Dorit Linke

Jenseits der Blauen Grenze (Beyond the Blue Border)
Magellan 2014

Hanna and Andreas want to get away; away like their friend Jens, who has already left the struggling German Democratic Republic. It’s the end of the 1980s, and they’re trapped in a state that offers no future and that is rife with tyranny, oppression, and censorship. Their plan is to swim across the Baltic Sea across the border to West Germany. They make their way, connected to each other by a rope and carrying only an emergency ration of chocolate. During the endless hours in the sea, the narrator Hanna recounts memories from her childhood, her friendship with Andreas and Jens, her defiant grandpa who refused to take the regime seriously, and her increasing awareness of the lack of freedom in East Germany. The tight interweaving of the past and the present creates a strong narrative structure that shows Dorit Linke’s superb talent. Through her artful writing, readers see, feel, and experience Hanna and Andreas’ growing exhaustion and despair as they struggle to make their escape. (Ages 13 & up)

Fett Kohle (Fat Cash)
Magellan 2015

Niklas cannot believe his eyes when he sees police cars speeding past his house with their sirens blaring, and then a bag comes flying out of a van and lands in a bush right outside his window. Niklas is sure of one thing: there must be something cool inside. And sure enough, the bag is full of cash. Niklas takes it, and so begins this fast-paced thrill-ride. Niklas and his friend Felix start to run into quite a few problems, as more than a few people are keen on taking the money for themselves. Dorit Linke’s crime novel for children is impressive, with its realistic dialogue, its authentic depiction of Berlin, and its great sense of comedy. The character development is particularly strong. Niklas is a contradictory protagonist who doesn’t always get things right. He is sometimes angry and at other times desperate, but ultimately his heart is in the right place. (Ages 8 and up)