The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Spanish / Spain

La playa de los inútiles

(The beach of the useless)

Nogués, Alex (text)
Enríquez, Bea (illus.)
Barcelona: Akiara books, 2019. – 86 p.
(Series: Akinarra; 1)
ISBN 978-84-17440-32-9

Family  | Family conflict  | Moving house  | Friendship  | Self-discovery  | Meaning of life

Reading age: 10+

White Ravens issue: 2020


Sofía has a surprising answer to her teacher’s question concerning what she’d like to be one day: “useless”. Useless – according to her father, this is what people are who supposedly give nothing of value to society. He himself is a driven workaholic, her mother is unhappy, and Sofía is still angry at her parents because they moved to a little coastal city “at the end of the world” with her. Together with her new friends, Sofía gets to know “useless” people – musicians, painters, a collector of unremarkable objects at the beach – and in the end opens her father’s eyes to what really matters in life. The story, told from the perspective of the eleven-year-old protagonist, captures the girl’s thrown-out-of-joint world in a precise and sensitive way and with subtle humour: the feeling of being the new kid, the tensions between her parents, the conflict with her father and the question about the goal and meaning of life. The nimble, colourful illustrations and vignettes round out the small book. [JW]