Interesting Facts about the School Leavers' Trip (Maturalac)

Popular for a quarter of a century

The School Leavers' Trip (Maturalac) has been published in 15 editions so far, mostly by Alfa (11), in 20,000 copies in total, including the Spanish translation of the novel (Viaje de fin de curso).

The manuscript of The School Leavers' Trip was first sent to the Mladost publishing company for their Vjeverica series. The editor kept the novel in her desk for one year and even refused to publish it explaining that it did not fit into the well-defined and well-established Vjeverica series. She recommended that send the manuscript to the Znanje publisher who had just started the series Hit Junior, series very popular among young readers. Though reluctant, I accepted the advice and took the manuscript to the editor-in-chief, Zlatko Crnković, who gave it to the editor of the Hit Junior series, Ivan Kušan. It was good move because Mladost and their Vjeverica series had recently gone bankrupt, whereas Znanje was stable for ten years because they had a new owner and was operating under different economic circumstances. However, the most important thing was that Ivan Kušan had read my manuscript in a month and informed me that my first young adult novel would be included in the program for the current year.

 

Prevoditeljica i autori - Enerika Bijač, Željka Lovrenčić, Tomislav Marijan Bilosnić, Božica Brkan i Branka Primorac

Interestingly enough, my first major manuscript was not my first published book. As the big publishers always have different priorities than young adult literature, The School Leavers' Trip was actually prepared for print: I waited from February until the end of the year when it released. As for me, I was full of creative charge and writing a new novel, which I finished at the perfect time! Editor Ivan Ićan Ramljak was just selecting books for a young adult series for the new, privately-owned publishing company Alfa, that was just getting into full swing. “Do you have a finished manuscript?“ he asked me in the street in front of Školska Knjiga. “I need a fifth book to finish the first round of the young adult series.“  “I do,” I replied, “Its title is Mum, Beware of the Dog!“ “Let me see!“ Shortly afterwards, I received a reply that he was happy  and Mum, Beware of the Dog! would be added as the fifth book in the new young adult series! That is how my second manuscript Mum, Beware of the Dog! became my first released book instead of The School Leavers' Trip. So, then this beginner writer got to see two of her books in the bookstore windows that very same year!

Regardless of the fact that it was actually my second published book, The School Leavers' Trip was not overshadowed by either the first-published Mum, Beware of the Dog! or any other book of mine! The School Leavers' Trip has been published in 15 editions so far (11 by Alfa since 2005), in 20,000 copies  total, including the translation of the novel in Spanish (Viaje de fin de curso).

In 1993, it was awarded the Mato Lovrak award as the best young adult novel. It received excellent reviews and most importantly, it was marvellously accepted by the readers even before it was included as required reading for 7th grade of primary school. The fact that it is on the top (or among the first ten on numerous top-lists) illustrates its success of readership rating. Nowadays, 25 years later and with no mention of mobile phones and Internet, The School Leavers' Trip is still very popular among young adults, who, as we all know, do not like required reading.

 

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