New international literature from Peirene Press quizzed for Accelerated Reader

By Chris Jarosh

As well as supporting reluctant and struggling readers, Renaissance Learning is always on the lookout for new books to engage the gifted and talented readers in schools. Three recently approved quizzes from Peirene Press fall into this category.

Book cover for Chasing the King of Hearts

Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall has been translated from Polish by Philip Boehm

Peirene Press focuses on translating exceptionally thought provoking novellas, which are already considered modern classics in their own language, into the English language. Many of their titles have won and been shortlisted for awards, as well as featuring on lists and being optioned for film adaptations. One criteria Peirene has for publishing books is that they can be read in less time than it takes to watch a DVD, making international literature accessible for new audiences.

We have thus far quizzed three of their titles for Accelerated Reader. By their very nature these are Upper Years books; the Book Levels vary from 5.3 to 7.5.

Chasing the King of Hearts: a novel of love and survival set against the background of the Holocaust which was translated from Polish.

The Mussel Feast: a family saga featuring a tyrannical father which was translated from the German.

The Dead Lake: an Uzbekistani tale about the environmental legacy of the Cold War which was translated from Russian.

What our quiz writer says

Sarah Kerr, the quiz writer who worked on the AR Reading Practice quiz, had this to say about Chasing the King of Hearts:

All of these books have been a joy to read. My own personal favourite has been Chasing the King of Hearts, a moving account of one woman’s Holocaust experiences. Because Peirene translate novellas, this book was only 168 pages – unlike some of the monsters we find ourselves quizzing! It is short, but every page gripped the reader. Tiny details became significant and revealed the pathos and sometimes even humour of the character’s experiences. The book was tough to quiz because so much was implied and left unsaid, but I’m very glad to have been afforded the challenge!

Posted on 7 August 2014 at 8:42 am
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