YA Title Pick: Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf

A beautifully written, darkly funny coming-of-age story from an award-winning, bestselling German author making his American debut. Mike Klingenberg doesn’t get why people think he’s boring. Sure, he doesn’t have many friends. (Okay, zero friends.) And everyone laughs at him when he reads his essays out loud in class. And he’s never invited to parties — including the gorgeous Tatiana’s party of the year.Andre Tschichatschow, aka Tschick (not even the teachers can pronounce his name), is new in school, and a whole different kind of unpopular. He always looks like he’s just been in a fight, his clothes are tragic, and he never talks to anyone. But one day Tschick shows up at Mike’s house out of the blue. Turns out he wasn’t invited to Tatiana’s party either, and he’s ready to do something about it. Forget the popular kids: Together, Mike and Tschick are heading out on a road trip. No parents, no map, no destination. Will they get hopelessly lost in the middle of nowhere? Probably. Will they meet crazy people and get into serious trouble? Definitely. But will they ever be called boring again? Not a chance.

Wolfgang Herrndorf, born 1965 in Hamburg, studied painting in Nuremberg and now lives in Berlin. He wrote the novel In Plüschgewittern (“Storm of Plush”), painted the cover picture for Frank Schulz’s Hagen Trilogy, and is a contributor to the Zentrale Intelligenz Agentur in Berlin. He was awarded the Public’s Prize in the 2004 Ingeborg Bachmann prize competition for a preliminary version of his story Diesseits des Van-Allan-Gürtels (“This Side of the Van Allen Belt”).

Tim Mohr is an award-winning translator of authors including Alina Bronsky, Stefanie de Velasco, Charlotte Roche, and Wolfgang Herrndorf. He has also collaborated on memoirs by musicians Duff McKagan, Gil Scott-Heron, and Paul Stanley, and is currently working with Joe Walsh. His own writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, New York magazine, Daily Beast, Huffington Post, and Playboy, among other publications, and his book Stirb nicht im Warteraum der Zukunft will be published by Heyne in March. Prior to starting his writing career he earned his living as a club DJ in Berlin.

Why We Took the Car
Wolfgang Herrndorf
Translated from the German by Tim Mohr
2014, Arthur A. Levine
ISBN: 978-0545481809

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