A gripping fictional account of a school shooting and its terrible aftermath, written by young German author Anna Seidl – who was just 16 when she wrote the novel.
A phenomenon in its native Germany, No Heroes has now been translated into English by one of Ireland’s best-known writers for children and young people, Siobhán Parkinson.
No Heroes is narrated by Miriam, who begins the story smitten by her handsome boyfriend, popular with her friends, and, like the rest of her class, thoughtless in her treatment of social outcast Matthias.
Until Matthias goes berserk with a gun.
No Heroes is the story of the ensuing grief and guilt, and about the efforts by Miriam and those around her to rebuild some kind of life – and in doing so to come to some kind of understanding about what happened on that horrific day.
This is the 11th book for children translated into English by Irish publisher Little Island since the company came into being in 2010.
Publisher and translator at Little Island, Siobhán Parkinson, says ‘English-language children’s literature is a very rich tradition, but it’s important for young readers to become familiar with the idea that not everything that happens in the world happens in English. For this reason, Little Island has always had a policy of publishing titles in translation alongside our new books by Irish writers.
No Heroes deals with themes that resonate everywhere there are schools and teenagers and families, and it does so from a German perspective. Perhaps the most valuable thing it can tell us, in fact, is that our experiences are similar and our emotions the same, no matter where we come from.’
Cover design by Mick Minogue
PRAISE FOR NO HEROES
‘It’s not often that openly weeping by chapter three can be classed as an entirely good thing; but No Heroes has exactly this effect… Creating an accessible and surprisingly relatable story, No Heroes evokes a vivid picture of life as a teenager; delving into issues of family, bullying, grief, and relationships. Gritty, heartbreaking, but ultimately life-affirming; No Heroes doesn’t sugar coat the hardships.’ – Emily Elphinstone, No More Workhorse
‘An intense and challenging story… The strength of the story lies in this portrayal of a student who grew so resentful of others that he was driven to a suicidal assault on his peers. A great and brave debut novel.’ – Mary Arrigan, Irish Examiner
‘A read with universal themes for young people’ – Woman’s Way Magazine
Anna Seidl is a young German author, and this is her first book. It was a publishing sensation in Germany, under the title Es wird keine Helden geben and Anna won the emerging author award (Nachwuchspreis) from the German Academy for children’s and YA literature and was shortlisted for the Buxtehuder Bulle award and the UH! Literature Prize (chosen by young readers). She now lives in Frankfurt.