This is also known as the Bruno and Boots series, after the two main characters. Bruno Walton and Melvin “Boots” O’Neal are two boys at a boarding school in Canada called MacDonald Hall. They are roommates, best friends, and frequent pranksters. The headmaster of the school, Mr. Sturgeon (who the boys call “The Fish”), is a stern but fair man who tries to reign in the boys while occasionally appreciating that some of their antics are actually to the benefit of the school.
Bruno is the idea man of the duo, often talking Boots into participating in various pranks and outrageous schemes, but the purpose of many of them is actually to help the school. Although MacDonald Hall features an excellent academic program, the school is frequently short of funding, and its sports teams and programs can use better facilities. Bruno might enjoy breaking rules and pushing limits, but he really does value MacDonald Hall, and many of his schemes involve raising funds or publicity for the school.
Boots, meanwhile, is the more practical of the two. However, because of Bruno’s enthusiasm, persuasiveness, and stubborn ability to ignore Boots’ doubts about his plans, he is often swept up in Bruno’s plans along with all the other students at MacDonald Hall. Boots is a good athlete, and sports are extremely important to his father as well. (One of Bruno’s schemes was to raise money for a pool for MacDonald Hall so that Boots’ parents wouldn’t send him to a different school with better sports facilities.)
MacDonald Hall is located across the road from a girls’ school, Miss Scrimmage’s Finishing School for Young Ladies. Miss Scrimmage has rather old-fashioned ideas about what young ladies ought to learn and a fierce desire to protect them from the young hooligans at MacDonald Hall who come over to “terrorize” her young ladies. Actually, the “young ladies” love becoming involved in Bruno and Boots’ schemes (and the pandemonium they often cause), and two of them, Cathy and Diane, are friends with the boys, inviting them over to visit at night and going to visit them. Visiting the girls’ school is a real risk because Miss Scrimmage has a shot gun, no fear of using it, and no real ability to use it correctly. But, the boys appreciate the girls’ friendship and willingness to be their accomplices in their plans.
Here are the books in the series (some of them received new titles in reprints):
In the first book in the series, Mr. Sturgeon declares that Bruno and Boots have gone too far with their pranks (they already have a reputation at the beginning) and decides that the two can no longer be roommates. Faced with the prospect of losing each other as best friends, the boys try to convince him to change his mind.
Go Jump in the Pool!
York Academy (a rival school) has better sports facilities than MacDonald Hall, and some of the parents of MacDonald Hall students consider sending their boys there instead . . . including Boots’ parents. To keep his roommate and best friend, Bruno comes up with schemes to raise money to buy a new pool for MacDonald Hall.
When it seems that MacDonald Hall is going broke, Bruno and Boots start looking for ways to raise publicity and enrollment for the school. Some of their attempts have unintended consequences, including setting off a hunt for a mysterious “terrorist.”
When MacDonald Hall’s board of directors hires Mr. Wizzle to “modernize” the school, he starts driving the boys crazy with his obsession with computers and analysis. Bruno in particular determines that Wizzle has got to go!
A wealthy alumni of MacDonald Hall donates money to build a football stadium for the school so that they can have a winning football team. Although the boys don’t care much about football, they do care about the rec hall that he’s promised to build them if their team is successful.
MacDonald Hall becomes a location for the filming of a new movie. Bruno is determined to get a part in the movie, and the boys discover that the lead actor, a boy about their age, can really use some friends.
The school is plagued by a mysterious prankster, and for once, Bruno and Boots aren’t responsible! The boys have to find the person responsible before they are punished for what they haven’t done!