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3.0 2
by Maria Boyd

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It all started when Will mooned the girls' school bus. It wasn't his finest moment. And it's the last time William Armstrong will sully the St. Andrew's community, says Principal Waddlehead-er, Waverton.
That's when a teacher worried about Will's home situation comes up with an idea. Why not let Will, a talented guitarist, give


It all started when Will mooned the girls' school bus. It wasn't his finest moment. And it's the last time William Armstrong will sully the St. Andrew's community, says Principal Waddlehead-er, Waverton.
That's when a teacher worried about Will's home situation comes up with an idea. Why not let Will, a talented guitarist, give back to the school in a progressive manner? Why not have him play in . . . THE SCHOOL MUSICAL?
Now Will is stuck in the school production of The Boy Friend. He's a laughingstock, and he has to give up his weekends for a show set at a girls' finishing school.
There's the trombone-playing seventh grader who proclaims himself Will's best friend and refuses to leave his side. Then there's the undeniably attractive leading lady. Although she might be in love with her costar, the new football hero (and dazzling singer!).
Sharp-witted, funny, and poignant all at once, this is the story of a boy going through a difficult time who, in a most unlikely way, discovers the person he truly wants to be.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When 17-year-old Will drops his pants to moon the bus of girls from the sister school to his all-boys academy, he is exiled to the land of geeks, aka, the band for the school musical, a punishment suggested by his English teacher. The school leadership has grown weary of Will's hijinks, and this is his last chance to prove himself. But in the year since his father died, Will has ceased to care about most things, dwelling in a silent grief that is slowly revealed to readers. But through the strong supporting cast--Zach, the seventh-year student who idolizes Will; Elizabeth, Will's crush; Chris, Will's best friend; and Mark, the lead in the musical, who comes out to Will--Will is brought slowly back to the land of the living. Readers should find it easy to sympathize with Will's vibrant, deadpan narration and his frequent use of slang, while recognizing that his jocular exterior hides a deeper vulnerability. Debut novelist Boyd effectively handles Will's final outpouring of repressed emotions: the personal growth achieved by her realistic, likeable protagonist is abundantly clear. Ages 12–up. (July)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Will Armstrong is a popular, Year Eleven guitar-playing cutup at St. Andrew's College, a boys' high school in Sydney, Australia. When a dare goes wrong, he is punished by being assigned to work as a "musician and general dogsbody" for the musical staged by St. Andrew's and its sister school, Lakeside Girls. Will isn't, as he expects, deserted by his popular friends, although his Saturdays are now spent at rehearsals rather than at "footy" matches. The cringe-worthy choice of musical (The Boy Friend) gives him the chance to meet, albeit awkwardly, with a Lakeside girl, and he becomes a friend to and protector of Zachariah Cohen, who is in Year Seven and is affectionately known as "Freak." Will is quickly given a lot of responsibility (he is conducting all of the student musicians) and, for the most part, he rises to the occasion. Subplots surface: he refuses to discuss the death of his father, something that hints of a traumatic secret that is never quite explained. He must also examine more deeply his stereotypical views of how a gay student might look and behave. This interesting book, which, despite playing to the High School Musical crowd, doesn't focus on music, chronicles a young adult's growth toward maturity. The Australian spellings and slang ("whingeing," "cutting your grass," "dacked himself") will give pause to many readers, but the casual use of four-letter words is within keeping of many a 17-year-old's vocabulary.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Friday afternoon    

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!  

The words reverberated around the playground of St. Andrew's like the backbeat of drums at a live gig. The bell for the end of the day had echoed half as loudly fifteen seconds before and with it hundreds of boys had bolted out of homerooms, toilets, offices,corridors and bike sheds, sniffing the taste of freedom for another week.  

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!  

With each round of the chant more and more boys diverted from their quest for freedom and converged on the top oval. Everything was in place for the undertaking of one of the most revered rituals in an all-boys school: it was a Friday afternoon, the windwas blowing, there were no teachers around and two skinny Year 9 boys had been conned into believing that the other had said something about his mum.  

I wasn't really into the mob fight thing, and I felt sorry for the two kids who by now probably wanted to bawl their eyes out and run home, but it didn't stop me loving the chaos it created.  

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!  

Right on cue the staffroom door swung wide open and out came security. Normally the PE blokes were the first to make it out, maybe because they were fit or maybe because they didn't want to miss out on the action. This time the charge was led by Waddlehead, aka Waverton, the deputy principal; he was old, but when he was wound up he could move. He powered across the oval flanked by a collection of year coordinators, and the rest of the teachers who hadn't already bolted to the pub for Friday-afternoon drinks. Thedoor to Mr. No-Show Kennedy, the principal's, office, remained shut, as usual.  

The two skinny Year 9 kids, who had just managed to grab each other's shirt collars and kind of swing each other around, had absolutely no idea the posse, led by Deputy Waddlehead, had arrived. On instinct, most of the mob legged it upon their arrival. Unfortunately the two heroes took the mass exodus as a sign they were off the hook, and let go of each other's shirts, grinning stupidly at one another, completely unaware that they were seconds away from impending doom. Still grinning, they turned around to see where everyone had buggered off to. It was then that their eyes fell on the procession. Fear froze on their faces. Waddlehead deliberately slowed down on approach. Like startled animals they remained glued to the spot, mesmerized. No one did anything. Then,with the slightest lift of his chin and a razor-sharp point and curl of his index finger, Waddlehead seized his prey. The two prisoners turned back toward the school and made the long, slow walk across the oval.  

No, it wasn't going to be a good weekend for those two buggers, no matter how much they swore to their mums that they were only sticking up for them.        

Meet the Author

Maria Boyd has spent the better part of the past seven years teaching at two boys' high schools in Sydney, Australia, a job that has guaranteed her, among other things, at least four belly laughs a day. Before that, she completed her master's in cultural studies, and before that, she traveled the world from her base in London.
She has explored many different types of opportunities in her working life, but nearly all have had something to do with young people and teaching. There is no coincidence in this-she enjoys and believes in them both. Maria lives in Sydney.
Will is her first novel.

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Will 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The greatest book I have ever read. First read it when I was 14, went and bought it now that I'm 19, re-read it, it's still a fantastic read. The version I read didn't have this cover. This cover is somewhat misleading, because it looks like the cover for a girly book. It's a great book for all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the best book. Unless you've really like to know about a boy in a school play,don't read it.