Unshelved has reviewed the book, Spud by John van de Ruit. It won South Africa’s Booksellers’ Choice Award in 2006. See their review here:
From the sound of this school, it could be set in almost any time. Here is the review from Amazon.com:
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.
Sadly, my diaries when I was that age were filled with clothes and boys. There was very little interesting in them at all. Sounds like Spud will be a wonderful read!