________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 36. . . .May 20, 2016


Yes! No. (Maybe...).

Liz Pichon.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2016.
257 pp., pbk., $8.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-4828-3.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Myra Junyk.

*** /4



Today is turning out to be quite a GOOD
day after all. As part of ART, we’ve been given

There’s a
worksheet too,
explaining what
we’re supposed to
be DRAWING in it
for this project.

So I take a look... (p. 43)


Tom Gates is having a difficult day. His obnoxious older sister Delia eats his favourite breakfast cereal. When he arrives at school, he discovers that a vicious flu bug is making everyone cough. Even his grade 5 teacher, Mr. Fullerton, is coughing. When Tom gets his homework back, he discovers that he did not hand in his report. Where is it? How could he misplace a report that he spent so much time writing?

      However, there are also some exciting things going on at school. The class is preparing for Business Day. “Every year the kids in our school raise money for charity by selling things they’ve made.” (p. 20) Tom comes up with a great idea for his group. Why not sell comic book folders? However, when he hears the word “cake”, he quickly puts up his hand without thinking. He has mistakenly volunteered to change groups. He is now in the cake-making group! Tom’s confusion is making his life miserable!

      At home, Tom’s mother is on a clean-up campaign. “Clear it! Sort it! Sell it!” She asks Tom to find things in his room to donate to the book sale. This is not an easy task. “My room’s a bit messy at the moment, so hiding things is EASY. The tricky bit’s finding them again.” (p. 15) Finally, she discovers his comic book collection. Does he really have to give up his precious comics?

      Yes! No. (Maybe...), by Liz Pichon, gives readers a window into the thoughts and feelings of a middle school boy named Tom Gates. He wants to get a pet, but his sister Delia is allergic to them. He belongs to a singing group and dreams of fame and fortune. At home, his mother is having a birthday, and Tom is planning a big surprise. His family members can be annoying, but they love him and support him, particularly when he needs help with his Business Day project.

      Tom Gates loves to doodle. His doodling shows how he is reacting to the everyday events in his life. In this book, Tom’s doodling focus is on his classroom sketchbook project about “Expressions – Faces of People and Animals.” His drawings reflect his experiences and his feelings about the people in his life.

      Yes! No. (Maybe...) is another book in the Tom Gates series which began with The Brilliant World of Tom Gates. At the end of this book, there is a useful glossary of terms as well as interesting craft ideas. Readers who are familiar with the series will continue to appreciate the gentle humour and the realistic portrayal of middle school life. There are many interesting themes in this book including creativity, decision-making, family life, recycling, group work, sacrifice and community building.


Myra Junyk, a literacy advocate and author, lives in Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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