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The Story of Tom Brennan Focus Questions

Chapter ONE: 1.What do we find our about Tom's new world - his home and school and the new people in his life? Gran (Carmel) controls Toms new home life. Tom does not enjoy living with his grandmother who has set dinner times, expectations of saying grace over dinner and especially her cooking. P. 21 dark and stuffy, her gallery of saints watching us P. 18 Theresa were not starting lunch without you. Come on, girly, dont be so indulgent Life goes on. P. 22 it was meant to be roast pork but it looked more like a charred slab of cows shit. Toms new school is called St Benedicts. He was invited by Father Vincent to play on the rugby team for his new school considering the team has a new coach (Michael Harvey) who has recently turned down a coaching job in Sydney to stay with the team, p. 28.

2. Does Tom's old world sound like a good place to live? Why? Toms old home life was ordinary, warm and filled with family. P. 9 I could see everyone in the backyard except Aunty Kathy and Mum, theyd be in the kitchen buttering rolls and making salads. Me Daniel, my cousin Fin and sometimes Kylie would start our game of cricket P. 20 Our Brennan Australia Day, the way we always did P. 21 Dad was the Barbie man. Hed cook the steaks, have a beer..

3. What part did the Brennan family play in their old world? How is this different now in their new world? - Mum is extremely depressed Mum looked up her blue eyes grey and dull p. 32 - Dad feels helpless Dad started to fold the napkins over and over again p. 34 - Grandmother is frustrated But I cant help her if she wont help herself p. 33 - Daniel Brennan has committed some awful crime pray for the soul of their son Daniel p. 3

Chapter FOUR:

4. Summarise how Daniel's actions have changed the lives of Joe, Tess, Fin, Kath, Tom, Kylie and Brendan. - Moved houses & new school for the Brennan family - Kath is nursing Fin - Fin is still in the hospital

5. Tom says, 'I hated the past, and yet I hated the present nearly more.' (p.53) Explain what he means by this. Tom is tormented by the past and how Daniel committed a crime that had severe consequences for Fin and the whole Brennan family. Tom hates the present as he still misses and longs for his friends, old school, house and his family life prior to the tragic incident.

Chapter FIVE: 6. What does Tom say at the end of the chapter that summarises the journey he's on into a new world? Everything I thought I knew about who I was and who the Brennans were changed forever p. 213 Tom is facing with the hardships of reality after seeing Finn in hospital. Tom feels the car accident has negatively impacted on his whole family varying from lifestyle to the emotional pain they are all enduring.

Chapter SIX: 7. What evidence is there in this chapter that Tom is being drawn into the world of Coghill? Provide a quote to support your response. - Football The talk at school amongst the blokes was rugby and whod be selected for the first. It was so familiar it was weird p. 242 - Friendship with Roy Thanks to him I was getting acquainted with my new classmates p. 243

- Teacher caring for Toms wellbeing But if you want to talk at any.. p. 250 - Start of a new relationship with Chrissy (Jonnys sister) Tom? Hi! Remember you came over the p. 261

Chapter SEVEN: 8. Explain how the Brennan family has lost their place in the world of Mumbilli. Explore how they are currently between worlds no longer part of Mumbilli but not yet part of Coghill. - Parents and uncle visiting Daniel in prison & Fin in the hospital p. 264 - Not part of his old football team St Johns p. 269 - Not being part of the fundraiser for Finn p. 272 - Unsure if he is part of St Benedicts football team - Unfamiliar home, routine & lifestyle

Chapter TEN: 9. Kylie seems to be handling her situation better than Tom and his mother. Describe how she comes to terms with her new world. Kylie is slowly accepting her new world, especially when she is making an effort to succeed in school, for example home economics Kylies apple strudel for home science do not touch!!!! p. 274. However, Kylie is extrem ely frustrated at Tom for being so self absorbed with his emotions If you didnt have your head up your arse thinking about rugby, rugby and how much you miss St Johns and all your mates p. 275

Chapter ELEVEN: 10. Describe the way that Kath is coping with her new world. How is her situation harder to cope with than Tess? Kath is finding it extremely difficult to cope within her new world. Kath has to face: Kyle and Tom fighting and being the mother figure Kylie so desperately needs Go and have a shower, Kyles Kath said to her Cool off a bit p. 279

Fin in hospital care Hes looking forward to getting out of hospital. I think rehab will be really good for him p. 280 Tess who is still bed ridden Well, Tess Kath started, Im sorry about that. But my son cant even turn his neck to see his back p. 288 Brendan defending Tess We wouldnt want to upset Tess anymore, would we? Oh, my goodness thatd be a disaster p. 288

11. What evidence exists in this chapter that Tom has started to become part of his new world? - Running with Brendan Id been running most days, so I was hardly being a slacker missing one mornings run p. 296 - Emotions shifting towards Daniel. Wanting to create a special gift for his birthday Make it really special. Give him something to, you know p. 299 - Having a crush on Chrissy I was resisting a hell of a lot of urgers p. 302

Chapter TWELVE 12. At this stage of the novel, compare and contrast the two worlds of Mumbilli and Coghill. How are they similar? How are they different?
Mumbilli Old world Coghill New world

Differences The tragic car accident Daniel still present with the family Mumbilli friends Similarities Living with extended family (Brendan & Gran) Mother is depressed Running with uncle Brendan Chrissy Football team lacked killer instinct like St Johns Different style of coaching

Football wins we won easily against a bunch of lightweights from Everly Christian College p. 313

- Small towns

13. What impact did Kylie have on Toms character following her speech in chapter 12? How do you feel about Kylies character? Kylies speech made a huge impact on Tom and how he perceived his new friends; town and football team would treat him once they found out about the car accident. Tom feared the vindictive cycle would start again, especially the graffiti and hurtful comments.

Chapter THIRTEEN 14. In many ways shed released me, pushing me into my own fear. (p. 190) What is Tom referring to? What does he mean by pushing me into my own fear?

Tom feels released from his anger towards Kylie and his concerns about others finding out about Daniel in jail. Pushing me into my own fear suggests that Tom finally realizes that he needs to deal with his own pain and emotions, instead of externalizing his shame and guilt on others, for example taking his anger out on Kylie when she has experienced the same circumstances.

Chapter FIFTEEN 15. Compare and contrast the two teams St. Johns and Bennies. Which team would you prefer to play in? Why? St John was all about winning, wasnt it? p. 565 He knows theyre not the best team in the world, but I think he makes them feel like they are p. 564 That pressure was always there. Not from the old man, I think we did it to ourselves p. 566 The best thing about playing in the firsts at St Johns was playing with you, Dan p. 566

Chapter SIXTEEN 16. We find out in this chapter that Kylie and Brendan are still deeply upset about Daniel. Describe their feelings. How does Tom help Kylie? Kylie feels extremely down I feel like shit. She began to sob. p. 593. Kylie has suppressed her guilt involving Daniels and Fins accident and how she encouraged Claire to break up with Daniel. Daniel consoles Kylie Dont do that crap to yourself. It was no ones fault p.602 and expresses he guilt of walking away from Daniel I told him he was a prick and then I walked away p. 603. Tom also, divulge the state of the football team and the amount of internal fighting that was happening on the team we were fighting all the time.. p. 607

17. Why is Tom stressed about the coming football match? In what ways will it be a test for him? Tom will finally be confronting his past and meeting his past team mates under the precedence of playing against them with his new team mates from Coghill. Now I didnt know which ones thought I was okay and which ones wanted to spit in my face p. 623 I was scared, not just scared about seeing all the boys again.. p. 623


18. Explain in your own words the symbolism of the waterhole that means so much to Brendan once it was polluted but now its clear again. - Tom now has a clearer perspective on his life and Daniels accident I couldnt help him like I couldnt help Kylie p. 630

19. Toms new life in Coghill continues to unfold. What new developments occur in this chapter? - Brendan sharing his secret waterhole with Tom - Playing against St Johns football team from Mumbilli - Matt is consistent with his friendship with Tom - Facing St John students calling him Killer and Brennan - The start of a new relationship with Chrissy

20. The Brennan family has been through a great and unforeseen crisis. The crisis has, however, revealed the underlying strength of the family. What evidence is there of this underlying strength up to this point in the novel? - Friendship with Brendan He helped make us work. He took the pressure off the old man and that helped me p. 638 - Tom facing his old teammates Youve done nothing wrong I told myself, over and over, as I jumped up and down on the spot p. 657 - Tom walking away instead of reacting to killers being called out lll talk to you later, mate, but now I got to go p. 665

21. Can the football game be perceived as a play by play of Toms experiences in the novel? The football game is indicative of the emotional turmoil that Tom and his family have endured over an extensive period of time. The game deals with Toms greatest fear of how St John will react to him and his family. Tom successfully overcomes this hardship by focusing on the game and walking away with Chrissy, accepting his inability to change the perception of others.

Chapter EIGHTEEN 22. What healing is taking place? How are the different characters moving on into their new post-accident worlds? Tom has established a new life in Coghill, making new friends, joining a new football team and finding love with Chrissy .. I was actually happy. It was hard to wipe th e smile off my face p. 674

Kylie is starting to open up and talk about her guilt attached to Daniels accident with Tom. She is spending two weeks with Fin over the school holidays Kylie had opted to spend the whole two weeks with Kath and Fin p. 671 Fin considering visiting Daniel in jail Ill go and see him, you know. Soon -maybe. I mean, he was like my brother p. 689 Tess is making an attempt to assimilate back into the family Now shes up and getting back to normal, its kind of hard to remember what she was like then p. 698

Chapter NINETEEN 23. How does the novel end on a positive note? Think about Tom, Tess, Daniel and Fin in particular. Personal opinion 24. Does the novel end well? Why/ why not? Personal opinion