By Barbara Schinko
Moritz spends a lot of time at the mall. His parents run an ice cream parlour there and he helps out after school. This girl Mila is there a bunch too, daily actually, as he notices. But she never has enough money to buy ice cream. So, Moritz gives her some cinnamon ice cream with honey, a flavour no one likes very much. But why doesn’t Mila have to go to school? And what is she doing in the closed carpet store? Slowly it dawns on Moritz: Mila doesn’t have a home. But what can he do to help his friend without getting her into trouble?
Barbara Schinko approaches here homelessness in an exciting, sensitive and child-friendly way. She carefully lets her protagonists find a possible way out. And Ulrike Möltgen, award-winning illustrator, co-creates the work with delicate yet powerful images.
Homeless is a global issue. In this regard the novel raises children’s awareness of one of the toughest issues of our time. It is of great importance for adults in Arab world, where such phenomena are not uncommon. The story gives young people the opportunity to understand important and sensitive topics such as poverty, marginalized social groups and unequal opportunities for children from socially marginalized classes, within the framework of literature.
Barbara Schinko, (born in 1980 in Linz), is an award-winning Austrian (German-speaking) writer of children’s and youth fiction. She writes romance novels for young and new adult readers as well as youth fiction in her native German language. One of her youth novels was recently awarded both the Österreichischer Kinder- und Jugendbuchpreis (Austrian State Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature) as well as the Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award of the City of Vienna.