Volker Surmann

Leon Hertz and the Thing about Sadness

Leon Hertz

Is this still normal, or already depri light?

Leon Hertz is 13 3/4 years old and the third Leon in his class – pretty normal and unremarkable, in his opinion. But Rouven has noticed him, and not only that. He even helps Leon with his ethics presentation. When it comes to death and mourning, the boy with the emo reputation, who is always dressed in black, is certainly an expert.

Leon’s topic is also a tough one: he wants to talk about the cross marking Lukas’ accident. Lukas, who was hit by a lorry on his bike a few years ago. It’s not just the presentation that gives Leon sleepless nights, he is also preoccupied by his low moods. And could it be that Rouven somehow likes him, given how much time he spends with him?

A wonderfully light novel about the difficult questions of life that not only young people ask themselves.


Young Adult Fiction

Original title: Leon Hertz und die Sache mit der Traurigkeit
Age 12+
224 pp | € 16
hc | 140 x 210 mm
Publication: March 2024

Author: Volker Surmann

All rights available


Buch des Monats_1

“This novel spans a wide arc between the themes of life and death – without any easy conclusions or solutions. A very nice book for young people, which I enjoyed reading and which I wish maximum success.” – Jacob Hein

“The novel takes an empathetic approach to a complex topic. The author manages a convincing balancing act between confidence, humour and seriousness to tell the story of a boy’s difficulties in adolescence.” – Deutsche Akademie für Kinder- und Jugendliteratur, Book of the Month April 2024

By the same author and illustrator