Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Why we took the car

I always keep my eyes and ears out for translated junior and young adult fiction as I know they will be top class reads!

'Why we took the car' by Wolfgang Herrndorf won the German Youth Literature prize, and has been translated into English by Tim Mohr.
Mike Klingenberg is an awkward teenager with delusions of grandeur who somehow befriends Andrej Tshichatschow (known as Tschick). Tschick has recently arrived in Germany from Russia, and is quite an enigma with his cool attitude and alcoholic breath.
Mike's adventures begin with Tschick arrives at his house in a beaten up Russian car (a Lada). Tschick is an under-age driver and the car has been 'borrowed.'
Neither boy has been invited to the popular girl Tatiana's party and they are both p....ed off and ready for action.
Off on a road trip they go to Wallachia - a German euphemism for the 'middle of nowhere' and also a region of Romania. They meet some crazy, fascinating people along the way.
As you can imagine, the teenagers get into all sorts of trouble.
Tatiana is never far from Mike's thoughts and Tschick gives Mike an insight into why his peers aren't particularly friendly towards him. Things are not always what they seem and maybe Mike is not as boring as he thought he was.
Each chapter begins with a picture of the Lada - the car's headlights shining on the chapter number. This adds to the overall quirkiness of the book. I loved this clever, very appealing novel and I recommend it to Quicksand readers.
-Ann    

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