Sunday, November 04, 2007

Van de Ruit, John. Spud

Van de Ruit, John. Spud. RazorBill, 2007 [978-1-59514-170-5 // 0-14-302484-1]
"Spud" Milton is a prepubescent choir boy who is going on scholarship to an elite residential school in South Africa. It is 1990 and apartheid is falling apart. Spud's flaky family is not only loony but also prejudice. This book is written in diary form seen through the eyes of a 13 year old boy, confused about girls, living a elite private school with a group of wild boys called the "Crazy Eight" and being a member of a strange family. Everyone in the school has a nickname. Spud gets the lead in the school play as Oliver. This is a wildly funny diary seen through the eyes of a 13 year-old boy. Of course sex is on his mind along with classmates. This 331 page book is listed at for ages 12 and up. Be aware while VERY funny, there are many sexual discussions. For just a few examples... the boys compare their "willies" in the shower. The narrator gets his nickname because his "willie" is small and his balls have not yet descended. One boy has to go to the nurse for being sore from playing with himself too much. A teacher advices the students not to read a certain group of female authors who are "carpet munchers." You may want to read it first to see if the community you serve would appreciate the humor. There is a second book planned, "Spud: the madness continues."


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