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4.8 33
by John van de Ruit

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The record-breaking, bestselling Spud arrives in paperback

JOHN 'SPUD' MILTON takes his first hilarious steps toward manhood in this delicious, laugh-out-loud boarding school romp, full of midnight swims, raging hormones, and catastrophic holidays that will leave the entire family in hysterics and thirsty for more!


The record-breaking, bestselling Spud arrives in paperback

JOHN 'SPUD' MILTON takes his first hilarious steps toward manhood in this delicious, laugh-out-loud boarding school romp, full of midnight swims, raging hormones, and catastrophic holidays that will leave the entire family in hysterics and thirsty for more!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

John Milton, 13, a scholarship student at an elite boys' boarding school in South Africa, records his disturbing but often hilarious exploits in this diary-style first novel set in 1990. As the year begins, President F.W. de Klerk decriminalizes the African National Congress and orders the release of political prisoner Nelson Mandela-but not even massive societal upheaval can get pre-pubescent boys to think about something other than girls, or set aside their depraved trick-playing. Nicknamed Spud because of his small "willy," John reports without judgment the events around him. The large cast of housemates includes mayhem leaders Rambo and Boggo, who instruct in "how to rape and pillage schoolgirls," Gecko, who succumbs to every passing malady, and Fatty, an overeater intent on breaking the school's sustained-fart record. The faculty is another can of mixed nuts: the drama teacher, unimaginatively named Eve, seduces an underclassman; the Guv begins English class by calling Henry James "a boring poof" and tossing his novels out the window. In many ways Spud appears to be a literary cousin of Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicholson, whose diaries also detail, in colorful slang, life with whacked-out relatives, obsession with emergent sexuality and school-related capers. There's a bit more heft here-away from home, Spud sees his parents' racism clearly-but he doesn't come of age: he's a star choirboy whose voice hasn't broken. After all, there are three years of school left and a sequel due next fall. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
An instant laugh . . . Meet Spud, and expect the unexpected.
Best Life
A rare book that men and their sons can laugh about together.
Entertainment Weekly
A deeply funny chronicle of male adolescence. B+
Times Lifestyle
Achingly funny.
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up
This South African import, very successful in its own country, makes the ocean crossing uneasily. Written in diary format, the story tells of a 13-year-old boy who is in his first year at boarding school in 1990, the year that Nelson Mandela is released from prison. He is called "Spud" because of the diminutive size of his genitals. The book documents the sometimes violent, sometimes chaotic atmosphere of his school. Characterized on the cover as "a wickedly funny novel," the book tries hard but fails to exhibit any humor. Spud's parents are presented as ridiculous and bizarre, with his father nailing his doors and windows shut and calling Spud to tell him that "the barbarians are at the door" when Mandela is released. There is plenty of sexual and South African slang terminology. With plodding language and little insight into the many characters at the boarding school, the novel is unlikely to find much of a readership.
—Sue GiffardCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
If anyone's capable of portraying hell, it's John Milton. In this case, hell is an elite, all-boys boarding school in Durban, South Africa, in 1990, and Milton is 13-year-old John "Spud" Milton, his nickname referring to the diminutive private parts of this preadolescent boy, an indicator of the level of humor and behavior (and privacy) at the school. Spud is a good guy, a companionable narrator whose journal captures his first year-classmates Mad Dog, Rambo, Gecko and Fatty, and teachers Sparerib, Viking and The Guv. Spud is a good observer and, unfortunately, his portrayal of boarding-school life rings true. A parallel story line-Nelson Mandela's release from prison-lends depth to Spud's tale as he begins to develop a social conscience. Some readers may tire of 300-plus pages of random acts of meanness and the parade of quirky characters, but those humored by it will be eager for the forthcoming sequel. A bestseller in South Africa, it's likely to be a hit with American readers as well. (Fiction. 12+)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Spud Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

JOHN VAN DE RUIT was born in Durban,South Africa, in 1975. John is an actor, writer, producer and playwright, and is now at work on Spud: The Madness Continues.

Customer Reviews

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Spud 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
booiamaghost More than 1 year ago
An excellent book i cant beleive it... my grandma gave me this book (even though she knew about everything that happened in it...go grams!) and i loved this book...i thought it would be some stupid book about and idiodic kid who is on a mystery or something. This book is very appropiate for all ages...not really. (even though i will recomend it to my grams husband and see how much he luvs the book) The book is about a kid nicknamed Spud because he as a small...nvr mind. And he and his family move to south africa and goes to a boy private school...with no girls (shame..jk =]) and all these kids are krazzzzzzzzy. And many inapropiate things happen that mabey u should ask ur parents about...(even though i didnt ask mine cuz that could have been bad) But its a great book and it shows what boys lives are like.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stellar book. Its absolutely amazing and had me in stitches throughout it. All boys private prep school leads to crazy shenanigans such as night swimming, illegal activities, dealing with women, and attempting to survive a school. Favorite book and I throughly recommend it to all. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its great for teens, especially boys. It is really funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was laughing out loud when I read it!!!!!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
SPUD has been compared to THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, but I see it more as a twisted Harry Potter minus the magic and the nasty, evil villain. It is boarding school at its craziest and best.

Even though it is set in South Africa, and I'm guessing that most of its readers will not have attended boarding school, teens everywhere will be able to relate to the trials and tribulations of main character John "Spud" Milton.

Through Spud's diary, the reader gets to follow the antics of The Crazy Eight. Their wild adventures include the infamous "night swims," porn magazines and videos, attempts to break the school farting record, and investigations into the mystery of the school's resident ghost. All their schemes and pranks are done at the risk of being caught by Headmaster Glockenshpeel, known as "The Glock."

Spud not only deals with all craziness while at school, but he also deals with issues when he goes home during breaks. His father is a drunk who is sure the country is doomed now that Nelson Mandela has been released and Apartheid is over. Spud's mother puts up with his father's nonsense most days, but there are frequent, loud battles which sometimes end in her throwing him out. Add to all that a seriously senile grandmother Spud calls the Wombat. She has never-ending stories that, due to her declining mental abilities, she constantly repeats. Spud's father is seriously considering poison as a method for ridding them of his obnoxious mother-in-law.

John van de Ruit's book is sure to be a success here in the U.S. His newfound fans will be happy to know he is at work on the further adventures of Spud and the gang.
Cubsfan41 More than 1 year ago
Spud is a wonderful read I recomend this book to everyone to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the most incredible book I've ever read! I know that is my opinion but it's true! It is hilarious and it was also sad towards the ending, I cried. I have never cried during a book. I stopped reading this book for a while (eye problems) and I wanted to pick it back up pretty bad, because I really liked it and I was really into. Even though I had eye problems I started reading it again, I couldn't take not reading it!!! This book is really amazing, and I recommend it to everyone! Including boys!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the best book i have ever read in my entire life. Im not a very fast reader but when i was reading this book i just couldnt stop. I probably finished it in one to three days. but if anyone wants to read an amazingly good book (teen or adult) this is the one you should choose!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If your a guy you will basically love this book. I mean wow! it was... i couldn't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So so good! where can I get my hands on the sequel??
Guest More than 1 year ago
Spud was a great book, filled with pages of laugh-out-loud humor. I would recommend this book to any adolescent boy or girl up through adults! It contains some details that may not be appropriate for children under 13, but it is definitely worth reading! I loved this title and look forward for the sequel!
Guest More than 1 year ago
At frist I didn't know spud was a boys book .After two days I was half through the book.then my friend told me he had read the same book. He got it off line .He told me it's a boys book. That was the frist time I read a book that was'nt for girls. But I didn't care because it was such a good story and gave me look in to what boys really think.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book out there for teenage boys. I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i recentanly read 'Spud', and i thought it was the best thing i have ever read, and i have read a lot. i probably read about two books a week, but with this book i read it in a day. John Van de Ruit puts so much greatness into the book that will make you love it for a long time. Almost every single sentanace in the book is funny, and is a perfect book for BOYS.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! It is my second favorite of all time,(LOOKING FOR ALASKA IS FIRST) and I've read over 1,000 books in my short 13 year old life. I walked into this book thinking it is another one of those teenage angst books, the ones that are all relatively the same, but what I got was much more. Not only does it give you a realistic outlook on the life of a young teen my age, but it does it in a very comical and entertaining way. By the time I was done with this book, my family thought I was crazy for all the lauging out loud this book forced from me. Each page makes you want to read more and more and more. The pages practically turned themselves.I lent this book to one of my friends who loves to read almost as much as I do, and she had it read the next day. Kids found out about how much we both liked it, and now there is a waiting list to borrow my book. Oh well, time for me to study for a test tomorrow! Thanks!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having just visited South Africa, this book ehanced my experience. The plot is great, and it is well written! A definite must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a 13 year old boy who also read the first book of the series. This are hilarious and show what kids my age are like when they have fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read for Troye Sivan
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I got locked out... now where were we?
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