Outside in World | Browse Books
Use our Book Finder to search for books by Title (or part of the title), Author, ISBN, Age Range, Keyword, or Continent/Country. Then simply click the magnifying glass to start your search.
‘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)
by Henry Winterfeld
Age Range: 9-11
Otto, together with his friends are playing in the forest when they encounter a young girl sitting under a tree, wearing a blue silk dress, a small red cap, blue socks, an impressive necklace that sparkles like diamonds and a nasty bruise on her forehead. The children cautiously approach her and discover she is an alien from the planet Asra in outer space, her name is Mo, she’s really 87-years-old and has fallen out of a space ship. The children perplex Mo with lots of questions and although she can speak their language she doesn’t always understand them. Mo tells them that her father, Kalumba, will soon pick her up and take her back home.
The children are concerned about Mo’s health and take her home where she has a less than warm reception from their parents who don’t believe her story and think she must have suffered concussion due to her accident. An unfriendly policeman arrives on the scene and when he sees Mo’s necklace, which he recognises as diamonds, he tries to confiscate it. Frightened, Mo runs away and the children run after her eager to help her find a way to return to where she came from. This results in an adventurous journey as they must walk through the forest, cross rivers and navigate a swamp. Will the children be able to reunite Mo with her father again?
This is a very clever science fiction story. Mo’s life on Astra is one of peace and plenty; she is upset by the squabbling of the children and there is so much she doesn’t understand about Earth. The children have to explain to her what birds and chickens are, she doesn't understand that food must be purchased – where she comes from Mo just eats pills – or that bad behaviour is punished.
Star Girl written by German author Henry Winterfeld (1901-1990) was originally published in 1957 when there was an increase of interest in space travel and extra-terrestrials. Since then, the book has become a beloved cult classic, now available to new generations in a fresh edition by Dover Publications as part of their Children's Classic list.
Beautifully illustrated in black and white line drawings throughout by Fritz Wegner (1924-2015) an Austrian born illustrator who took residence in the United Kingdom in 1938.
Winterfeld was Jewish and moved to Austria in 1933 after the Nazis came to power. He then settled in France in 1938 but was arrested and interned in Nevers before immigrating to the USA in 1940. He wrote books for both adults and children.