartoons, gross body anecdotes, weird facts and lists of thought-provoking questions such as 'Who would you rather be?' Gus Gordon's cartoons add to the fun and craziness that is Tom Bank's life. This extremely popular series is perfect for middle primary readers and for a class read aloud novel.
Rhyllis Bignell

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