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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Great Rabbit Revenge Plan (The)
by Burkhard Spinnen
Age Range: 12+
Ten-year-old Konrad Batelmann lives with his Mum, Dad and five-year-old brother Peter in a new house in The Dransfeld. When Konrad meets a red-headed girl called Frederike ‘Fridz’ with a d from number 28b Dransfeld he never could have envisaged the sequence of events that unfold. He has no knowledge of divorce but his new friend has plenty: her Mum is always crying, her Dad has left and is living with a new girlfriend and Fridz has been left to care for his Flemish Giant Rabbit.
Konrad has usually been quite successful in avoiding problems and girls in particular, but now he’s entangled in a plan of revenge on Fridz’s father’s girlfriend after accidentally giving Fridz the idea – something involving an extremely large rabbit!
The Great Rabbit Revenge Plan by German author Burkhard Spinnen, translated by Siobhan Parkinson, is full of wry wit and understated humour throughout. Konrad’s detailed analysis and observations are amusing such as the spinach challenge – ‘It’s not that Konrad doesn’t like spinach. Spinach is good. Or more precisely, spinach is not bad. But unfortunately it is extremely difficult to eat a plate of spinach in such a way that all the spinach is inside the person and none of it ends up somewhere else’!
This is a clever, funny novel: Spinnen’s narrative is accessible as he manages to deal with some difficult issues such as the break-up of a marriage and parental relationships, but it is also about friendship and growing up.