Bee Sabeena has a fine old life. She spends her afternoons in her parents’ café where there’s always something on the go. She plays board games with Jockel, the café’s rhyming regular, and gets old Frau Almut – she with the bright purple lips and silver rings in her ears – to read the cards and tell her her fortune. And when Berry Boy comes by for his rehearsal with Bee’s Mum and their band, she rushes into the kitchen to make Berry Boy his favourite drink, Toothpaste Juice, and decorates his forearm with her biro: she’s aiming to become a tatooist, after all.

The idyll suddenly falls apart, however, when Berry Boy learns that his young son has a heart defect and requires surgery. No one knows whether he will survive the operation…

by Michael Roher


  • IBBY Honour List 2020
  • Austrian Children’s Literature Award 2018
  • 7 Best Books for Young Readers, December 2017
  • Book of the Month, January 2018
  • Children’s Book Prize Vienna, 2018


“The book is a declaration of love for life, friendship and happiness.” – Christian Kühn, Oldenbourg Children’s Book Fair


“This is truly fantastic and very quietly told!” – 7 Best Books


“An atmospherically dense story about first love, about life and death. – German Academy for Children’s Literature, Book of the Month January 2018


“A wonderful book – funny and sad at the same time – about solidarity, friendship and first love.” – orf stories


“Michael Roher’s poetic text flows slowly and in a special linguistic melody and develops into a wonderful story about friendship, comfort and solidarity.” – Cornelia Gstöttinger, österreichisches bibliothekswerk


“In Ink-blue Circles, Michael Roher tells of death, friendship and first love in a captivating way.” – Steirer Krone


“Heart-warming and captivating, the Austrian author Michael Roher tells of human virtues in Ink-blue Circles: Cohesion and friendship.” – buchbar


Ink-blue Circles can be counted among the “new” Austrian youth literature that has become increasingly established in recent years. […] The short passages intertwine in a lively manner. The basic mood always remains humorous and confident.” – Die Furche


“Apart from dying, this enchanting story is about life, courage, friendship and first love. […] Who would have thought that Mr Roher would be so good at writing novels. I am thrilled and am already looking forward to more!” – Jule Pfeiffer-Spiekermann, pinselfisch


Luftschacht | 184 pp | 2017 | 12+

English sample translation – (c) Litrix

English summary and review on Litrix

[original title: Tintenblaue Kreise)