Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up

Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up

Article excerpt

Title: My life and other stuff I made up

Author: Tristan Bancks

Publisher: Random House Australia, 2011

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

My life and other stuff I made up by Tristan Bancks is the first of three anthologies in the My life series starring Tom Weekly, a 12-year-old Australian boy whose antics and woes are recorded in a sensationally absurd style similar to that of Paul Jennings. Gus Gordon illustrates the My life series with funny cartoon sketches, lists and links to websites on the rare occasions that the stories are related to real people and events.

The My life series is a collection of short stories which Bancks admits are loosely based on events from his own childhood, exaggerated in a child-like manner. Tom Weekly is the first person narrator and his sarcastic and buoyant perspective is funny and entertaining. Tom delivers wonderfully comical tales highlighting an array of topics relevant to young Australian readers. There are cringe-worthy tales, such as that of Mr Skroop in Scab, where Tom discovers his horrible teacher has a scab collection, and Toe, where Tom's sister, Tanya, forces Tom to lick Vegemite from her toe. While I assume this is typical of sibling torture, the tale takes a horrifying twist when the offending toe is accidentally bitten off. There are also stories capable of inducing chilling panic, such as attacks by bloodthirsty magpies in Swoop, a forbidden game of indoor soccer with Tom's best friend Jack in Teleporter, which results in the destruction of Tom's mother's brand new plasma television mere seconds before Tom arrives home. …

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