The Zigzag Kid A Novel

David Grossman; Translated by Betsy Rosenberg




Trade Paperback

320 Pages



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Nonny Feuerberg's father is the world's greatest detective, wholly dedicated to the war on crime. Nonny trains himself to follow in his father's footsteps, but to his father's dismay his wild side keeps breaking out. Then Nonny finds himself traveling on a train with the magnetic, elegant Felix Glick, international outlaw extraordinaire. Not until Felix has hijacked the locomotive and whisked Nonny off on a quest for the trademark purple scarf of the great actress Lola Ciperola does Nonny realize that he is in the hands of a kindly and fascinating kidnapper—and that although he himself knows almost nothing about his own mother, who died when he was a baby, both Felix and Lola seem to know a lot about her.

David Grossman's novels See Under: LOVE and The Book of Intimate Grammar have earned him international acclaim as an artist of childhood. With wit and humor, The Zigzag Kid is a novel that explores the most fundamental questions of good and evil and speaks directly to both adults and teenagers.


Praise for The Zigzag Kid

"This is a fantasy that delights, surprises, and reveals."—Barbara Fisher, The Boston Sunday Globe

"Lighthearted and funny, a book of enormous charm."—Richard Bernstein, The New York Times

"David Grossman's delightful novel of adolescent initiation is a kind of contemporary urban fairy tale . . . in a style that is part comic-book adventure and part universal myth . . . His story of innocence transformed is so cleverly elaborated—and so touchingly true—that it is difficult not to cheer."—San Francisco Chronicle

"The Zigzag Kid is about what happens when one boy, 12-year-old Nonny Feuerberg, has his wildest dreams of adventure fulfilled. He's forced to hang on for a breathless ride, and happily so are we. The Zigzag Kid is, at heart, a galloping road novel."—Dwight Garner, The Wasington Post Book World

"This nimble picaresque variously suggests The Arabian Nights and Dr. Seuss in the glee with which it darts from one outlandish event to the next . . . Grossman explores universal concerns with wit and lightness."—Jesse Berrett, The Village Voice

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

The ZigZag Kid

The whistle blew and the train pulled out of the station. There was a boy at one of the compartment windows watching a man and a woman wave to him from the platform. The man waved one hand in a shy...

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