Books by Quint Buchholz

SUMMER OF THE PIKE by Jutta Richter
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 16, 2006

This quiet, literary novel marks the auspicious American debut for Richter, an acclaimed writer for children and adults in her native Germany. Set on the wooded grounds of a castle and seen through the eyes of a young girl, Anna, it is a sensitive depiction of loss, friendship and family. Anna grew up with the estate's tenants, Daniel and Lucas, and the three are as close as any siblings could be. At the same time, she's disgusted by the boys' fascination with catching a magnificent pike in the forbidden moat. This obsession takes on added significance as the boys' mother slowly succumbs to cancer over the summer. Neither exploitative nor sanitized, this is a penetrating portrait of one of life's most difficult and messiest passages. Anna's mother—who is nursing the dying Gisela—drowns her sorrow in drink, cigarettes and tears. In the meantime, Anna must look on as the mother she finds emotionally distant provides the intimacy and comfort to the grieving boys that she longs for herself. While there's some initial confusion about the identity of the characters and their relationships, the spare, continuous text has been smoothly translated. This smart, subtle and sympathetic offering will appeal to sophisticated teen readers, as well as their adult counterparts. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
THE COLLECTOR OF MOMENTS by Quint Buchholz
Released: Oct. 20, 1999

In the manner of Van Allsburg's The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (1984), Buchholz has created an intriguing story with illustrations that are surreal and strangely mythic. Max, an artist, comes one warm March day to live in the apartment above the first-person narrator's home, in a town that could be anywhere on a European coastline. His stay will be temporary but his impact on the narrator, whom he calls "Professor," is lasting. In fact, the lonely young violinist (now a professor) tells this story in retrospective, almost elegiac tones and because he places such value on the artist's friendly presence, readers don't want Max to go, either. They will want to see those paintings of what he calls "moments" as much as the narrator does. When the boy sees the paintings, he recalls snippets of the artist's conversation that appear as captions for the art: "Snow elephants in Canada. It lasts just for the blink of an eye" and "The evening before, the circus had given its farewell performance." He is often in the paintings, glimpsed from the back, or in profile, and his lesson may be that the moment he has collected in a painting includes the past, present, and future—true, finally, of his last work, of the narrator. By the end, readers have shared what's important in the journey of Max, and to the boy whose friendship has been part of his observed life. (Picture book. 6+) Read full book review >
NERO CORLEONE by Elke Heidenreich
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

Nero is the godfather of cats, an irregular mafia don of the feline persuasion. He rules the barnyard with an iron fist—one white paw. Dogs, donkeys, and roosters all fear Nero, and he easily exploits that fear, manipulating his way through each day, taking what he wants wherever he goes. When he can no longer endure the disparity between being a barely tolerated farm cat and the promise of being a lavishly loved house pet, he charms his way into the house and heart of a German couple vacationing in Italy, eventually leaving his homeland for German apartment dwelling. Nero is such a familiar bully that readers may find it hard to empathize with him; the return to his homeland in old age, meant to be bittersweet, is meaningless, and his obvious chauvinism does not bode well for females, human or animal. ``You and me, we're just alike: two clever, capable men of the world, pulling two simple-minded girls along behind us.'' Perhaps the machismo should be left to Francis Ford Coppola, and the satire saved for an older audience. Heidenreich appears to be winking over the heads of middle-graders, and indulging in girl-bashing to boot. (full-color illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 8-11) Read full book review >