Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ostrich Boys” as Want to Read:
Ostrich Boys
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ostrich Boys

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  867 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
'It's not really kidnapping, is it? He'd have to be alive for it to be proper kidnapping.'

Kenny, Sim and Blake are about to embark on a remarkable journey of friendship. Stealing the urn containing the ashes of their best friend Ross, they set out from Cleethorpes on the east coast to travel the 261 miles to the tiny hamlet of Ross in Dumfries and Galloway. After a depress
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Definitions (Young Adult)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ostrich Boys, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ostrich Boys

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick NessHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingNoughts & Crosses by Malorie BlackmanHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Best #UKYA Books
41st out of 522 books — 355 voters
Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire SáenzFinnikin of the Rock by Melina MarchettaAmy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan MatsonRevolution by Jennifer DonnellyShip Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
YALSA 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults
49th out of 99 books — 28 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,826)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jubilation Lee
No lie, friends, I picked Ostrich Boys up solely because of this:

“I suppose it was all right Miss Dean being there. Ross always said he thought she was okay.”

“She’s a librarian,” Sim said. “They’re not teachers; they don’t give you half as much hassle. If there’s a fire in the school and I’ve got to choose who I’m gonna save—a teacher or a librarian—the teacher’s gonna burn every time.”

Kenny and I agreed. Harsh but true.

Loves it.

Anyway, the actual story. So Blake, Sim, Kenny and Ross have The Mo
Aug 17, 2011 bup rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2010, first-reads
This book accomplishes a lot. First, It's a coming-of-age/loss-of-innocence story, wherein three 15-year-old friends take the ashes of their recently dead fourth friend on a journey they all need. Second, it's a book that reminds you that no matter what happens on a road trip, road trips are always worth it. Third, it's sickly funny.

Before I go on, I need to say I won this book in the goodreads 'giveaways' program.

So, yeah, these three mates (that's British for 'friends') take their mate's (frie
"Ross was hit by a car, knocked off his bike. At the funeral the vicar had called it an accident. But somehow the word wasn't enough. It wasn't big enough, powerful enough--didn't mean enough. He hadn't spilled a cup of tea, he hadn't tripped over his own feet. He'd had his life smashed out of him. It felt like there should be a whole new word invented just to describe it."

Upset over the loss of their best friend, Ross, and displeased by his funeral, Blake, Sim, and Kenny all agree: their dead m
Liza Gilbert
I struggled with how to review this book. The first thirty-fifty pages are hard to read. The rhythm is different, and the author seems to use more words than are necessary.

But, after the first fifty pages, it either became easier to read or was written differently. The gist of the story is that four high school boys are tight friends until one of them (Ross) dies in a biking/automobile incident. The other three decide to steal Ross' ashes and take him to Ross, Scotland, a place Ross (the person)
Joseph Delaney
I read and write fantasy but occasionally step outside that genre to sample something else. On this occasion I was delighted to read the ‘Ostrich Boys’. Three boys steal the urn that contains the ashes of their best friend, called ‘Ross’ and flee north. They have decided to scatter his remains near the hamlet of ‘Ross’ in Scotland. It is a journey of self-discovery as they gradually lift their heads out of the sand. This is a book that you will never forget.
Jun 09, 2015 Yami rated it really liked it
what do you call a group of Ostriches???
a "Pride"
though according to the net it should be a flock, let's for the sake of this novel agree it is a Pride, cos it does make sense if it is intended to be a pun. the boys were between glowing with pride with what they were doing, and hiding their heads in the sand as Ostriches at the same time...

enough of the title,

about the plot, as it says three boys are going in an adventure to give their friend Ross the funeral he deserves by stealing his "ASHES"
This book has a very different story line than most books I read. It's the story of four 15 year-old boys who experience a tragedy when one of the boys is killed in a bicycle accident. The remaining three boys seek to give their friend a proper funeral by taking his ashes to the one place in Britain he always wanted to go - the place that holds his name - Ross. The boys not only experience adventure, they find themselves searching deep within themselves to solve the biggest question everyone is ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

OSTRICH BOYS is about friendship and loyalty. Blake, Sim, and Kenny just lost their best friend, Ross. Hit by a car while riding his bike, he is gone and they can hardly believe it.

After the boys attend his funeral, they decide the ceremony didn't do their friend justice. Ross was so much more than a collection of words and hymns. As a sort of revenge for the fact that he was taken in such unfair circumstances and at an early age, t
Nov 20, 2014 Alejandra rated it it was amazing
After reading this book in less than 24 hours, I have to agree with The Herald when they say that "if there were more writers like Keith Gray, more teenagers would read". Mr. Gray certainly knows the way a teenage mind works and he writes with such force that you can't help get sucked in the story.
This is the tale of Sim, Burke and Kenny; three 15 year old boys who have just lost his friend Ross in a terrible accident. All of them agree that no one really understood Ross, and feel the need to gi
I am an emotional wreck right now.

No, really. I had to spend a few moments after finishing the book just crying my eyes out and trying to regain myself. (I still haven't, btw.) I just knew this book would make me cry like a baby. But I still torture myself.

What's not to love about this book? The prose is just beautiful. There were plenty parts of the story that made my heart ache. I fell in love with the four main characters and their wonderful friendship with one another, and I felt like I too
Sue Wargo
Jun 03, 2013 Sue Wargo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This is the quintessential buddy book. When high school friend Ross dies in an accident, the remaining three buddies decide that his ashes need to be taken to a town north of their home called Ross. Almost like a bad joke, the boys steal the urn from Ross's family and set off on a journey to pay respects to their friend. There are antics such as losing the back pack, not enough money,missing a stop in the transit, picking up girls, ans sleeping in an abandoned house. All the while the boys are i ...more
Sydney   LaForest
Ostrich Boys entertained me the whole way. It simply made me smile -- there's nothing better than an illegal road trip taken by 15-year-old boys filled with... well, boyish antics (though there was nothing really daring about any of it, besides taking the actual trip). However, that's all it was to me. Throughout the novel, I wanted to know what happened, but it didn't really hook me. I enjoyed the characters and the flaws they clearly all had, but I didn't see much character devlopment. Althoug ...more
Eva Mitnick
Sep 19, 2010 Eva Mitnick rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Sensible, stocky Blake is our narrator, and he makes it seem an inevitable result of the trio's true friendship with and understanding of their friend Ross that they steal his cremated ashes (not long after he has been killed by a car while riding his bike) and abscond with them to Ross, Scotland. As it turns out, they didn't understand Ross - or each other, or themselves - as well as they thought, but after a whirlwind trip full of missteps, bonding, quarreling, girls, and bungee jumping, thing ...more
Amber Wortz
Apr 04, 2012 Amber Wortz rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure
Amber Wortz

This is a young adult novel set in the UK, where 3 best friends run away from home to spread their dead best friend's ashes after his family gave him a funeral that they didn't approve on. On their adventure to Ross, Scotland they have to hitchhike, stow away on trains and bungee jump to get to their destination. On their journey that also discover things they didn't know about each other and about their deceased friend.

I thought this was a pretty realistic book about the tho
Apr 27, 2015 Malia rated it really liked it
This was such a lovely, funny, moving book! I happened upon it by chance, never having heard of the author, so I didn't really know what to expect. What I got was a memorable and believable story about friendship.

The story centers around three teenage boys whose friend, Ross, has died. They decide his funeral was not what he would have wanted, and steal his ashes to take them to a town called Ross in Scotland. Now this may seem somewhat absurd, but trust me, it somehow makes total sense. I reall
I was really taken by this story. I could not put it down. I found that both the physical journey across England and Scotland was entertaining while the emotional and psychological journey was compelling. The way the author weaves these journeys, the boys trials and their growth is all well conceived and delivered. I recognize that the author was capturing the common tongue of the middle class Brit, but the language (swearing) was a bit too much for teaching in my seventh grade class. Yet I woul ...more
Nicholas Howdyshell
May 02, 2016 Nicholas Howdyshell rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Cool people and Anyone who enjoys to laugh
Recommended to Nicholas by: Myself
If you're currently searching for a book that's full of Sadness and just complete utter fear, than this book isn't for you. Now, if you like bungee jumping, spray painting and meeting cute girls than this book has your name written all over it. The story starts with three friends(Kenny, Sim and Blake) in England who steal another friend's ashes(Ross, he's dead, you'll read about it). Then they head cross the country and then into Scotland just to experience all the things their friend didn't get ...more
Tricia Burnett
May 02, 2016 Tricia Burnett rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2016 Ethan rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Evan Mann
May 02, 2016 Evan Mann rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 03, 2016 Adrianmtz65 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 07, 2016 Camille rated it liked it
Quando ho cominciato questo libro non avevo grandi aspettative, lo pensavo il centesimo YA di cui ormai sono drogata ma che non mi avrebbe lasciato nulla, alla fine. Mi sono dovuta ricredere invece, ovviamente rientra in pieno nello stile Rowell, Green e quant'altro, ma ha un suo perché, una particolarità, che secondo me sta nella trama assolutamente non banale, in colpi di scena che servono a mantenere in vita il racconto ma non sono così folli da farmi pensare "cosa diavolo sto leggendo?" e ho ...more
Feb 02, 2014 Rachael rated it it was amazing
I've seen this book a lot before picking it up and didn't think much of it, when reading the blurb. Death isn't the easiest subject to read about. But I'm trying to do the Ultimate Teen Book Guide Challenge (read all the books mentioned in the book!) and this is one of them.

I have to say I really enjoyed it. It's probably more a 4.5 book... but I don't usually give out a 5 star and I think this one was deserved. I love the British-ness of the book. I really got into the book, reading about the t
Carson Edwards
Mar 08, 2015 Carson Edwards rated it really liked it
Blake, Sim, and Kenny are furious over the loss of their best friend Ross. Its even worse that they were not asked to speak at his funeral, instead they got the three people that Ross hated the most, the girl who broke his heart, the bully that picked on him every day, and the teacher that ran over him. Sim was furious with all of them and wanted revenge, Kenny and Blake wanted revenge but it was not nearly as dark as Sim's was. The three all wanted revenge but how could they do it, then an idea ...more
Oct 08, 2015 Denise added it
How could you not love a novel that contains the following:

"... But I suppose it was all right Miss Dean being there [at the funeral]. Ross always said he thought she was okay."
"She's a librarian," Sim said. "They're not teachers; they don't give you half as much hassle. If there's a fire in the school and I've got to choose who I'm gonna save - the teacher's gonna burn every time."

I've copied this and have it on my pin board.

I'm reading the version touted as the U.S. debut - so it's full of ann
4Mitchell G
Oct 22, 2015 4Mitchell G rated it liked it
Ostrich Boys - By Keith Gray.
Ostrich Boys was an interesting novel about a few boys who wanted to give their deceased friends a proper funeral. Lots of kids who always hated the now deceased boy came to the funeral and they acted all sad. The remaining members of the crew, Blake, Sim and Kenny, are determined to vandalize the guilty when they get an idea to steal their friend Ross's ashes and give him the funeral that he deserves. The boys pack up a rather trip but this soon turns into an unforg
Apr 19, 2015 Georgie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fic
'Ostrich Boys' is like a combination of 'The Inbetweeners' and 'Stand by Me', but unique too.

After their best friend, Ross dies, three 15 year old lads from Cleethorpes - Blake, Sim, and Kenny, decide his funeral wasn't a good enough memorial to their mate. Ross talked about one day visiting a place in Scotland also named Ross. Now he'll never get the chance. The lads decide (as you do) to steal Ross's ashes and take him to the town of Ross. They start on a road trip to Scotland to do just that
May 02, 2016 Derek rated it really liked it
I wouldn't say I loved ostrich boys but I did like most of it. The ostrich boys is a exciting book that keeps you on your feet. It's about three friends sim,Blake,and Kenny and how the lost their friend in a car accident, and take his ashes through Europe to scatter some of his ashes. The conflict is very realistic because the police are looking for them and they run out of money. The book is also well written and it's not as predictable as most books. I didn't like the book because of what happ ...more
May 02, 2016 Shannon rated it it was amazing
This book was very attention grabbing, I could not put it down, it's a wonderful book for teenagers as well for I am a teenager and liked how casual the characters were they were young men trying to give their best friend a last hurrah and better funeral than he was given, the conflict and the drama with the main character Blake was jaw dropping. It was a good book over all. Very good book about friendship and the struggles that come along with it. A book of 4 boys now 3 determined to give Ross ...more
Jan 22, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ostrich Boys is one of the books where the characters are relatable with real flaws and struggles that everyone deal with. It felt very natural and the story was easy to connect with, even though it was set in England. Dealing with the death of someone you cared about is something that anyone can sympathize with. Wanting to be sure that the person is remembered and his or her life is celebrated in the best way possible is a very real desire.

While stealing someone’s ashes and making this a highl
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 60 61 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Ultimate Teen...: Ostrich Boys - Keith Gray 4 7 Feb 02, 2014 05:09PM  
  • Call the Shots (Swim the Fly, #3)
  • Under the Wolf, Under the Dog
  • Zane's Trace
  • Borderline
  • Jump
  • Apollo's Song, Part One
  • Surface Tension: A Novel in Four Summers
  • Across the Nightingale Floor, Episode 1: The Sword of the Warrior (Tales of the Otori, #1 Ep. 1)
  • Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
  • My Life Undecided
  • A Time of Miracles
  • Efrain's Secret
  • Necromancing the Stone (Necromancer, #2)
  • Out of Shadows
  • The Monster Variations
  • Fade to Blue
  • The Last Exit to Normal
  • Here Lies Arthur
In his earliest years, Grimsby-born Keith Gray turned from reluctant reader to passionate reader – then straight on to being a dedicated writer. He published Creepers (1996), which was shortlisted for the 1997 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, in his early twenties, and since then has penned a number of award-winning and critically-acclaimed novels. He is a reviewer of teenage fiction for the Gua ...more
More about Keith Gray...

Share This Book

“She's a librarian, Sim said. They're not teachers; don't give you half as much hassle. If there's a fire in the school and I've got to choose who I'm gonna save - a teacher or a librarian - the teacher's gonna burn every time.
(p. 24)”
“Sim sighed. "like Ross always said: Wish in one hand,shit in the other,and see which hand fills up first.” 1 likes
More quotes…