I can't remember much, but I can recall a YA novel I read probably in the early 2000s (and most likely was new at the time) about a boy who went to boarding school.

I remember there being detailed drawings of the characters randomly within the pages and I believe it was written in a journal format either the whole way through or just at certain points.

The boy had a funny name, but I can't remember it for the life of me. Also, it was very fantasy-ish, as they had almost like medieval outfits, but not.

I think it was also set in England because I'm getting a feeling they had some slang in their language that sometimes I didn't get. Maybe some magic took place, and there were bullies in the school too.

Sorry for the vagueness but it's killing me that I can't remember more or the name or author. Also, it was on a summer reading list if that helps at all...

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    English, boarding school, magic, bullies, "medieval outfits" (robes?)... It's definitely not Harry Potter, right? Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 13:12

2 Answers 2


The Nigel Molesworth books by Geoffrey Willans & illustrated by Ronald Searle?

No magic, but centred on a 1950s Boarding School (St. Custards) & littered with illustrations, including the protagonist in a suit of armour and in Elizabethan dress. The language takes a bit of getting used to as it's a combination of made-up slang terms and deliberately dreadful spelling.



Possibly the second book of the Codex Alera series, Academ's Fury? Period costumes (with an ancient Roman bias), male protagonist named "Tavi" being bullied at a school where most students had some magical powers, and some odd turns of phrase/slang. However, I don't recall any journal entry format, and this actually came out in 2005, which may be too late...

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    Having read the Codex Alera, I can confirm. It is not written in Journal format.
    – Lumberjack
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 19:35

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