A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

German / Germany

Mädchenmeute
(Girl pack)

Fuchs, Kirsten (text)
Berlin: Rowohlt, 2015. – 462 p.
ISBN 978-3-87134-764-1

Survival camp – Peer group – Group pressure – Coming of age

Reluctantly, shy fifteen-year-old Charlotte joins seven other girls on a summer-survival camp in the country. But because things turn out to be a bit fishy, they decamp. In a dead gallery of a mine, they start their own survival-camp, with stray dogs instead of adult supervision. The girls are as different as night and day, they bitch and fight, but always end up making matter up. Each girl takes over a function within the group, as this is the only way they can live together on the outskirts of civilization. The whole experience is challenging, extraordinary, and transformative for the girls. The author lends her voice to Charlotte, who remains laconic and shrewd and has a good eye for group dynamics. The setting and intertexts amplify the narrative to create a dense, symbolically charged coming-of-age novel full of extreme situations and liminal experiences. (Age: 14+)