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Reader's diary "About a boy" by Nick Hornby

Alles zu Nick Hornby  - About a boy

The author

Task 1 - Information about the author: Hornby's biography and his work

Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby was born in 1957. He was married, but is now divorced from his wife.
They have got an auticstic son called Danny. They live in Highbury in the north of London
He studied at Cambridge and later on worked as a teacher and journalist before publishing his books, "Fever Pitch. "High Fidelity and how to be good.
"Fever Pitch ,"High Fidelity and "How to be good have all been filmed . In the Year 2002 "About a Boy is released with Hugh Grant as the maincharacter of the Story , Will.
Writing isn't the only what Nick Hornby does,besides writing his novels he wrote critic of Pop Music for "The New Yorker".

The book

Task 2 - Facts about the novel. e.g. author, title, year of publication etc.

Written by Nick Hornby, 1998
German translation: Kiepenheuer und Witsch
Publisher is the "Cornelsen Senior English Library
Cover design's by Getty Images and Mauritius
Printed by Saladruck in Berlin
Filmed like his other Books
Starring is Hugh Grant as Will


Task 3 - Write a short summaryof the novel (about 100 words)

Marcus(12) is an outsider. He hasn't got any friends of his age and has got just one close person, his mother Fiona, who has split up with her husband and her ex-boyfriend. But one day he meets Will(36). Will is a "cool" person because he knows what you had to do to be cool. After some time Will and Marcus become friends. Even though Fiona dislikes Will and doesn't want her son to spend any time with him. Marcus gets a Girlfriend. She's called Ellie .she's quite famous at school because she is different;. Will also gets to know a woman. She's called Rachel and for the first time in probably years he gets a real relationship with a woman instead of only having one-night-stands and playing the nice guy in front of women .Ellie and Marcus get a problem with the Poliche because Ellie breaks a shop window.During a discussion wit their families Marcus says his opinion for the first time in his life. Besides that he changes his life. Will changes his life, too. He gets a steady girlfriend.


Task 4 - Find a good heading for each chapter.

Chapter 1 Marcus two lifes
Chapter 2 How cool is Will
Chapter 3 Terrible school days
Chapter 4 Will's new image
Chapter 5 Problems and no friends
Chapter 6 First metting of SPAT
Chapter 7 Discussions between Marcus & Fiona
Chapter 8 SPAT Picnic
Chapter 9 Dead Duck day
Chapter 10 After Fiona`suicide attempt
Chapter 11 A normal evening ?
Chapter 12 The Call and the car seat
Chapter 13 The Date in the restaurant
Chapter 14 The piano
Chapter 15 Marcus visits Will
Chapter 16 The new Shoes
Chapter 17 The True
Chapter 18 The Visits
Chapter 19 The Punk-Girl
Chapter 20
Chapter 21 The new friends
Chapter 22 The Christmas party
Chapter 23 Suzie and Will
Chapter 24 The New Year's Eve
Chapter 25 The date with Ellie
Chapter 26 Dad & Son
Chapter 27 The shock
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36

Vocabulary List

Task 5 - Write a vocabulary list for each chapter

Chapter 1
Split up –you break up a relationship
Reckoned –mean
Messier –dirty
Commercial - involving or relating to buying and selling goods
Horrible – terrible
Cheerfully - fröhlich
Soggy - aufgeweicht

Chapter 2
merely -only
sociological- like Psychological
intended –planned for a special purpose
goatee – short pointed beard
ethical –relating to belief about right and wrong
utterly –absolut
achievement- Leistung Ausführung
Treasured – in Ehren halten
Indulged – verwöhnen hingeben
Relied – vertrauen verlassen
Clutter –Überhäufung Unruh Stiften
Summoned – verlangen rufen
stains - flecken
Strewn- gestreut
efforts.aufwand versuch
deliberately - absichtlich
Peculiar – besonders
Compound- mischen verbinden
Oblivion -Vergessenheit
Shallow – seicht eben flach
Swallow – schlucken glauben
Monogramy -Monogamie

Chapter 3
Crap –sth. is wrong
Reasonably –something is fair
Cereal - made from grain
demented –serve mental illness
weird -seltsam
rubbish- Blödsinn
loads -belastungen
decency – Keuschheit Schicklichkeit
floating - schwimmen treiben
slipped - wegrutschen
registration -Anmeldung
avoid -vermeiden
sighed - seufzen vermissen sehnen
potty -Nachttöpfchen

Chapter 4
Browsing –serch in tne internet
Vaguely –unclear
Niece – Nichte
Glimpse- kurzer Blick flüchtig
Frowned –missbilligen Stirnrunzeln
Mumble murmeln nuscheln
Indicated –zeigen markieren
Valuable –wertvoll
Patronizing –beschützen
Faintest –leiseste geringste
Presume –vermuten
Reassess –neu bewerten überdenken
Pursed –geballt verkniffen
Ranted –wettern herumschnauzen
Effortless –mühelos
Rapport –Verhältnis Beziehung
Frivolous- frivol
Core –Kern
Occasions –Gelegenheiten
Hitherto – bisher
Disguise- tarnen verkleiden
Infidelity –Unglaube
Ingrained- angeboren eingefleischt
Ungovernable – zügellos
Contemptuously –verachtungsvoll
Precisely –genau absolut
Bestow –spenden

Chapter 5
vanished – disappear
slumped - fall down because of
puffed- up- aufgehen
larder -Speisekammer
agonies –Qual Todeskampf
indecision - Unschlüssigkeit–
advantage- Vorteil Profit
pitiful - mitleidich
pathetic -erbarmungswürdig
huddeld- drängeln kuscheln
tiptoeing -schleichen
timidly –schüchtern scheu
nerdy -Dummkopf
geeky –Kauz Knacker
wore specs- Brillen tragen
purposeful -zielbewusst
hilarious –fröhlich ausgelassen

Chapter 6
groovy – When someone is cool and trendy
Waif – person who is very thin and pale
indulge a whim – let yourself have sth. Unimportant that you really want
glaringly obvious – clear for all to see

Gesamte Auflistung siehe Datei


Task 6 - Summerize the most important facts of least 5 chapters by answering the "w questions

Marcus Fiona
At Marcus Home in London
Fiona had split up to her Boyfriend Roger.He told about two sorts of life one before Fiona split up with his dad and one now in London and Cambridge
He moved with her to London his dad lifes with his new Girlfreind inCambridge
Four Years ago and now
Will , John and Christine
Their children
Wills House John´s House
Will makes a questionnaire how cool he is. It´s told about the little perfect Family his friends and ex-Girlfriends have and they want that he get the same
He thought that Women only want a cool man
He doesn´t want a Family
Only sex
Same time as first chapter
Marcus Lee Hartley
At home
In school
Marcus lold about his first terrible schoolday and he thought about ideas how he hadn´t to went there again.He is bullied
He has got no friends and the wrong haircut wrong traussers…
The night before school
at school
In a Café

Will meet a girl she´s single Mother.He likes her and "playes”Mr. Nice with the hole father thing.Angie decides to split up.The first time when Will feelt real love. He changes his life
He thought of other single mothers so he changed his old kind of Mr. Nice to the new Singl father.
During the 6 weeks and at the and of this realationship


Task 8 - Choose two or more Characters to write Characterisations

Will Freeman
Will Freeman, one of the main characters, is a 36-year-old man who lives in London. He isn't really grown-up yet as he doesn't take life very serious. He doesn't work and actually never had a job because he gets enough money because of a famous Christmas Song his father once wrote. He is not the family type because he doesn't want to get married or even children. He wants to live his own life and doesn't want to think of other people's problems or be responsible for them He wanted to have good sex and nothing else. Will cares very much for his appearance. He thinks that his appearance impresses people especially women and makes him interesting for them.Will thinks about himself that he is very cool. This is proven for him by a questionnaire in a magazine, the result of which says that Will is even sub-zero. He is very proud of his way of life and of what he is doing like listening to HipHop music or not having to work for his money. In his opinion that is what women like. But he changes when he realise that there are enough young Single Mothers waiting for a nice lovley man loving chidren and family live so he first play a role of this Man women dream of.

Marcus is a twelve-year-old boy. He lives alone with his mother Fiona in London. They moved there from Cambridge some weeks ago. Marcus is very shy and he doesn't have any friends, because he's uncool amd weird His mother tells him what he has so wear and which kind of music he should listen to, like Joni Mitchell and Bob Marley..
Then he meets Will, who doesn't have a job, a family or a regular life. His Mum doesn't like him, because she is afraid of losing Marcus, but Marcus visits Will nevertheless. Will isn't happy to see him every day, but after some time he gets used to it. Marcus likes Will, because he shows him another way of life and Will helps him to be cool - he tells him about popular music and he buys him cool clothes
So Will is very important in his life, because he is the first person Marcus can talk with instead of his mother and he can ask him when he has a problem with school or with other pupils like Ellie, an older girl Marcus meets in school. She is famous for being in trouble and everybody is afraid of her. This is a really strange relationship, because they are very different. Will and Ellie show Marcus how to be cool and so he starts a new life.

Fiona is Marcus's mother. She's a single mother and has to care for her son on her own. She works the whole day (she's a music therapist).
After Fiona and her son have moved to London she becomes depressed. She has got only one friend there and feels lonely.
She is different from other people because she's a hippie and doesn't want to accept the fashion or the music of the 90's. So she educates Marcus to like only the things she likes too. Fiona isn't a good mum because she doesn't take care of her son So she has to get along with many other things although she doesn't want to. She thinks her life has turned in a way which she has never want to go. Because she's unlucky about herself she tries to commit suicide, but it doesn't work. But when she gets to know Rachel she starts to realize that life is something worth.

Rachel is a single mother who meets Will New Years Eve at a party. After first being a little cool that evening and showing him her shoulder she warms up as they meet each other for having dinner together. Rachel has made a lot of bad experiences with single men so she is afraid of getting to know him better. Rachel decides later on that Will as being a single father (that's what she thinks) is the best that could possibly happen to her. But Will is not a single father, he did not tell her so as well so he asks Marcus whether he could help him in this precarious situation. Marcus agrees so they go to visit Rachel and her son Ali at their house. Marcus gets into trouble with good old Ali who is guided by very defending feelings for his mom (he wants to have her completely for him alone and says she doesn't need other than him). As a matter of fact these two now don't get on to well and Ali offers Marcus to kill him if he don't go and take his frickin' father along with him. Marcus spontaneously decides to go for a walk (he runs for it so to say) so Will (a little startled at first) goes after him and tries to talk him into coming back with him while Rachel tries to eliminate her son's feelings for protecting her chance to have the possibility to get to know other men at least later in her life.
Rachel is afraid of relationships because of
a) the trouble she's been forced to go through and
b) her son's problems with her having a boyfriend.

Ellie McCrae is a 15-year-old girl. She hacks off her own hair, wears black lipstick and she's famous for being in trouble. She's a big fan Kurt Cobain and because of that she often wears T-Shirts showing his face. One day, while she is sitting in front of Mrs Morrison's office, she gets to know Marcus. Ellie tells him that Kurt Cobain is a football player and he believes her, though he gets to know the truth later on. Later Marcus and Ellie become good friends, but their relationship is a little bit like "pet and owner", because Marcus falls in love with her and she treats him only like a good friend. Someone removes Marcus glasses and Ellie and Zoe, a good friend of hers, get them back for Marcus. Also Ellie defends him against other kids who bully him. She's a "criminal". On the day of Kurt Cobain's suicide, she throws one of her boots into a shop window because there's a photo of Kurt Cobain in it. That's why she and Marcus have to go to a police-station in Cambridge

The London News

Task 13 - Write a newspaper artivle on an event of the novel.

Dead duck
Young Boy killed duck with sandwich

London , Regent's Park During a picnic of the SPAT-Group (Singel Parents -Alone Together) one of the Single parents child want's to feed the ducks on sea. He throw pieces of bread to the ducks.One of them was hit right on the back of the head and keel over. After some examinations of the local Policemen they told the local Newspapers that the duck was hit by a french loaf.Deputee Miller: That would have killed everyone.
The next time two Policemen take care over the ducks and before you want to feed the ducks now, you had to show these Policemen what you want to feed , because not another duck hab to die because of a rench loaf.

Single mother commit suicide
A young Single Mother wannted to kill herself by pills

London On Saturday a Mother of one Son commit suicide.Nobody can say why but the family thought she doesn't know how to handle the whole situation. She was alone when she takes an overdose of sleeping pills.Her son was with her best friend when it happened. A sign for the Police that she has planned her dead.When they came back home they find her lying on the sofa next to her the pills.
The ambulance takes her to St.Monica Hospital where she was treated.For the time his Mother is in Hospital he lives at his mum's best and only friend. She was a hippi and doesn't accept thing's of these days and since her husband has left her she was getting depressed and a bit crazy but I have never thought that she commit suicide so her best friend.
The next days the youth welfare depart will prove if she is able to bring up a child or not.
In diesem Lesetagebuch findet ihr verschiedene Aufgaben zu dem Buch "About a Boy" von Nick Hornby. Fakten zum Buch und dem Autor, Buchzusammenfassung, Kapitelüberschriftenen, Vokabelliste mit mindestens je 5 Vokabeln zu jedem Kapitel.
Ich habe zu den ersten 5 Kapiteln die W-Fragen beantwortet, anschließend findet ihr Charakterisierungen zu den Hauptfiguren. Als Zusatzaufgabe habe ich zu zwei wichtigen Ereignissen einen Zeitungsartikel verfasst! Ich hoffe einigen hilft diese Datei! (1984 Wörter)
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