F.B.F: Max und Moritz

Flashback Friday:  Max und Moritz

Flashback Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies and it's a way to show a little love to those books that hold a special place in our hearts. There are no set rules aside from the fact that the book must be at least five years old.
For today's flashback, I'm taking you back to high school (again) and talking about the very first book I ever really read in German.  When I started high school, I simultaneously enrolled in both Spanish and German because I wasn't sure which language I would like more; these were the only two offered at my high school unless you wanted to go to the other high school in town for one period to take French or Japanese.  After a year in both classes, I discovered that I really enjoyed learning German.  The language sounds angry and awesome and the culture is fascinating.  As a junior, after three years learning the language, we were assigned H.C. Wilhelm Busch's Max und Moritz:  Eine Bubehngeschichte in sieben Streichen (in English...Max and Moritz:  A Story of Seven Boyish Pranks). 

Though technically a book for children, the black humor and moral lessons were not lost on us third year German high school students.  It is an illustrated story told entirely in verse (rhymed couplets to be exact) and was published in 1865.  The story follows Max and Moritz, two friends who continually commit horrible pranks on various members of their community that escalate in severity until the very end.  I won't give away what happens at the end, because it would ruin it.  Suffice it to say that the two boys get their comeuppance. 

Culturally relevant in today's German-speaking nations, Max und Moritz are continually referenced in pop culture and the media.  It is a story read to children even today.  I loved this book because it was dark, funny, and horrific all at the same time.  If you want to read the story, you can find it in translation through Amazon in various version.

What moral books/stories are important to you?

Happy reading!


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