Reviews for My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up

Booklist Reviews 2012 April #2
A sort of Aussie tall-tale version of Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007), Bancks' latest features stories with a high-level gross-out factor. Narrated by young Tom Weekly, they follow his life as a son, friend, and student, though the most notable story has to be "My Nan's Tougher," in which Tom's grandmother fights his best friend's grandmother. Yes, the vignette about eating 67 hot dogs in 10 minutes with the help of a substance containing cat vomit is wonderfully stomach churning, but nothing tops the moment when Nan's colostomy bag explodes all over her elderly foe. Gordon's cartoon illustrations match the absurdities of these stories, which occasionally step into supernatural territory (a brief visit from a dead grandfather, a day when all objects hover inches or feet above the ground) but are mostly based in humdrum reality. Kids drawn to the upside down and out-and-out disgusting will find much to like, and will also learn a bit about Australian culture along the way. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 June

Gr 3-6--Tom Weekly warns readers right up front: this book might be only partially true, but the important thing is that he's the hero no matter what. His accounts of his daily life in these short stories are equal parts absurd and raucous, and sometimes a little gross. There are dog kisses on the mouth, granny fights, bloody magpie attacks, and even a toe that gets bitten clean off. It's a laugh-out-loud look at a boy's imagination with all of the bravado and cringe-worthy moments that readers might expect. The short, easy-to-read entries are punctuated with Tom's drawings, making this a good choice for reluctant readers. Additionally, the hybrid format, a chapter book filled with cartoon illustrations, and the humorous take on one boy's life, make it another pick for readers looking for Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams, 2007) read-alikes.--Sarah Townsend, Norfolk Public Library, VA

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