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Tom Gates knows what he likes and what he doesn’t. He likes hanging out with his friend Derek. Playing in his band and singing. Doodling. And making things. And telling jokes and stories. And. Well. You get it. He doesn’t like (much) his grumpy teenage sister Delia, his school frenemy Marcus and his snore-bore-ing teacher Mr Fullerman (who at least provides an opportunity for Tom to indulge in his favourite pastime – doodling).
When Mr Fullerman doesn't have his BIG BEADY EYES on me I like to draw pictures!
My teachers say I'm easily distracted and lack "focus". But that's HARSH because right now I'm VERY focused on what TREAT I'm going to EAT when I get home...mmm?
Delia is Tom’s older teenage sister. She likes to wear sunglasses all the time to block out the world and anything that annoys her - like Tom. Tom sometimes hides them, which drives her BONKERS - time well spent though.
Tom’s Dad has a secret stash of biscuits in his shed, where he works. Tom knows where they’re hidden though, which is handy when he has band practice with the rest of DogZombies and they run out of treats (Tom always leaves the fig rolls though - yuck!) Dad makes Tom laugh a lot, especially when he wears odd clothes or costumes and picks Tom up from school (it’s happened a few times).
Unlike Tom’s Dad, his Mum is excellent at hiding snacks. She also has superhuman hearing like a BAT and knows when he’s eating sweets even when he’s in his bedroom, hiding under the covers. She says things like “no one will even NOTICE you’re wearing a bin liner” to Tom, which is not true, but somehow, she manages to get him to do it.
Tom calls his Granny and Granddad on his Dad’s side “The Fossils” because they’re VERY old - although most of the time, they have more energy than him.
Granny Mavis loves to make odd combinations of food like BANANA PIZZA, GRATED CHOCOLATE on PASTA and TEA-covered CORNFLAKES.
Granddad can play the spoons and sing at the same time. It’s always funny when he takes out his false teeth and smiles at Delia (she never laughs).
Tom's Best mate
Derek is Tom’s next door neighbour and best mate. They like the same things, like Caramel Wafers and DUDE3 (best band ever). He plays keyboards in DogZombies and always makes Tom laugh. His dog, Rooster, is the closest thing Tom will get to having his own pet.
Rooster is the BEST! He likes running around and can JUMP really high - especially if he spots something he wants to eat - like a BBQ sausage that Tom’s Dad has just put on a plate. He’s great at doing tricks too. Just don’t say the word BATH too loudly in front of him or he’ll run a MILE.
Marcus sits next to Tom in class and thinks he’s a GENIUS (he’s not). Tom thinks he’s lucky because he has a dog, like Derek. He said it was FIERCE and well trained, so Tom and his classmates expected to see something HUGE… Certainly not a TINY Chihuahua. Marcus can be annoying, but he’s still Tom’s friend.
Mr. Fullerman teaches Tom’s class, Class 5F. He has BIG BEADY EYES and can spot Tom doodling EVEN when his back is turned (a bit like Tom’s Mum and her hearing). Mr. Fullerman is very encouraging and although he tries not to get cross, he still does. He says he used to have hair until he became a teacher.
Florence hangs out with Amy and Indrani and has her own band called… Um… Tom can never remember (that’s not the name of the band by the way). She’s always SUPER cheerful and is good at swimming and writing (not at the same time).
Amy sits next to Tom in class and is VERY smart, which is useful if Tom needs to take a SNEAKY PEEK at her spelling tests. He just leans to his right and then (accidentally on purpose) SEES the answers because they’re STARING at him. Amy is good at most things but she likes sprouts (which is a bit weird).
Norman plays drums in DogZombies and he’s BRILLIANT as long as he hasn’t had too much SUGAR (he gets VERY hyper and goes CRAZY). He has a funny way of looking at things and does the BEST impression of a JELLY wobble ever (life skills).
Pansy is always the first person to break into song (apart from Mrs Nap - who makes Tom’s class sing the register). She loves science and can tell you all kinds of interesting FACTS.
Leroy is VERY enthusiastic about most things. He’s a good friend of Tom’s and is always happy to help out. He loves testing out his magic tricks on the class. No one can ever work out how he does his card tricks - not even Mr. Fullerman!
Indrani is friends with EVERYONE and has EXCELLENT eyebrow skills. She can move them up, down and sideways in time to any kind of music. It’s pretty impressive. Indrani is good at telling stories too (in a good way).
Solomon (“Solid”) Stewart
“Solid” is Solomon's nickname. He’s super nice and SUPER tall which is VERY useful when Tom needs somebody to hide behind in assembly. Solid likes all sports and can hula hoop for longer than anyone Tom knows.
Mr. Sprocket is Derek's teacher in the classroom next door to Tom’s. Sometimes Tom thinks he’s a bit competitive with Mr. Fullerman. Especially when it comes to SPORTS day and the Teacher’s Race. Mr. Sprocket showed Tom and his friends his BREAKDANCING at the school disco. It was amazing right up until his BACK went and he had to be helped out of school on a STRETCHER.
Mrs. Nap runs the school choir and teaches drama. She LOVES a singsong. She sways back and forth when she sings and makes Tom’s class sing the register.
When Mrs. Worthington comes to teach our class, Tom has to make sure he doesn’t call her Mrs. WorthingTASH (she has a tiny bit of a moustache). Her lessons are always fun, unless Tom gets caught drawing pictures of her, then not so much fun is had by anyone (apart from Marcus, who always laughs at him).
Mr. Keen’s eyebrows are LEGENDARY. It’s hard for Tom to concentrate on what he’s saying because his eyebrows are so bushy they look like two CATERPILLARS walking across his face. Mr. Keen is quite strict. You can tell how ANGRY he is by the colour of his face. The redder it gets - the more cross he is.
Older Kid at Tom’s School
Some kids are a bit NERVOUS of Buster because he gets into trouble - a LOT. He’s in the year above Tom and has NICKNAMES for everyone, including the teachers. He calls Tom “Gatesy” and gets him to do drawings for him because they make him laugh. He’s not as scary as kids think he is. He’s always nice to Tom.
Tom’s cousins are twins. They’re very tall and don’t say much but they eat a LOT. They like to play tricks on Tom which sometimes annoys him, especially when it’s a surprise. They are big scary film fans but Tom is trying to get them into the Jolly Fruit Bunch instead (his favourite TV show).
Julia loves BOOKS and reads a lot. She’s not a very good traveller though, so never sit next to her on a coach (or on anything that moves, to be honest), unless you enjoy watching her change COLOUR.
Mark has a LOT of pets including a SNAKE which he brought into school once. Tom thought it was ACE, but some kids ran a mile. If you want to know anything about animals, Mark is the person to ask.
Celeste is one of Tom’s newest friends. She joined the class and right away they hit it off. She has bags of energy and is always looking for something action packed to do. She is tall for her age and wears a hearing aid. She likes to teach her friends sign language, especially for passing secret messages!
Avril is Delia's bestie - they've known each other from primary school - and they like pretty much the same things. Don’t tell anyone, but Delia's look is actually based on Avril’s! Avril is very confident without needing to talk about it. In fact, she doesn't say much at all - her and Delia think the same. No need to waste energy speaking!
Kit is outgoing, silly and loves a cheeky joke or two. He likes playing football - it’s the thing he’s best at and he throws himself into it. In fact he’s nearly always got a football nearby, even in class it is often beneath his desk under his foot. Kit is one of smallest kids in the school and also one of the youngest.