Adventures with Waffles by Maria Paar, translated by Guy Puzey (2015, US Edition)
Trille knows who his best friend is, but doesn’t know for sure if that level of friendship is reciprocated. When you live in the rural town of Mathildewick Cove in Norway, there aren’t many options for friends in the first place so Trille is lucky that his best friend Lena lives right next door to him.
Trille is loyal and kind-hearted while Lena is a thrill-seeker with no inhibition, and yet “good old Trille and the girl next door” are nearly inseparable. Whether it’s trying to recreate Noah’s Ark or to earn enough money for a new soccer ball, everyday Trille and Lena are off on some adventure or dreaming up some scheme. Life in Mathildewick Cove is anything but dull with Trille and Lena around.
Then, quite suddenly, Lena doesn’t want to see Trille anymore, and begins to avoid him completely. Trille’s on a mission to find out what’s bothering Lena, but Lena is determined as usual. Will Trille be able to save his friendship with his best friend?
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
What I liked: This book is a very down-t0-earth book that is easy to relate to with believable characters and events. You could find a set of friends like Trille and Lena in almost any neighborhood or classroom. The heavier topics the book explores, like death of a grandparent and a best friend moving away, are relevant and a likely concern to most in the target audience. Although it deals with serious topics, the book is also light-hearted. Trille and Lena’s adventures are fun and zany enough to have you smirking and laughing out loud, while still remaining within in the realm of possibility.
What I didn’t like: This book moves a bit slowly. It isn’t until the last third of the book that the true problem in the book arises. Up until that point the book was primarily snippets of Trille and Lena’s everyday life. This wasn’t a huge discouragement for me, but the pace of this book would not be enough for those readers who need action on every page.
My opinion in summary: Adventures with Waffles was a charming read. It’s a believable story that could take place most anywhere. There was a good balance of joy and sadness that helps the reader to connect even more with the characters. I was reminded a lot of The Penderwicks while reading this book due to its down-to-earth nature, but also of Pippy Longstocking with Lena’s drive for adventure and ability to stir up a ruckus all over town.
Overall rating: 8 out of 10