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I have read this work and it is excellent!  I would highly recommend it for
any high school library.  The publishers promote it as the South Africa
version of Catcher in the Rye.  Spud (aka John Milton) is in his first year
of boarding school as Nelson Mandela is released from prison.  This is an
excellent cross cultural work including the South African variations in the
English language and the historical events leading to the decline of
Apartheid.  Originally published a few years ago overseas, this award
winning work will add diversity to your collection.

Peter Genco, Library Consultant
Erie, PA, USA
Past President of International Association of School Librarianship

On 11/4/07, Frederick Muller <> wrote:
> 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."
> --
> Frederick Muller, Librarian
> Halsted Middle School Library
> Newton, NJ
> My book reviews are compiled at
> My book review blog is at

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