Our beautiful Andrei has graced us with another chapter.
Andrei fans! I just received Chapter 4 of his story “My Ukraine Is In Pain!” You can read it on my Facebook fan page: https://t.co/aMWH1zYSbw pic.twitter.com/vyvrZIdtbA
— Dan Gutman (@DanGutmanBooks) May 2, 2022
From Dan Gutman’s FB page:
Andrei fans! Here’s Chapter 4 of his story “My Ukraine Is In Pain!” Enjoy…
Chapter 4: Easter Sunday
Last Sunday it was Easter here in Denmark. All my Danish relatives came over for lunch, and after the hugs and kisses, they always asked the same thing…
“Andrei, how are you feeling?”
“I’m feeling I could eat another shrimp sandwich,” I tell them.
Actually, I was just yanking their chain, as A.J. says. They wanted to know how I felt about the war, but I don’t know what to tell them. It’s scary and confusing. So many friends and family are still there. My friend Nikan from school, my teacher Olia, my Babushka and Dedushka, Aunt Yana and my cousin Max. Will they be okay?
“He’s right,” says my great-Aunt Grethe, leading me over to the table. “Let’s eat.”
So my Dad asks if anyone would like a cup of chino. I look at my sister.
“Have you ever noticed that adults are always drinking cups of chino? Nobody knows why.”
“It’s cappucino, you knucklehead,” Sophia said, rolling her eyes. “Not a cup of chino!”
“Oh. I knew that,” I lied.
“Try this,” said my cousin Kirsten, handing me a pastry with a cinnamon flavor. “It’s called Vienna bread.”
“I love these,” I told her. “But in Vienna they call it a Danish.”
In Europe, food names are weird.
“OK, Andrei,” cousin Marriane says. “Maybe tell us what you’ve seen so far in Denmark.”
That was easier that talking about feelings! I told them about the cool castles here, the amusement park called Tivoli, the awesome LEGO* store, the science museum, and the million hundred bicycles in Denmark.
“And we’ve been on lots of trains,” adds my little brother William. He loves trains.
And then I remember something REALLY cool. Maybe better than all those castles and stuff.
“Flags,” I said. “In the main train station there are all these HUGE Ukrainian flags. It was the first thing I saw in the station.
“That’s because we totally support you,” said Kirsten.
“I think the whole world supports you guys,” added Marriane.
Suddenly a pair of wet Danish lips kissed my cheek, and someone’s hand ruffled my hair.
“Andrei,” said cousin Helle. “How are you feeling?”
Thinking of all those yellow and blue flags, I had an answer now.
“I feel the love,” I said. And then I finished my Danish Vienna Copenhagen bread.
*LEGO is a Danish toy that means “play well.”
Read chapters one, two, and three.
Either I never knew this (the literal translation), or I had forgotten it. Legoland in Billund is all kinds of awesome.
it’s very, very dusty for a Monday morning. Glad to see Andrei is surrounded by so much love.
i love these stories, but I also find it hard to believe that it’s written by someone that young. The writing and story-telling seems very much written by a grown-up. I hope someone can tell me that I’m wrong.
@Jerzy Russian: There really IS a Legos ETHOS!
I mean, anyone who does pastry that well has a sense of joy…
@WaterGirl: Sigh. I’m just going to stop posting these here.
@WaterGirl: Also too: as I understand it, his native language is not English. So he writes better in his second(?) language than most people here do.
@TaMara: Please don’t stop.
@JanieM: I’m thinking folks should just follow Dan on twitter or FB – I’m just not up for the comments here. Between worrying about an 11-year old teasing his sister about her barbies and people deciding it’s not real. I’ll leave it to Dan to handle those comments. Sorry.
@TaMara: I was going to point out that published writers have editors (of various kinds, including beta readers etc), so that if this isn’t the language that came directly from Andrei’s pen, he’s no different from any other writer. Then I thought about the swamp that would get me into and decided to heck with it.
In other words, I get where you’re coming from. I’ll go to Dan’s site.
Please keep posting them.
Even if Andrei has been getting help with the later installments, they are still charming and it’s nice seeing Andrei’s life returning to some sense of normalcy.
Besides, Dan Gutman’s Facebook page seems to have crashed and lost the first three installments, so it is good to have them backed up here.
He’s a voracious reader and a huge fan of the author his writing style emulates. My niece at that age was writing stories a la Captain Underpants.
@debbie: A real writer! Good for him.
It’s just FB weirdness. This has been happening to many pages. It will be fixed at some point.
Please don’t stop.
I was writing stories at his age (not as delightful, but still). It wasn’t until I went to law school that any remaining creativity got knocked out of me.
I love this kid, and the stories. Amazing.
Oh, and not for nothing, the local cinnamon pastry in Hamburg (Germany) is called
“little French bread”– Franzbrötchen. And they are out of this world!
@FelonyGovt: I was just thinking that I was a better writer in grade school than I am now. Back then I didn’t think about whether I was good at it, I just wrote stories because I wanted to and it made me happy. I’d like to get some of that back.
@debbie: Happy to hear that. Like I said, I love his stories. It’s amazing writing for someone so young. A writing savant?
@TaMara: TaMara, I didn’t mean to upset you. I wasn’t saying I had decided it wasn’t real, but that I was wondering. Even so, I’m sorry I mentioned it.
It was thoughtless at best, to share that here, and rude at worst. Apologies.