- Historical time, season, time of the day etc.
- Nation, country, city, in the countryside, ocean, forest, mountains.
- Environment influenced by social class, age group, ethnic group.
- Fantasy or realistic environment.
How to find themes/message in a short story or novel:
- Themes
- The message of the story

Two of the themes that recur in the novel are: Adulthood and growing up early. This is due to Marcus learning at an early age (12 years old) to be a part of adulthood.

Another theme could be about the boy’s harsh circumstances. This is due to marcus’ hard times moving around and dealing with loneliness with his mom, who gets a lot of different boyfriends. This could possibly be harsh for Marcus to establish. (people get into his life but leaves early).

One of the themes comes into play here as Marcus is stressed because he is being bullied at school.

Normally he would involve his mother and she would save him but this time she is actually a part of the problem. She is a single mother and raised Marcus by herself. Because of her, Marcus turned out the way he did, and this is the problem.

The message in “about a boy” is the different lives and values of the individual. We think that this is the message because it is focusing on the harsh times in life, but also the positive thing for every individual peoples lifetime.

- Sensitive
Marcus knows that he is different from the other kids, therefore also because of his sensitivity he does not like to go to school.

- Compassionate
Marcus is compassionate, he always wonders how he can help his mother.

- Dreamy
Marcus dreams about another life. For eksampel he thinks about his mother and Will moving in together and how their life would change. He also dreams that his mother will get better.

- Disappointed
Even though Marcus has much loyalty for his mother, he gets very disappointed every time she cries and about many of the things she does.

- Bottled up his feelings
It seems like Marcus has a lot of feelings that he is not ready to talk about or does not feel like he has anyone to talk about - that is also part of the reason he likes to spend time with Will.

- Afraid to be alone/ worried
He spends a lot of time with Will because he is afraid to be alone. He also keeps worrying that his mother will kill herself and that he will have to be alone.

- Older mentality
He seems much older than a 12 year old. This is reflected in his way of being and in things such as his music taste. He might act as if he is older because he was forced to grow up quicker than usual children would, because of his worries.