Monday, 2 March 2009

About "About a Boy" and reading in general

Earlier I have told that I have used Nick Hornby's novel About a Boy in class several times. I think this novel is great, that it provides food for discussions, and that the language is not too complex and difficult for Norwegian 17-19 year old students to cope with. It is a pity, though, that many of the students think that they can just watch the film instead of reading the novel. Personally, I really love the film, too, but I believe some central scenes have been omitted and that the book is so much better. I also find it a bit sad that so many of my students are so negative when it comes to reading literature. I know that it takes a whole lot more time getting through 300 pages in a novel than watching the film, but what about slowing down the pace once in a while, enjoying a good book and a moment of peace? Since I have always loved reading, I really have a hard time understanding that some people simply do not like reading, and that well-equipped bookshelves are not to be found in every house. On the other hand, I have never liked football, and know that many cannot understand how I survive without watching a single match...

Anyway, About a Boy has been replaced by The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time this year, but I have nevertheless collected some online resources on the novel, in case I will use the book another time. British council has this page on Nick Hornby and his works, whereas at Penguin Readers I found a factsheet which can help us teachers preparing for this novel. On the page of Manitowoc Public Library I also found a page on the novel, on which there are also some questions for discussion, and finally, we have the Nick Hornby homepage where there is material both on About a Boy and on the other Hornby novels. Enjoy the novel!


  1. Great blog, thanks! Like you I am going to try out "The curious incident...." in class very soon. I am absolutely loving the read, and I really hope the pupils will like it a little bit too!

  2. Just discovered your blog, Liv. I've subscribed to it and can't wait to read your posts!

    Kathee Godfrey

  3. Realize some of my links are outdated... Here's the Penguin page: