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Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf

Why We Took the Car

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Winner of the German Teen Literature Prize, this is a hugely entertaining hair-raising and tender story of two boys on the road trip of a lifetime. Mike tells the story of the summer that changes his life. With a reputation as the dullest boy in the class his life is changed when new boy Tschick arrives. Tschick doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him; his clothes are scruffy and he frequently arrives smelling of alcohol and clearly drunk. When Tschick turns up in a car in the empty summer holiday and dares Mike to join him Mike throws caution to the wind and steps right in. Underage for driving and with no map and no plan the boys have an extraordinary – and illegal - journey during which they meet some surprising people and some very tricky situations before returning home almost safely and very much changed.

Reader Reviews

  • Juliana Christianson, age 14 - 'I wish I could have the chance to read more books by Wolfgang Herrndorf, this book is amazing. It will change your perspective on a lot of things. Read full review >
  • Sarah Murray, age 15 - 'This book was so fun, I would love to go on a road trip like this any day.' Read full review >
  • Aimee Sweet, age 13 - 'The plot of this book is absolutely exceptional! The idea of two thirteen year old boys stealing a car and driving into the middle of nowhere is just mind blowing when compacted into a book, with support from the writing of Herrndoff.' Read full review >
  • Daisy Ingram, age 12 - 'I liked this book as it was not too long but was different, interesting, and a good concept.' Read full review >
  • Josh Hall, age 14 - 'Fun and thought provoking!' Read full review >
  • Jessica Bolton, age 11 - 'Really funny adventure story.' Read full review >


Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf

Mike doesn't get why people think he's boring. Sure, he doesn't have many friends. (OK, zero friends.) And everyone laughs at him when he reads his essays out loud in class. And he's never invited to parties. But one day Tschick, the odd new boy at school, shows up at Mike's house out of the blue. He dares him to go on a road trip with him. No parents, no map, no destination. Will they get hopelessly lost in the middle of nowhere? Probably. Will they meet crazy people and get into serious trouble? Definitely. But will they ever be called boring again? Not a chance.

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'You will see the world with different eyes after reading this novel' Rolling Stone

'Alternately wild, sad, hilarious, and tender' Publisher's Weekly, starred review

'Full of laughs and incredibly moving' Sueddeutsche Zeitung

A novel with just one flaw: it's over too soon Deutschlandradio

'Sits squarely and triumphantly at the intersection of literary tall tale and coming-of-age picaresque' Kirkus, starred review

About the Author

Wolfgang Herrndorf (1965-2013) was born in Hamburg, Germany and studied painting before turning to writing later in his career. He wrote several award-winning novels for adults, and Why We Took the Car is his first book to be published in the UK.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th February 2014


Wolfgang Herrndorf

More books by Wolfgang Herrndorf
Author 'Like for Like'


Andersen Press Ltd


256 pages
Interest Age: From 12 to 17 years


NewGen - YA Fiction
eBook Favourites

General fiction (Children's / Teenage)



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