Sunday, January 28, 2007

Markus + Diana

Hagerup, Klaus. 2006. Markus +Diana.

Klaus Hagerup, a Norwegian stage director and dramatist, has made a name for himself during the past decade as a writer of award-winning books for young people. Two of his books have been made into films. Five of his novels feature the unpredictable Markus Simonsen--a series that has gained enormous popularity in Norway and abroad

Despite the front cover, Markus + Diana is a novel that almost anyone can enjoy. Markus Simonsen is a great narrator. No one was a bigger coward than Wormster. Markus Simonsen who was afraid of heights and scared of the dark. Markus Simonsen who was sure lightning would strike him if he stepped on a crack in the sidewalk and who wouldn’t dare take an elevator, even if it would save his life. Markus Simonsen who was afraid of spiders and dogs and just about everything else you could be afraid of in this world. Especially girls. They scared the hell out of him and all they had to do to make him blush was look at him. And they did that a lot. Even though he wasn’t much to look at. Markus was the shortest, scrawniest boy in class 6B at Ruud Elementary School. He had sand-colored hair and thick glasses with brown frames. They made him look almost like an old man even though he was only thirteen. Actually, it wasn’t just the glasses that made him look older than he was. It was also all the anxiety he carried around with him. (7) Anxious though he may be, he has a best friend who helps him cope in this chaotic world, Sigmund, the tallest, most talented boy in the class (8). As his school year comes to an end and summer begins, Markus begins the adventure of a lifetime.

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