Don't Call Me Ishmael! Plot Summary

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The novel's main character, Ishmael Lesuer, is named after the main character of Moby-Dick. He was given the name because just before he was born, his parents performed a scene from the novel. He is fourteen years old and the world's only sufferer from the self-diagnosed Ishmael Leseur's Syndrome – a chronic ailment capable of turning an otherwise normal person into a "walking disaster area registering nine point nine on the open-ended imbecile scale". Ishmael showed no symptoms of his apparent syndrome until his first day of secondary school. The school bully, Barry Bagsley, teases him about his name. He tries to avoid Barry and acts invisible but swears to stand up to Barry in Year Nine. His Year Nine teacher, Miss Tarango, tells the whole class about the name Ishmael coming from Moby-Dick, which gives Barry and his friends more names to tease Ishmael with. Ishmael later intervenes when he sees Barry and his friends tease a younger boy from Year Four. A new boy called James Scobie becomes a target for bullying because of his appearance. However, James responds to the bully's taunts with humour. He tells the class that he is fearless because he had a brain tumour that damaged the part of his brain that feels fear. Barry is the only person that does not believe James. About a week later Barry puts a lot of insects and spiders in James's desk, but James is not frightened. During a rugby match James's fearlessness changes the course of the game. Ishmael, Scobie, a hilarious, outgoing and independent boy called Orazio Zorzotto, an overweight, sci-fi geek called Bill Kingsley and a very smart nerd Ignatius Prindabel participate in debating. Barry and his friends mock Bill about his weight by destroying his debating certificate. Kelly Faulkner, a girl Ishmael starts to fall in love with, thanks Ishmael because she is the sister of the Year Four boy Ishmael saved from

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