TOTALLY TERRIBLE TOMMY
|Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite
Totally Terrible Tommy is just as his name suggests: he’s totally terrible. He tramples his mother’s tulips, trashes his father’s workshop, breaks his sister’s toys, and talks back to his teachers at school. Nothing stops Tommy from being totally terrible. When his grandfather comes to visit, he challenges Tommy’s perspective by asking him why he wants to behave so terribly. Tommy seems to think everyone expects him to be terrible, so that’s what he is. He wants to be noticed and he doesn’t believe he will be noticed if he’s not terrible. His grandfather asks him to try a different approach for a week. Tommy agrees and starts be helpful and nice to everyone. Suddenly Totally Terrible Tommy has become Totally Terrific Tommy and he’s getting more attention than he thought possible. He’s even feeling good about himself. But it’s not enough. You see, Tommy just wants to be Tommy, not Totally Terrible or Totally Terrific, just Tommy. And that’s not such a bad thing either, because no one can or should be perfectly good or perfectly bad all of the time.
Author Madge H Gressley has written a beautiful story. Totally Terrible Tommy is both humorous and serious and teaches readers, young and old alike, the importance of accepting ourselves and others around us for what they are: neither totally terrible nor totally terrific. And it teaches us all the importance of helping out and trying to be considerate and hard working as much as possible. The author is both clever and charming in her story, using the catchy alliteration of T’s in the Totally Terrible Tommy and Totally Terrific Tommy.