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Another Gem from Liz Pichon
on 5 January 2014
I always feel rather hypocritical when I read Tom Gates and enjoy it. There are lots of reasons why Tom Gates, which I like, is similar to Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, which I don't like. The plots are very thin, the text is sparse, and the illustrations dominate the books, meaning that you get a couple of hours reading out of either book at most, before you're done with them.
Where Tom Gates differs from Wimpy Kid however, is that Tom is actually a rather nice character, unlike Greg Heffley in Wimpy Kid. Tom has his enemies, of course, but he doesn't try to mercilessly get one over on people who are supposed to be his friends, like Gregg, and he isn't mean like Gregg. The humour in Tom Gates is quite gentle and silly, and inclusive, where Gregg is rather a manipulative, horrible character who enjoys the misery of other people.
I always try and steer children towards reading Tom Gates as an alternative (a welcome alternative) to Wimpy Kid. This latest volume is exactly like all the books that went before it, and none the worse for it. Tom and his friends enjoy the snow, and Tom tries to become a star pupil in class. At home, his family are gearing up to celebrate his grandparents fiftieth wedding anniversary and Tom and his band continue to fail to get a gig. All my children read and enjoyed this book over the christmas holiday, as did I, and it is another book that will be in high demand in our school library when we go back in January.