Markus and the Girls

Klaus Hagerup, Author , trans. by Tara Chace. Boyds Mills/Front Street $17.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-59078-520-1

Hagerup's endearingly awkward hero, Markus (from Markus and Diana ), is in love “for the fifteenth time since starting junior high. And that was two months ago.” In this outing, smoothly translated from its original Norwegian, he pursues two new romantic interests—Ellen, whose ears look like “mussels with pearls,” and new student Alexandra, a budding actress. Markus's sidekick Sigmund “helps out” by inventing elaborate matchmaking schemes that result in hilarious mishaps and equally funny conversations. (“Do you think I'm a nymphomaniac?” Markus worriedly asks his friend.) Similarly, discussions about love that Markus has with his conscientious father (who has his own ill-fated romantic encounters) provide laugh-aloud moments. (Nervous about confessing his past loves to his father, Markus thinks, “Dad would think he was sick, and he was, too. Sick with love. Crazed! Insatiable! Desperate! Ravenous!”) None of Markus's love fantasies come true, but he does find a new friend in Ellen and has fun playing the role of Romeo in an abridged production of Romeo and Juliet . A breezy romp of a sequel. Ages 14–17. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Genre: Children's
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