Czech / Czech Republic
Osoha, Karel (illus.)
Praha: Paseka, s.r.o., 2018. – 260 p.
Secret | Electricity | Invention | Adventure | Detective novel | Science fiction | City district
White Ravens issue: 2019
Reading age: 10+
This book has everything it needs for building huge suspense plus a chill factor: a mysterious old neighbourhood in Prague that, for unknown reasons, has no electricity; winding, labyrinthian alleys and dark cellars; dodgy, villainous grown-ups; an ancient invention that threatens to destroy the whole city; encrypted maps, plans, and codes; and kids ready to jump right into the thick of things. Jirka (13), the main character, and his friend En are a great team, far removed from clichéd gender roles. Together they uncover the secret of Prašina (Dust Zone) and figure out what Jirka’s grandpa, who lives there, has to do with it. The literary debut of mathematician Vojtech Matocha (b. 1989) combines the genres of adventure story, detective novel and science fiction in a thoroughly thrilling and spooky way. No wonder “Prašina” is counted among the most important new arrivals on the Czech children’s literary scene in 2018. The book was also nominated for the prestigious Magnesia Litera Award.