What is the secret behind 11 11

Penny Maroux and the secret of the 11th

Penny loves to think about unusual things, e.g. whether the rustling of the wind is actually a language of its own that we just don't understand. Penny's considerations do not go down well with her classmates and her best friend, she is considered crazy and completely insane and is even brutally bullied by a few unscrupulous classmates.
Penny also has little support at home. Since the death of her mother, she has lived with her father with his sister Kirsten, an educator who thinks she has an answer to everything and in whose inflexible worldview there is no room for the unusual views of her imaginative niece.
The father tries to understand Penny, but is too weak and too comfortable to move out to his sister's house or at least to protest if he does not agree with her often unoriginal views. Instead, he prefers to retire to his study.
So Penny is pretty much on her own, especially since her best friend retired from elementary school because she couldn't deal with Penny's unusual thoughts.

On her 11th birthday, Penny receives a postcard from mysterious senders who call themselves the Elferkinder ...

Who are the mysterious Elferkids?

Through this enigmatic post, however, she gets to know the Elferkinder, who call themselves that because in the normal world with the decimal number system as the cornerstone of all things, they often offend and fall out of the ordinary. Just like Penny, who has ten new friends in one fell swoop and, as the eleventh member of the group, completes the Elfer Council in her hometown Winderbusch. And this Eleven Council has an important mission to fulfill, but it is important to find the missing eleventh card from a magical deck of cards and thus make the world a better place, where there is room for everyone, including people who “ver “-“ moving ”are like the Elferkinder. Will this mission succeed?

Predefined rules are questioned

The author Oliver Schlink, a social worker by profession, who works in inpatient youth welfare and refugee work, has succeeded in implementing his original initial idea in a coherent manner. Penny and the other Elferkinder look adorable, unusual and not repulsively disgusting. The main theme of his children's book, the call for more tolerance and an open world in which there is space for everyone, including those who fall out of the norm, is particularly praiseworthy. In addition to more tolerance, he also propagates accepting oneself and standing by oneself and not allowing oneself to be squeezed into a given template.
The target group of readers over ten is at exactly the right age to deal with such demanding topics, as pre-puberty is the beginning of a phase of self-discovery and personality development.
The given rules are questioned, in the spirit of the Elferkinder, for whom rules and regulations are a horror and for whom the word “form” causes excruciating agony.
The relaxed and humorous writing style is also pleasing, a good example of this are Penny's verbal battles with her stubborn aunt Kirsten, who, according to the Elferkinder's value system, has an overbearing tens personality.


An imaginative plea for a world with more soul and tolerance that calls on the reader to make the future as humane as possible.