Ben Loves Anna

Peter Hartling, Author, J. H. Auerbach, Translator, Ellen Weinstein, Illustrator Overlook Press $12.95 (96p) ISBN 978-0-87951-401-3
In this German novel, ten-year-old Ben develops the first crush of his life on Anna, a shy girl from Poland. Hartling's gentle story takes them from their first meeting in school, through tentative flirting and teasing, to spending a lot of time together and getting to know each other. This short novel does not attempt very much, and the action stays very close to the surface. Even though the emotional stakes for both Ben and Anna are high, Hartling maintains the detachment of a grown-up watching childish events from the outside, and only hints at the depth of his protagonists' feelings. Worse, this novel is hampered with a graceless, unidiomatic translation which is sure to put off most readers. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
Hardcover - 96 pages - 978-0-87951-407-5
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