Spud by John van de Ruit
Chronicles the life of a young teen during his first year at boarding school; takes place in Africa in 1990 - apartheid is ending; a lot of hazing of the first years at the school. NAY for me. I didn't feel the storyline had enough structure; characters were flat.
Every review (there are 8) on amazon has loved it & given it 5 stars - so maybe I'm way off here. Anxious to hear what others think.
here's description from amazon:
It’s 1990. Apartheid is crumbling. Nelson Mandela has just been released from prison. And Spud Milton—thirteen-year-old, prepubescent choirboy extraordinaire—is about to start his first year at an elite boys-only boarding school in South Africa. Cursed with embarrassingly dysfunctional parents, a senile granny named Wombat, and a wild obsession for Julia Roberts, Spud has his hands full trying to adapt to his new home.
Armed with only his wits and his diary, Spud takes readers of all ages on a rowdy boarding school romp full of illegal midnight swims, raging hormones, and catastrophic holidays that will leave the entire family in total hysterics and thirsty for more.Winner of South Africa’s Booksellers’ Choice Award 2006