Skip to main content


Why We Took The Car

Wolfgang Herrndorf, Tim Mohr (Translated by)

Hardcover

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

A 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.


Praise For Why We Took The Car

Praise for Why We Took the Car:

* ""[An] action- and emotion-packed story of surprise summer adventure . . . this alternately wild, sad, hilarious, and tender tale chronicles the development of a strange and beautiful friendship." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

* ""In his first novel translated into English, Herrndorf sits squarely and triumphantly at the intersection of literary tall tale and coming-of-age picaresque." —Kirkus, starred review

"Surprising, tender and deliciously absurd . . . [A] funny, poignant, and intermittently profane and raunchy novel." —The Wall Street Journal

"Buckle your seat belt. You're in for a bumpy, exhilarating ride . . . in this lively bildungsroman, rich with funny, poignant riffs on nicknames, boomerangs, Beyoncé, aging and the possibility of life on other planets." —The Washington Post

"A sharp coming-of-age journey, hilarious and heartrending in equal measure." —Horn Book

"[A] compelling coming-of-age tale. [Herrndorf's] authentic voice will resonate universally with teens and will draw some comparisons to Holden Caulfield and Huck Finn." —VOYA



Publishers Weekly Starred Review
German novelist Herrndorf makes his YA (and U.S.) debut with this action- and emotion-packed story of surprise summer adventure. When German eighth-grader Mike Klingenberg discovers that he’s among the few “Boring kids and losers... Russians, Nazis and idiots” who are not invited to his crush Tatiana’s birthday party, he is devastated. Mike is facing a miserable summer, with his mother in rehab and father away at a “business meeting” with his sexy assistant, when his new Russian classmate, Tschick (whom Mike considers “trash”), arrives at his house in a stolen car. An unlikely compatibility leads to a candy-fueled road trip, complicated by their lack of a map or cell phone. Driving all over Germany, the boys face conundrums like avoiding the police, buying gas and food when clearly underage, and vaguely seeking Tschick’s grandfather. Prepared by life to expect ill will, Mike and Tschick instead meet “almost only people from the one percent who weren’t bad.” Beginning at the end, with Mike narrating the explanation suggested by the title, this alternately wild, sad, hilarious, and tender tale chronicles the development of a strange and beautiful friendship.


A Kirkus Best Book of the Year

Praise for Why We Took the Car:

* ""[An] action- and emotion-packed story of surprise summer adventure . . . this alternately wild, sad, hilarious, and tender tale chronicles the development of a strange and beautiful friendship." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

* ""In his first novel translated into English, Herrndorf sits squarely and triumphantly at the intersection of literary tall tale and coming-of-age picaresque." —Kirkus, starred review

"Surprising, tender and deliciously absurd . . . [A] funny, poignant, and intermittently profane and raunchy novel." —The Wall Street Journal

"Buckle your seat belt. You're in for a bumpy, exhilarating ride . . . in this lively bildungsroman, rich with funny, poignant riffs on nicknames, boomerangs, Beyoncé, aging and the possibility of life on other planets." —The Washington Post

"A sharp coming-of-age journey, hilarious and heartrending in equal measure." —Horn Book

"[A] compelling coming-of-age tale. [Herrndorf's] authentic voice will resonate universally with teens and will draw some comparisons to Holden Caulfield and Huck Finn." —VOYA

Arthur A. Levine Books, 9780545481809, 256pp.

Publication Date: January 7, 2014



About the Author

Wolfgang Herrndorf (1965-2013) was born in Hamburg, Germany, and studied painting before turning to writing later in his career. He wrote several award-winning novels for adults, and WHY WE TOOK THE CAR was the receipient of the German Youth Literature Award.