76 pages 2 hours read

Nick Hornby

About a Boy

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1998

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About a Boy

  • Genre: Fiction; adult contemporary realistic
  • Originally Published: 1998
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 840L; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 36 chapters; approx. 278 pages; approx. 7 hours, 45 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Will, a single man looking for more meaning in his life, attends a gathering for single people, where he meets Fiona, a single mother, and her serious and lonely 12-year-old son Marcus. With Marcus at the center, the three help each other survive family tragedy, growing up, and finding joy.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Suicide, depression, child abuse/neglect

Nick Hornby, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1957 in England; earned English degree from Jesus College in Cambridge; author of essays, novels, and screenplays; taught in secondary school; worked as a journalist; incorporates music into much of his writing and collaborates with band Marah
  • Other Works: Fever Pitch (1992); High Fidelity (1995); Slam (2007)
  • Awards: William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award and London Award (2003); film adaptation nominated for an Oscar; television show won multiple Emmys

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Caring and Indifference
  • Boredom and Manufactured Pain
  • Conformity and Masculinity

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of authorial context and the cultural and geographical context of 1990s London by conducting research, having discussions, and exploring paired resources.
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