The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

German / Germany

Rico, Oskar und das Mistverständnis

(Rico, Oskar, and the mistunderstanding)

Steinhöfel, Andreas (text)
Schössow, Peter (illus.)
Hamburg: Carlsen, [2020]. – 331 p.
ISBN 978-3-551-55783-4

Friendship  | Conflict  | Mystery  | Berlin

Reading age: 10+

White Ravens issue: 2021


In the fifth and (yes, indeed, the very) last “Rico and Oskar”-volume, things get pretty heated as usual: Not only do Rico, Oskar, and their gang have to save their playground from nasty real estate speculators; on top, there is also a lot of friction between the two friends, and in the end things blow up completely. Oh boy. It might be better to take a break from each other. Thus, Rico sets off on an adventurous holiday in the countryside, and Oskar (yep, Oskar!) becomes the hero of “Oskar’s grand adventures”, composed by Rico in the style of “Hedwig Kurzmaler” (i.e. Hedwig Courts-Mahler [1867-1950], a German author of popular romance novels). With this novel-within-a-novel, set in Berlin in the 1920s, Andreas Steinhöfel boldly overcomes narrative illogicalities: How can a first-person narrator tell of his friend’s adventures, when he is somewhere else entirely? This feature, as well as the intertextual fireworks he sets off, and the many linguistic balls he juggles, make this a truly entertaining read. [IG]