Genius Ideas [Mostly] (Tom Gates #4)
September 18, 2018
After receiving the shock of a lifetime — seeing his big sister, Delia, without her sunglasses on — Tom is trying to gear himself up for sports day at school. It does not help that his dad is training for the parents’ race on that day — and plans to wear bizarre cycling shorts! Meanwhile, Tom’s band, DogZombies, is supposed to play in the school talent show, meaning they’d better start practicing — a lot. It might all be worth it, though, if the absolutely brilliant band DUDE3 appears as special guests!
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
This notebook novel, with its hand drawn font and copious illustrations, will be an instant hit with readers who have liked Pastis' Timmy Failure, Stanton's Funny Kid and Barnett's Mac B.: Spy Kid books. Pichon's books have an even greater number of illustrations, and the interweaving of text and pictures is particularly engaging. The bright covers definitely add to the appeal.
Like Kalicky's My Life in Smiley or Berger's Lyttle Lies, this gives an excellent overview of what it is like to live and go to school in another country. Tom's day, the way his friends interact, and the things that interest him are all very familiar, but also a bit different. Biscuits, especially the caramel wafer kind, do not take up NEARLY enough of the day of the average US middle school student. I also like how grandparents appear more as a matter of course in books set across the pond.
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