UQP Storybridge

October 2002

$16.95 AU

178p pb

ISBN: 978-0702233364

Tom Jones Saves The World: a novel

Steven Herrick

from the book...

I hate that wall

Every time I go for a bike-ride

Mum says, "Stay within the walls".

So I ride around in circles,

Like a circus animal.

It's a prison. A prison for kids.

Dumb things become important when you're old. At least that's what Tom reckons: like living in a guarded gated community, filling the three spare rooms with a bottle top collection or secretly belly dancing while everyone's out. When Tom meets Cleo the snake charmer, together they break-out, discover a bull that hasn't become a hamburger, visit Tom's forbidden grandfather and catch and boil yabbies by Murchison Creek.

Another funny, quirky adventure about friendship, families and saving the world, from popular award-winning storyteller Steven Herrick.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A


Thomas Wilbur Johannas Harold Jones is an only child who moves to Pacific Palms. Both his parents are a bit weird. His father has got a three-bedroom bottle top collection. Dumb things become important when you’re old. At least that’s what Tom thinks.  His mother, well, he finds out a funny secret about his mum. Tom moves to Pacific Palms for his father’s job, but there’s one problem with that. There’s a wall around Pacific Palms, his parents call it secure, and Tom calls it a prison. Tom goes to his Aunt Ella’s funeral and meets his grandpa who he promises to visit at his retirement village but only if he in turn promises not to drink for the day. Tom tries to ask Grandpa Jones why doesn’t he talk to his dad and finds out why. One day when Tom goes to school he meets a girl called Cleo. He wonders why she’s called Cleo, it’s short for Cleopatra (her parents are archaeologists).  Tom becomes good friends with Cleo. They both agree Pacific Palms is a prison, so they make an escape plan.

Steven Herrick is a fantastic novel writer. He writes his stories through poems.

Tom Jones Saves The World is a funny book about friendship, families and saving the world. I recommend it for ages between 8 and 12. 9/10.

Alana, age 11, Toowoomba, Australia


Tom Jones Saves the World is another fantastic book written by Steven Herrick. It is about a young boy who moves to a new place called Pacific Palms because of his dad’s work. What Tom doesn’t like about this new place is that it has a wall built around Pacific Palms, with a security gate at the front. Tom is nervous about his first day at school but meets a friend whose name is Cleo (short for Cleopatra). Cleo’s parents are archaeologists in Egypt. Cleo lives with her Uncle and Auntie. Cleo lives inside the wall which both Tom and Cleo call a prison unlike their parents who call it safety. Tom meets his Grandfather at his Aunt’s funeral and wants to continue seeing him at his retirement home. So he can visit his grandfather Tom has to get through the wall with Cleo’s help. He is doing this to reunite his dad and grandfather together. The only catch to it is Tom’s grandfather has to give up alcohol if he wants to be visited.

Tom Jones Saves the World is an enjoyable read. Steven Herrick has once again written a brilliant book. This book has a sense of determination to it and Tom doesn’t give up on what he wants until he gets it. There aren’t many issues in the book and the book is aimed at upper primary to lower secondary school students. I would give it 7 out of 10.

Brenton, Year 10, Canberra, Australia


Tom Jones Saves The World is a verse novel written by Steven Herrick. It is about a little boy named Tom Jones, and his friend Cleo the snake charmer. It is also about the adventures kids get up to in their young age. They both live in a hotel and both think it’s like a prison, for it has big walls all around the houses. Tom and Cleo hate living in this so called prison and wish they were allowed to go outside the walls to ride their bikes. So they decided that it’s time to break out of this place and go to the creek to go yabbying. When they go yabbying there is always a bull on the other side of the creek and it is there to be fattened up so it can be killed and be turned into hamburgers. But after a couple of times of going to the creek they notice that the bull is still there and has been there way too long for it to be killed and made into hamburgers. Why is the bull still there and why is it still alive?

I don’t usually read, but I would rate this book 7/10 and I recommend it for ages 9 to 12. It isn’t a long book but if you like to read about people’s adventures then this is certainly the book for you.

Tomislav, Year 8, Canberra, Australia

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