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Monday, December 10, 2007

Spud - John Van de Ruit

This book was recommended to me by another library friend who I really respect, but I have to say, when I first started it, I was really struggling getting through it. I'm not sure if it was because the main character was an adolescent boy or if it was the writer's style, or what, but it was just a really slow start. I actually almost gave up on it, which I hardly ever do, but as I kept reading, I got the hang of it, and now I'm even thinking of reading the sequel...although I think it's only out in South Africa at this point, so that's going to be bit of a journey to get it. I'm willing, though, if I can just convince my husband.

On the back of the book a reviewer described it as the Catcher in the Rye of our time, but I think it's much more like A Separate Peace than Catcher. It's set in a boys' boarding school in South Africa and has a lot of references to things more prevalent in South African culture than in ours, but I don't think that will get in the way for most readers. It's another story about the power of friendship, and this is not a topic often deeply explored in boy books, so I really like that aspect of this book.

The book is written in diary form, so it's easy to read little bits at a time, or it's hard to stop reading because you don't have definite chapter ends, whichever way you look at it. You really get a good look inside the mind of an adolescent boy in this book because it's a diary. For me, that was a little TOO much at times, but it seemed pretty realistic.

I probably won't get this book for our library because I don't think many middle schoolers would be drawn to it, but I think it's a great book for high schoolers, particularly boys.

1 comment:

Jen Robinson said...

I had trouble getting into this book, too, but ended up glad that I had stuck with it.