Adam, the Odd One Out
Nominated to the Brage Prize 2005.
They were seven-graders, and they spotted me at once. They cheered, and one of them howled like a wolf.
“A fart!” one of them shouted.
That’s what they call us, the ones in the fourth grade; farts. It’s as though we smell bad, and sometimes the others will hold their noses and run off when they see us. But not when they come across one of us who’s on his own.
They formed a circle around me and smiled in that smart way so typical of people who think they have the upper hand over somebody else.
“A tiny fart caught in the trap” said one, who actually wasn’t that big himself.
“OK” said another, and then a third one said yes, and that was the green light for them all to start doing something only they knew what was.
Adam is in the fourth grade. He has no friends, but he’s good at maths. He actually thinks he’s doing rather well, at least a whole lot better than Monster-Eve; a girl in his parallel class who’s a victim of constant bullying. Who is wearing glasses and surrounded by horrible rumours. If you’re on your own and you meet her, then you run – unless you’re one of those who enjoy taking dangerous risks, that is.
Suddenly one day Monster-Eve begins in Adam’s class and, as if that weren’t enough: She gets the desk right behind him. Adam panics. She has plenty of stuff to avenge, and Adam is the perfect victim. Adam does all he can do to avoid Eve, but one day he gets a note that says: “Meet me behind the kiosk after school…”
With this novel, Torun Lian once again demonstrates her unique ability to treat serious issues with humour and warmth