Spud (Spud #1)
For the first about 100 pages I thought this book was fully hilarious and I had 5 stars in my mind. But it got a little boring after halfway through as the same jokes were being repeated and I thought there was a lack of creativity from the writer. So for the next 150 pages from 5 stars I had come down to 3 stars for this book. But thanks to the last few pages of the book that I was caught with some good creativeness and the book went to a different leve...more
Spud is very likeable, though a little too good to be true -- star of the school musical, star cricketer, excellent student...more
In Spud, we read the diary of 13-year-old John Milton, a.k.a. “Spud,” as he navigates his first year at a boarding school in South Africa. His entries describe being (justifiably) mortified by his parents, terrorized by sadistic older students, confused by girls, and embarrassed about being a “spud”—meaning his “balls haven’t dropped” and he sings like a girl [albeit beautifully].
The reader follows Spud and his first-year roommates (The Crazy 8) as they experience pranks, peer-pressure, and som...more
Away From Home
What is your nickname? For John Milton 14, it is Spud. He goes to an all-boys boarding school in South Africa and is the book’s storyteller. Spud has a messy love life that makes things interesting. When he was at boarding school, he meets the “crazy eight”, a group of eight boys who do many outrageous things. The group is made up of Spud, Rambo, Mad Dog, Simon Brown, Rain Man, Gecko, Fatty and Boggo. This historical fiction novel is set in 1990. The author of the book is Joh...more
Spud takes place in South Africa at the time of Nelson Mandela's release from prison which serves as the backdrop that "keeps it real" so to speak.
Thirteen year old John Milton goes away to boarding school for the first time, and while he's apprehensive about what awaits him he's equally eager to get away from his crazy family....more
The story comes from John "Spud" Milton who attends an all boys boarding school in South Africa set in 1990. His tale is written by way of journal entries which relate his various adventures, trials and humiliations.
John rooms with a group known at school known as the "Crazy Eight" and they never fail to live up to their name. These 13 year old boys a...more
The main character, Spud (nicknamed this because he has yet to go through puberty), has won a scholarship to an exclusive private school in the boonies. Upon arrival, he discovers that not only are the people around him brilliant, b...more
During reading this book, I made a text-to-text connection. When he is trying to...more
I almost want to say that this is sort of like The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I think it's been described somewhere (I...more
Spud has trouble with women at first and isn't very used to talking to women so when he meets one fo...more
The main focus of the story, however, which takes the form of the titular character's diary entries, is the crazy misadventures he gets up to with his dorm ma...more
In the same vein as the Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (which gets a shout out) and Bridget Jones' Diary it is the diary of 13 year old John Milton who gets a scholarship to an elite boarding school.
Taking place in 1990, just as Nelson Mandela was released from prison, John, nick...more
His Succulent Story
With a soprano voice, a small body, and many bunk mates, would you get teased? Spud by John Van de Ruit, is a realistic fiction novel based in 1990 in South Africa. The main characters are Spud, Vern, Gecko, Mermaid, and Wombat. Spud goes to a boarding school in South Africa, where he meets the crazy eight that includes Vern, Gecko, Mad Dog, Rambo, Boggo, Fatty, and Simon. There is definitely a reason why they are called the crazy eight. Spud goes on many fun journeys tha...more
I was also disappointed that little of the turbulence and excitement of that period of South African history made its way into the story. Maybe the release of Man...more
This book fits the category "book made into a film" on my bingo board (movie has been released in South Africa but not in NZ yet).
I thought that this book was probably one of the best books I've ever read. It was well written, hilarious and exciting. I also liked it because the boy in the book is about the same age as me so I could relate to him well.
It was also good because it was based in 1990 in South Africa a...more
The level of homophobia is extreme--we cheer for Spud leading on 3 girls, but the gay kids are punished for trying to have a sex life? Let's not forget, too, that all of the characters who exhibit homosexual attraction assault Spud and the others, so, y'know--there's a good message to send young readers. The level of violence, and of highly-sexualized violence in particular, in this book was REALLY shocking.
He is best known...more