My Life & Other Stuff That Went Wrong by Tristan Bancks
Published by Random House Australia
Tom Weekly is one entrepreneurial kind of kid. Few would set up a tent in the school yard, and charge kids to take a look at a freak show, starring none other than Tom’s own webbed feet. Well, apart from his best friend Jack, who shares his business spirit, however, it doesn’t end well for them, when the school bully wants his money back.
No matter, on to the next adventure. Who knew a rat named Rarnard would turn out to be, oops, I can’t say, spoiler alert. All I can say is Rarnard’s tale is a hoot of a tale.
Then there is Tom’s Gran, who announces she is going to climb Mount Everest. Poor Tom is conscripted into helping her train. When a challenge is set forth by none other than the monstrous Sue, Jack’s Gran, the race is on to reach the summit, which is really just the top of the hill near the local graveyard, or “boneyard” as the oldies call it. It is a fight to the end, but all is well that ends well, thankfully for the two old girls.
Oh and I must mention, Tom and Jack’s games of “What Would You Rather Do” will tickle your ribs and possibly give you indigestion.
I think my favourite of the random and rather funny/gross/exaggerated moments in Tom’s life is the day his birth mark, un-affectionately called “The Fig” takes flight and starts talking to Tom in the pool change room. That one had me LOL ing, for quite a few moments.
Just one of the many unfortunate moments in Tom’s hopeless attempt at a normal life, well, as normal as any middle school kid’s life can be.
Tom is older and wiser by the end of all the tales, or at least I thought he was, until Stella Holling offers him a lemonade ice-block. You will just have to read it yourself to find out why.
A fun collection of short stories that children aged 8-12 will find gross, unbelievable and hilarious all within a few short moments of each other. I think this will appeal to reluctant readers, with its short chapters and fun stories to keep them engaged.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Tristan Bancks
Illustration: Gus Gordon
Title: My Life & Other Stuff That Went Wrong
Publisher: Random House Australia
Published: April 2014