Alex Moldovan: Olgica and the Dear Grandpa* (originally publised by Editura Arthur in 2016 under the title Olguța și un bunic de milioane)

Many thanks to Cerkabella Könyvkiadó for sending me the book!

Olga Tomescu, or Olgica, as her family calls her, is a schoolgirl from Cluj. She is not popular at school, and it doesn’t help that she is super-intelligent – her IQ is incredibly high, she has a pitbull dog and, according to her, she was born as a troublemaker: everything she touches turns to dust and ashes. Our story begins on a Friday afternoon, after school, when Olgica, against her will, has to go with her old aunt to spend the weekend with her. (Olgica’s mother is very ill, and her father works abroad.) In addition, Olgica’s grandfather also appears, with whom her father had such a fight that they broke up totally. What is he up to now? And what family secrets are still hidden beneath the surface?

‘Olgica’ is a contemporary novel at its best: it reflects the world of today’s teenagers in its language, atmosphere and choice of topic. It was also interesting to see the streets of Cluj, which gave the story an unusual background. It is a very refreshing change among middle grade novels usually translated from English.

Alex Moldovan, a writer from Cluj, is a lover of children’s literature, jazz and animal protection. He loves to read since his childhood and wanted to be a writer. However, he first studied philosophy at university and worked as a translator and bookseller before becoming a full-time writer. Three volumes of the Olgica series have already been published in Romania, and the second book, Olgica and Operation Jaguar*, will soon be published in Hungarian.

*my translation