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Poškoláci / Kept In School - 2010
Poškoláci / Kept In School - 2010



  • Briefly about author

    After completing her grammar school education in PrešovPo absolvovaní gymnaziálnych štúdiií v Prešove (1985 – 1989) vyštudovala
    After completing her grammar school education in PrešovPo absolvovaní gymnaziálnych štúdiií v Prešove (1985 – 1989) vyštudovala odbor žurnalistika na Filozofickej fakulte Univerzity
     (1985-1989) Gabriela Futová studied journalism at the Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava (1989-1993). She then took up an administrative post. Since 2002 she has been the methodologist for work with children and young people at the P.O.Hviezdoslav Library in Prešov and head of a working group set up by the Slovak National Library in Martin concerned with work with children and young people. She lives in Prešov.
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  • Works and reviews of works

    Prose

    • Ži vo mne (2018, 1.issue)

    Drama

    • Zubaté trampoty / Toothy Troubles (2003)

    For children and youth

    • Naša mama je bosorka! / Our Mum is a Witch! (2000)
    • Hľadám lepšiu mamu / Wanted: A Better Mum (2001, 1.issue)
    • Ako čarovná fľaška zachránila Vianoce / How a Magic Bottle Saved Christmas (2002)
    • Ako topánka Anka do sveta išla / The Adventures of Annie the Shoe (2003)
    • Keby som bola bosorka / If I Were a Witch (2003, 1.issue)
    • Nezblázni sa, mamička / Mummy, Don’t Go Round the Bend! (2003)
    • Lepší otec v hrsti ako kamoš na streche / Better a Dad in the Hand than a Pal in the Bush (2005, 1.issue)
    • Rozruch v škole na Kavuličovej ulici / Commotion in the school in Kavuličová Street (2006, 1.issue)
    • Štyri kosti pre Flipra / Four Bones for Flipper (2007)
    • Dokonalá Klára / Perfect Clare (2008, 1.issue)
    • Psia škola kocúra Červenochvosta / Redtail Tomcat’s School for Dogs (2008, 1.issue)
    • Zmätené dvojičky zo slepej uličky / Confused Twins from a Blind Alley (2008, 1.issue)
    • Izba snov (2009, 1.issue)
    • Chlapci padli z višne, dievčatá z jahody / Boys Dropped out of Cherry Trees, Girls from Strawberries (2010, 1.issue)
    • Poškoláci / Kept In School (2010, 1.issue)
    • Brata musíš poslúchať / You Must Obey Your Brother! (2011, 1.issue)
    • Nejdem a basta! / I’m Not Going and That’s That! (2013)
    • Dokonalá Klára (2014, 2.issue)
    • Brata musíš poslúchať! (2015, 2.issue)
    • Nejdem a basta! (2015, 2.issue)
    • Nezblázni sa, mamička (2015, 3.issue)
    • Nototo a strašidelná škola Elvíry Múdrej (2015, 1.issue)
    • Rozruch v škole na Kavuličovej ulici (2015, 1.issue)
    • Lebo musím! (2016, 1.issue)
    • Lepší otec v hrsti ako kamoš na streche (2016, 3.issue)
    • Môj malý zverinec (2016, 1.issue)
    • O Bezvláske. Aby sa všetky deti usmievali (2016, 1.issue)
    • Hľadám lepšiu mamu (2017, 4.issue)
    • Keby som bola bosorka (2017, 3.issue)
    • Naša mama je bosorka! (2017, 5.issue)
    • Psia škola u kocúra Červenochvosta (2017, 3.issue)
    • Poškoláci (2018, 3.issue)

    Radio production

    • Dávajte si pozor na Petra / Keep an Eye on Peter (2004)
  • Production description

         The stories in Gabriela Futová’s  Naša mama je bosorka! / Our Mum is a Witch (2000) capture the everyday reality of siblings’ scuffles,
         The stories in Gabriela Futová’s Naša mama je bosorka! / Our Mum is a Witch (2000) capture the everyday reality of siblings’ scuffles, parental intervention and by no means unproblematic neighbourly relations. This is combined with a fantasy world of miracles, which in the plot is based on the discovery of a secret - that the mother of the narrator, Dominika, was originally a witch, and on the children’s clandestine attempts to perform spells from a thousand-year-old book of magic.  Alongside the exciting adventures and action, for which original use is made of motifs and approaches well known from other book or film versions on the theme of people’s paranormal abilities, alongside gentle caricature and hyperbole, the author has wittily stressed in a subtle educational message the ethic dimension of human thoughts and deeds and the value of a loving family background. The link between the fantasy level and the realistic level is found in the discoveries and play of a curious child, while inconspicuously bringing attention to the elementary values of tolerance, morality and responsibility for one’s own actions.
         The prose work Hľadám lepšiu mamu / Wanted:A Better Mum (2001) is also dominated by a dynamic story with an attractive plot, this time centred on the difficult holiday search of an obstinate girl who decides to deal in her own way with the fact that her mother, who has to earn her own living, cannot meet all her expectations. During the holidays she sets out to find a more tolerant “substitute” mother. In the end she discovers for herself not only the strength of family ties, but also the need for self-control and tolerance. Beneath the surface of this narration is also hidden a level of meaning about the irreplaceability of someone close to us, about true and false values in life and about the need to be able to admit and correct mistakes that have been made.  Lepší otec v hrsti ako kamoš na streche / Better a Dad in the Hand than a Pal in the Bush (2005), loosely following on from Hľadám lepšiu mamu / Wanted: A Better Mum, is also a family holiday story, which has a witty and dynamic conflict, viable characters, a pithy storyline and narrative flair. This time the young heroine has to come to terms with an addition to their household – her mother’s partner. Futová does not treat the topic of the incomplete family as a psychological problem, but she presents it with emphasis on the comic, arising mostly from the protagonist’s amusing episodes and ideas. She has managed to deal in a witty and original manner with situations that have become almost clichés in children’s literature (the arrival of a new father, the birth of a sibling). Although this is an amusing and exciting story, the seriousness of the problem the little heroine is struggling with remains unobtrusively present in our subconscious minds. 
          Fun combined with an emphasis on the values of family relationships also characterises Nezblázni sa, mamička! / Mummy, Don’t Go Round the Bend! and Keby som bola bosorka / If I were a Witch (both 2003). Based on the family troubles of the child protagonists (twin boys and a spoilt girl) and with the help of mystery and misinterpretation, the author has created an exciting, action-packed plot with plausible characters and relationships. In these works, too, authentic family ties shine through the humorous suspense of the plot.
         For the youngest readers Gabriela Futová has published Rozruch v škole na Kavuličovej ulici / Commotion in the school in Kavuličová Street (2006) and Dokonalá Klára / Perfect Clare (2008). The first is a story that takes place on the first day of the school year. Just as she easily manages to penetrate the minds of her child protagonists, so does she in this case penetrate the minds of two dogs. The comedy of their adventurous expedition to school in search of their little mistress arises from their different characters (one is dominant, the other more submissive). The ability to make everyday events look adventurous, to build up a dynamic story and keep a detached comic view is also a feature of the prose work Dokonalá Klára / Perfect Clare. For a little spoilt first former the process of adapting to school is not easy and is accompanied by a gradual and by no means painless recognition of the restrictions imposed by the society in which we live. In Zmätené dvojičky zo slepej uličky / Confused Twins from a Blind Alley (2008, co-author Roman Brat) about a brother and sister, the focus is on an attempt to depict the usual problems faced nowadays by adolescent girls and boys at school and in the family, as well as the first erotic problems. The book gives an interesting comparison between a girl’s and a boy’s view of the same situation.
         The element of adventure is not lacking in G. Futová’s fairy-tale works either. In the tales written to order Ako čarovná fľaška zachránila Vianoce / How a Magic Bottle Saved Christmas (2002) and Ako topánka Anka do sveta išla / The Adventures of Annie the Shoe  (2003, published in a Slovak-English version, she offers children the adventurous travels of animated heroes. She chose animal protagonists in her books Štyri kosti pre Flipra / Four Bones for Flipper (2007) and Psia škola kocúra Červenochvosta / Redtail Tomcat’s School for Dogs (2008). The framework for the first of these is the school holidays, which a young couple, their daughter Dada and poodle Flipper spend at the grandparents’ home in a village. In the second story the hero is a tomcat who is looked after for some time by the owner of two poodles. In both stories the fairy-tale element is introduced by the animal narrator whose view of the world arises from the desires and needs natural to a dog or cat. This point of view is a source of witty parallels between the way animals and naive children see things; it gives rise to amusing situations when comparing the world of animals with that of people, as well as hilarious situations caused by the presence of animals in the family, which are experienced by the dog or tomcat while getting to know the hitherto unfamiliar human world.
         Futová’s work meets the child’s need for exciting and amusing reading. While creating a suspense-filled plot the author also provides the reader with gentle guidance in the world of interpersonal relations and values. These qualities can also be found in her play for the theatre Zubaté trampoty / Toothy Troubles (2003) and in the radio play Dávajte si pozor na Petra / Keep an Eye on Petra (2004).
    Zuzana Stanislavová
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  • Translated production

    Naša mama je bosorka! (2008 Czech translation), Hľadám lepšiu mamu (2003 Hungarian translation, 2009 an excerpt from the book was translated into English and Italian)
    Naša mama je bosorka! (2008 Czech translation), Hľadám lepšiu mamu (2003 Hungarian translation, 2009 an excerpt from the book was translated into English and Italian)
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  • About author

    The adventurousness and at times almost film-like activities of the characters make the insights into the psychology of the child attractive. The witty but didactically emphatic stress on the
    The adventurousness and at times almost film-like activities of the characters make the insights into the psychology of the child attractive. The witty but didactically emphatic stress on the ethical dimension of human actions and responsibility for one’s own behaviour are part of Futová’s characteristic poetics of good fun and the process of discovery of an inquisitive child.
    Eva Faithová
     
    The strong side of Futová’s narration is an attractive story presented through the personal experience of the protagonist. It gives readers a feeling of authenticity and helps them to “step into” the action. In this case too the author has relied on a naturally narrated plot. Her aim is to help readers identify themselves with the way of thinking of an animal. They witness its behaviour, its inner feelings. They can come to know its needs better and be amused by the situations the little tomcat finds itself in on account of its “baby-like” thinking. The author lets her readers identify themselves with the story and form their own opinion of it. She trusts in the strength of the narration without unnecessary explanations and lecturing.
    Timotea Vráblová
     
    Futová’s problematic characters “suit” her very well as an author. They are lively and attractive from the reader’s point of view simply because she allows them freedom. She lets them show themselves to be as they probably are. In short, she does not shape them like bonsai.
    Timotea Vráblová

    In their book Zmätené dvojičky zo slepej uličky (Neobyčajné postrehy dvoch školákov) / Confused Twins from a Blind Alley (Remarkable insights of two schoolchildren) Gabriela Futová and Roman Brat offer the narration of twelve-year-old twins Ria and Riša, which enables them to look at situations at once from “both sides of the coin”. The protagonists take turns to tell their intimate story boldly, sincerely and each from their own point of view. The dialogue is developed not only between the characters, but also between the authors. Each of the authors supports their own protagonist. It is a brilliant idea and the little book is infused with the atmosphere of good humour, light-heartedness and fun that probably accompanied this cooperation. As they grow up, Futová’s Ria is a healthily confident, intelligent, sensitive partner for Brat’s Riša, who as a boy seems to be maturing at a somewhat slower pace. The twins “insights” reveal that they are both in their own way leader types. Suitable model figures. Typically for their age, they waver in strength of character, they blunder between childlikeness, childishness and mature judgment. They are a credible example of a couple of siblings who rarely show openly their understanding and love of each other. Nevertheless behind the scenes they never cease to protect and support each other. By getting to know the problems of men and women they give each other a valuable view from the other side. The implicit message of the book is motivational and encouraging. It gently provokes the reader to look beyond the surface of emotions and see the goal they consciously or unconsciously wish to reach, that is, a sincere, excellent relationship, the ability to take responsibility, the knowledge of who they are, who and what they can rely on in life and what they are able to achieve.
    Timotea Vráblová
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  • Author about himself

    Ever since I was little I said I was going to be a writer, but I didn’t expect to focus on children’s literature. I always enjoyed writing, which is why I went on to study journalism, but
    Ever since I was little I said I was going to be a writer, but I didn’t expect to focus on children’s literature. I always enjoyed writing, which is why I went on to study journalism, but I discovered that journalism is not the right thing for me. When I was on maternity leave I invented a story for children. At that time there was not yet a boom in wizards, but I remembered a book I loved as a child called The Little Witch. Suddenly I had the idea of simply turning a mum into a secret witch. Then everything followed easily. I had not expected it to captivate the readers and myself as it did. And it certainly did not occur to me that books would change my life.
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  • Awards

    The Golden Ducat (Readers’ Prize of the Košice Children’s Library for the most read book of 2001) for the book Naša mama je bosorka! / Our Mum‘s a Witch!
    The Golden Ducat (Readers’ Prize of the Košice Children’s Library for the most read book of 2001) for the book Naša mama je bosorka! / Our Mum‘s a Witch!
    First Prize of the Book Salon at the international festival Days of the Carpathian Euroregion (2002) for the book Naša mama je bosorka! / Our Mum’s a Witch!
    Best Book of Autumn 2001 (Bibiana, International House of Art for Children and the Slovak Section of IBBY) for the book Hľadám lepšiu mamu / Wanted:A Better Mum
    Best Book of Spring 2003 (Bibiana, International House of Art for Children and the Slovak Section of IBBY) for the book Nezblázni sa, mamička / Mummy, Don’t Go Round the Bend
    Best Book of Autumn 2005 (Bibiana, International House of Art for Children and the Slovak Section of IBBY) for the book Lepší otec v hrsti ako kamoš na streche / Better a Dad in the Hand than a Pal in the Bush
    Prize of Mladé letá publishing house for 2008 for the book Dokonalá Klára / Perfect Clare
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