76 pages 2 hours read

Nick Hornby

About a Boy

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1998

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Reading Questions & Paired Texts

Reading Check and Short Answer questions on key points are designed for guided reading assignments, in-class review, formative assessment, quizzes, and more.

Chapters 1-14

Reading Check

1. Who is the single mother Will meets first?

2. What embarrassing thing happens to Marcus sometimes in class?

3. How does Marcus know that Fiona’s depression is getting worse?

4. What does the acronym “SPAT” mean?

5. What does Marcus hope will come of the day with Will and his mother?

Short Answer

Answer each question in at least 1 complete sentence. Incorporate details from the text to support your response.

1. What request from his friends does Will deny, and why?

2. Why does Marcus believe he is an “outcast”?

3. What inspires Will to date more single mothers?

4. What do Marcus, Will, and Angie find when they take Marcus back home, and what change does it inspire in both Marcus and Will?

5. How does Will feel after his “date” with Fiona?

Paired Resource

‘I Never Faked My Love For You’: A Mother Opens Up After Her Suicide Attempt

  • This article from NPR’s “StoryCorps” examines the effects of a mother’s attempted suicide on the relationship with her daughter. (Content Warning: Sensitive topics include suicide and family conflict.)
  • This information connects to the novel’s theme, Caring and Indifference, by illuminating the emotional trauma a parent’s suicide attempt can have on a child.

Related Titles

By Nick Hornby