76 pages 2 hours read

Nick Hornby

About a Boy

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1998

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Discussion/Analysis Prompt

When Will and Marcus meet, they do not understand one another’s personalities or ways of life. By the time the novel concludes, they are as close as family. Why do Will and Marcus connect so strongly despite their differences? Consider these points as you reflect on the text to answer the question:

  • What key events take place throughout their time together that forge this bond?
  • How does the friendship benefit both Will and Marcus?
  • In what ways does their relationship challenge and force both Marcus and Will to grow?
  • Consider Will’s internal conflict between Caring and Indifference and how Will and Marcus teach one another about the many approaches to being a man (Conformity and Masculinity).

Teaching Suggestion: This final discussion prompt incorporates the novel’s themes and allows students to connect the key events of the novel and how they shape each major character. The question is divided to give students segways into what they should consider when answering this question. This prompt will also assist students in developing their essays later in the unit.

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By Nick Hornby