The year is 1991, and Spud Milton’s long walk to manhood is still creeping along at an unnervingly slow pace. Approaching the ripe old age of fifteen and still no signs of the much anticipated ball-drop, Spud is coming to terms with the fact that he may well be a freak of nature. With a mother hell-bent on emigrating, a father making a killing out of selling homemade moonshine, and a demented grandmother called Wombat, the new year seems to offer little except extreme embarrassment and more mortifying Milton madness. But Spud is returning to a boarding school where he is no longer the youngest or the smallest. His dormitory mates, known as the Crazy Eight, have an unusual new member and his house has a new clutch of first years (the Normal Seven). If Spud thinks his second year will be a breeze, however, he is seriously mistaken.
It’s South Africa 1990. Two major events are about to happen: The release of Nelson Mandela and, more importantly, it’s Spud Milton’s first year at an elite boys only private boarding school. John Milton is a boy from an ordinary background who wins a scholarship to a private school in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. Surrounded by boys with nicknames like Gecko, Rambo, Rain Man and Mad Dog, Spud has his hands full trying to adapt to his new home. Along the way Spud takes his first tentative steps along the path to manhood. (The path it seems could be a rather long road). Spud is an only child. He is cursed with parents from well beyond the lunatic fringe and a senile granny. His dad is a fervent anti-communist who is paranoid that the family domestic worker is running a shebeen from her room at the back of the family home. His mom is a free spirit and a teenager’s worst nightmare, whether it’s shopping for Spud’s underwear in the local supermarket
As Spud Milton continues his awkward stagger through adolescence, he learns one of life’s most important lessons: When dealing with women and cretins, nothing is ever quite as it seems. “I’m practically a man in most areas,” writes Spud confidently on his sixteenth birthday. The year is 1992 and, in South Africa, radical change is in the air. The country may be on the bumpy road to an uncertain future, but Spud Milton is hoping for a smooth ride as he returns to boarding school as a senior. Instead, he discovers that his vindictive arch enemy is back to taunt him and that a garrulous Malawian has taken residence in his dormitory, along with the regular inmates and misfits he calls friends. Spud’s world has never seemed less certain; he attempts to master Shakespeare, wrestles constantly with his God, and the power of negative thinking, and develops an aversion to fried fish after a shocking discovery about his grandmother, Wombat.
When Destiny, captain of three-time national champions “The Rebels,” is challenged to a global cheer showdown by an edgy new team called “The Truth,” the Cheer Goddess organizes a virtual battle for squads from all around the world. It seems like the whole world wants to take down Destiny and her team, and they just might succeed, unless Destiny can rise to the challenge, set her ego aside and figure out who her real friends are.