Creator / Malgorzata Musierowicz
Małgorzata Musierowicz (born Barańczak on 9 January 1945) is a very successful and prolific writer for both children
and adolescent girls, as well as an artist - she designs her own covers.
Her best known series of novels is the Slice of Life Jeżycjada
, so named from the place it's (largely) set - Jeżyce, a district of Poznań, where she used to live herself
. The stories are idealistic
and sweet, dealing with young girls friendships and first loves, filled with humour, optimism, romance and Latin quotations
. Just the thing to curl up with in front of a fireplace - the Word of God
is, she wrote the books to cheer people up.Also the Polish translator
of Beatrix Potter
. Her own books have been translated into several languages, including Japanese. Won numerous awards (see webpage).
Self-declared bibliophile. Besides designing covers, she illustrates her own books as well as other writers', writes short items on various subjects and generally is a busy lady.
The personal website of Małgorzata Musierowicz: http://musierowicz.com.pl/index.html
- Polish only, but it's mainly illustrations.
Jeżycjada consists of the following books:
- Szósta klepka (focusing on Celestyna "Cesia" Żak)
- Kłamczucha (focusing on Aniela "Kłamczucha" Kowalik)
- Kwiat kalafiora (focusing on Gabriela Borejko)
- Ida sierpniowa (focusing on Ida Borejko)
- Opium w rosole (focusing on Janina "Kreska" Krechowicz)
- Brulion Bebe B. (focusing on Beata "Bebe" Bitner)
- Noelka (focusing on Elżbieta "Elka" Stryba)
- Pulpecja (focusing on Patrycja "Pulpecja" Borejko)
- Dziecko piątku (focusing on Aurelia Jedwabińska)
- Nutria i Nerwus (focusing on Natalia Borejko)
- Córka Robrojka (focusing on Arabella "Bella" Rojek)
- Imieniny (focusing on Róża Pyziak)
- Tygrys i Róża (focusing on Laura "Tygrys" Pyziak)
- Kalamburka (focusing on Melania Kalemba, later Borejko)
- Język Trolli
- Czarna polewka
- Wnuczka do orzechów
- Ciotka Zgryzotka
Tropes found in Jeżycjada
- Absent-Minded Professor: Ignacy Borejko. Less so as he ages, and used to be quite outspoken, if geeky in his youth. Stated to be defence mechanism of a guy living with five headstrong women.
- Adult Fear: Once Gabriela becomes a mother, her greatest fear is being unable to help her children in distress.
- Affectionate Nickname: Frequent. Nutria for Natalia, Pulpecja for Patrycja, Robrojek for Robert, Kłamczucha translation for Aniela...
- Age-Appropriate Angst: "At sixteen, you suffer the strongest."
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Both Janusz Pyziak and Baltona are certainly popular with the ladies. Unfortunately for Gabriela, in the first case Reality Ensues and their marriage doesn't work.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: While not siblings but cousins, Aniela certainly sees Tomcio and Romcia this way in Kłamczucha. Also Ida for Gabriela, though Gabriela is really laid-back and mostly thinks that Ida is funny, and then Patrycja for Ida. And what Róża (and everybody else) had to put up with Laura in their childhood is indescribable. And then Ignacy Grzegorz is born and due to Parental Favoritism (and a bit of her own melodramatic tendencies) is Laura's turn to suffer.
- Attention Whore: Ida and Aniela, particularily in their youth. Also Danka in Szósta klepka.
- Beautiful All Along: Cesia, who, after a bit of makeover goes on a date - and the guy doesn't recognise her. Also Aniela in relation to her persona of Franciszka Wyrobek (LongStory).
- Betty and Veronica: Maciej's plot in Opium w rosole involves chasing a sexy, glamorous and superficial Matylda, only to realise he really loves the Girl Next Door, Kreska.
- Big Eater: Grown-up Patrycja, a good cook and baker with zero Weight Woes, though Ida still teases her about her weight.
- Blind Without 'Em: Aniela, though she's convinced glasses make her look horrible.
- Bookworm: The entire Borejko family, especially when it comes to classical literature - Melania's Guilty Pleasure is Brother Cadfael. Also, the grown up Tomcio, Beata and some others.
- Boyish Short Hair: No matter how feminine she is now, Gabriela keeps the hairstyle of her youth.
- Boy Meets Girl: Most books. In many variations. Sometimes it's Meet Cute.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Elka is a bit bratty. Teen Laura is brattier.
- Bridezilla: In Noelka, Ida becomes rather exacting and tyrannizes her little sisters over the veil, the shoes, the food, the fact that heating stopped working... To be fair, stuff really is not 100% ideally perfect (heating won't work!), but Ida, dear? Take a deep breath, okay?
- The Bully: The Lisiecki brothers, to a dog, until Ida smacks some sense into them. Unfortunately, later on they go back to bullying. This time smaller kids, including Konrad, for their money.
- Cannot Talk to Women: In Kwiat kalafiora Janusz discovers Gabriela likes him a lot more when he stops talking nonsense. Jerzy has a similar problem with Cesia.
- Character Title: Most of them, with two Name and Name titles - see above.
- Christmas Episode: Noelka, with Elka as the Protagonist and Ida's wedding as the B-plot.
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: To the point of being Anvilicious in Opium w Rosole, upon the revelation that "Genowefa Trombke" is really Aurelia, Ewa Jedwabińska's daughter - you know, the strict, strict teacher who's doing post-graduate course in psychology. This lady.
- Coming-of-Age Story: Each and every one of them, in varying degrees.
- Consummate Liar: Aniela. Even her nickname, "Kłamczucha" ("Liar"), tells you as much.
- Conversational Troping: In Brulion Bebe B. she and Damazy engage in composing silly limericks. In class.
- Cool Teacher: Professor Dmuchawiec, mentor to Gabriela, Aniela and Cesia as well as Kreska's grandfather.
- Creator's Pet: Róża Pyziak is considered one by some fans.
- Dean Bitterman: Pieróg, the headmaster of high school most of the protagonists attend at one point or another.
- Disappeared Dad: Ignacy Borejko, briefly, in Opium w rosole. Janusz Pyziak, permanently.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Robert, and later Bernard, for Aniela. The latter succeeds.
- Drama Queen: Ida, Aniela, Aniela's cousin Józefina Bitner, the famous actress. Laura Pyziak.
- Emotionless Girl: Bebe is actively trying to be this in order to distance herself from her actress mother. Most people are fooled. Damazy is intrigued.
- Everybody Hates Mathematics: Kreska does, but this may be because of her hate for the teacher. A fellow student helps her get better at maths.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: In Pulpecja about every boy close to her age wants to get on with Patrycja, who is mildly amused, but unmoved.
- Extreme Doormat: Laura's opinion of her sister. Not really unfounded.
- Fainting: Happens to Gabriela several times in Dziecko piątku, to subtly tell us she's pregnant.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: Aunt Felicja does not think highly of Gabriela's cooking skills. Practice makes perfect, though.
- Fiery Redhead: Ida, with Quirky Curls too boot. Averted Trope for Natalia and their father.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: the Borejko girls:
- Gabriela is the Sanguine, Passionate Sports Girl who grows into a mature, responsible, motherly lady
- Ida, the Choleric, starts out as a Drama Queen, becomes... remains a bit dramatic, but is easily the most organised and hard-working of her sisters
- Natalia, the Melancholic, begins as a rather odd, nervous child, then for a long time becomes a Fragile Flower
- Patrycja, the Phlegmatic, never ceases to be a Lazy Bum Big Eater who knows no worries (except the romantic worries in the one book focused on her, but she gets her Happy Ending soon enough).
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Opium w rosole takes place, and was written, in a very ugly moment of history. Hence multiple tiny pokes at the censors.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Several times:
- In Szósta Klepka: Cesia is the hardworking, academic and insecure sister, while her sister Julia is the glamorous, popular, lazy, self-absorbed bombshell.
- The Pyziak sisters are an example in their teenage years, only Laura is considerably nastier than Julia and is the younger one. When Róża unexpectedly gains a trio of admirers and Laura is unable to steal their attention, she is pissed (Róża, despite her poor self-image, is actually very pretty. Laura is prettier, but these particular high school boys just weren't into thirteen year old Alpha Bitches.)
- Mostly averted with the Borejko sisters. While the teenage Ida considers Gabriela an insensitive butch, and Gabriela finds Ida's Drama Queen persona hilarious, there is no real rivalry between them, and the younger sisters - Natalia and Patrycja - live in perfect harmony with each other. Only when they grow up and Patrycja and Ida get to interact as adults, the ugliness occurs. It's mostly just teasing, anyway.
- Grew a Spine: Cesia spends a good part of her book being ordered about, until she snaps and rebels. By locking herself up in a tower (yes, really a tower. Art Nouveau Architecture, isn't it grand?) and refusing to move.
- Happy Ending: Obligatory. According to Word of God, it was a promise to an old friend.
- High School: Since protagonists are girls aged 15-19, part of the action naturally takes place at school.
- Hospital Hottie: Ida grows into one (she's a doctor, thank you very much!)
- Huge Schoolgirl: Teen Gabriela borrows an ankle-lenght skirt from her cousin. The skirt only reaches half her calf. Then again, she puts it to good use as basketball player.
- I Am One of Those, Too: How Aniela tries to gain favour of a shrewd painter. Who asks her some art questions and sees right through it.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Cesia in her introductory book.
- Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: Aniela disguises as Franciszka Wyrobek, the country mouse extraordinaire, to get a job as a servant in Paweł's house. Part of a Zany Scheme.
- Jerk Jock: Janusz. Does not grow out of this.
- Lemony Narrator: Slightly.
- Lethal Chef: Ida can bake, unless she's distracted - if she is, expect some sort of craziness. Also, Gabriela's first attempts at cooking resulted in a thorough destruction of a frying pan.
- Liar Revealed: Aniela in her own book, several times. Keeps lying anyway.
- Like Brother and Sister: In Opium w rosole Maciek thinks so of Kreska. She's hopelessly in love with him. The main plotline is about him realising he was Oblivious to Love, then trying to beg another chance from Kreska.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: Beata Bitner is actively trying to be unlike her absentminded, Large Ham, Drama Queen mother. Not because she hates her, but because she wants to be her own person.
- Little Professor Dialog: Ignacy Grzegorz has a tendency to do this. He sings Gaudeamus Igitur in bath.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Each book focuses on one girl and her romantic troubles, but they're all more or less friends, characters from previous books get B-plots in later ones, everyone has family and so on, and so the cast keeps growing.
- Long Runner: Going on since 1977. The children of protagonists from the Eighties grow up to be the protagonists in the later books.
- Love Epiphany: At least once a book.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: B-plot of Brulion Bebe B. is Aniela trying this on a guy who turns out, let's say, to have his limits of spontaneity.
- Marry for Love: All over the place! Most end up Happily Married, too. Not so in case of Gabriela and Janusz.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Bella is no-nonsense, self-reliant, somewhat blunt Wrench Wench. Przeszczep is well on his way to becoming a completely Mad Artist and tries to woo Bella with romantic notes and poetry.
- Maternally Challenged: Józefina Bitner, who is everything-but-being-a-star-challenged. When we meet them, her children are already teens, somehow.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Natalia seems to have some form of sixth sense, in an otherwise slice of life series.
- Minor Living Alone: Technically, Kreska, when her sole guardian is in hospital.
- Missing Mom: We don't know for sure what happened to Kreska's mom, but she misses both her parents a lot. Aurelia's mom dies inbetween books.
- Never My Fault: Outgrowing this is the core of Aniela's Character Development.
- Oblivious to Her Own Description: At one point Ewa Jedwabińska starts a lecture on emotionally distant, insecure mothers.
- One Degree of Separation: Everyone can be reasonably assumed to know anyone else. And if they don't know someone, they will, sooner or later.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Florian. As a child, he was Bobcio, when grown up, he becomes Baltona, because he wore a sweatshirt with the name of this company on for some time. He dislikes this and asks his Love Interest to call him his real name (in a rather cute scene).
- Parent with New Paramour: Both Gabriela and Grzegorz in Noelka. His daughter throws a fit at first, but then gets to know dad's new love and decides she's cool, her daughters are rather quick to accept mom's paramour.
- Parental Neglect: Mrs. Lisiecka pays no attention to her own kids. Whoever made her a babysitter? Ewa Jedwabinska, that's who.
- Passing Notes in Class: Whenever the action is set at school. Damazy and Bebe's correspondence forms part of the narrative in Brulion Bebe B..
- Passionate Sports Girl: The young Gabriela is taller than most of her peers, looks boyish, considers fashion a waste of time, plays basketball and is prone to acting like Drill Sergeant Nasty when stressed. Both her younger sister Ida and her feminine cousin Joanna are horrified of her behavior. After several Femininity Failures in her introductory book, she turns a bit girlier, but never overly girly.
- Precocious Crush: Lil' Genowefa Trombke on Maciek Ogorzałka in Opium w rosole. Source of much silliness and some plot. Source of Angst for her in Dziecko piątku (that takes place about ten years later), when she, not being in her right mind, kisses him - and her conscience eats her up, because he's Happily Married to Kreska at that point.
- Pretty Boy: Romance series. Bound to happen. Especially Paweł tends to make girls sigh, in the first couple of books anyway.
- Promotion to Parent: Gabriela for her sisters in Kwiat kalafiora, Aniela for her (teenage) cousins Beata and Konrad in Brulion Bebe B. Both just temporary.
- Pun-Based Title: Szósta klepka (on an idiom), Noelka (on the protagonist's name and the fact it's Christmas Episode), Kalamburka ("kalambur" is Polish for "pun"), Wnuczka do orzechów (another idiom).
- Put on a Bus: The cast is huge, so it happens every now and then, notably to Elka, her eventual husband Tomek, his sister Roma and Robert Rojek who later comes back as Bella's father in Córka Robrojka. Put to use regarding the little Bobcio from Szósta klepka who turns out to have grown into Patrycja's Love Interest, Baltona vel Florian.
- Remember the New Guy: Kalamburka has, as an important character, Gizela Trak, who was previously mentioned once.
- Romantic False Lead: Known to occur, notably this dentist guy Aniela was so hot for in Brulion Bebe B. and Matylda (for Maciej) in Opium w rosole.
- Sadist Teacher: Ewa Jedwabińska. Deconstructed as a Jerkass Fašade of a woman terrified of losing control, so much that she nearly Becomes The Mask.
- School Play: In Kłamczucha they're doing Hamlet, with rehearsals in Paweł's apartment, which allows Aniela to offer her critique. And finally get a role.
- Second Love: Grzegorz and Gabriela are this for each other.
- Secretly Very Ill: Mrs. Borejko in Kwiat Kalafiora. Thankfully saved by Aniela's uncle, a brilliant surgeon.
- She Is All Grown Up: Up to Ida sierpniowa, Ida was sort of Ugly Cute. The very next book makes her Hospital Hottie (in training). Also, in the same book, possibly as Foil to the nice girl Ida is, we get Matylda, who weaponises this trope to take revenge on the entire male population for having been bullied at school.
- Shrinking Violet: Both Natalia and Aurelia go through this phase.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Laura is wild, brash, manipulative and lazy. Also spitting image of their father. Róża, who takes after Gabriela's side of the family, is helpful to a fault, obedient, perfectly dutiful daughter.
- Smart People Know Latin: Ignacy Borejko, a philologist, as well as his daughters (two of whom become philologists). Also, when Patrycja's boyfriend finishes a quotation for him, Ignacy is relieved to learn his daughter hasn't chosen a complete idiot.
- Smitten Teenage Girl: Teen Ida has a tendency to be one for boys who at best, ignore her, and at worst, actively run away.
- Stalking Is Funny If Aniela's The Stalker: In her own book, mostly. She moved from Łeba to Poznań solely because of her crush. At sixteen.
- Starving Artist: Bernard. Also Cloudcuckoolander to surpass Aniela.
- Starving Student: Kreska in her introductory book makes (and refashions, a lot) her own clothes and (when her grandfather is not around) barely can afford cheese.
- The Stoic: Jerzy, the Love Interest and later husband of Cesia. Very smart and well-read in physics, very shy and quiet, covering it up with aloofness. The stoic philosophy is given quite a few favourable Shout Outs.
- Tell Me About My Father: Laura enters this phase in Tygrys i Róża. Then she starts an investigation of her own. Which leads to Broken Pedestal.
- Theme Twin Naming: Of biblical vein. Piotr and Paweł Polish equivalents of , Maria and Magdalena Polish equivalent of .
- Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Unusually for a boy, Maciek Ogorzałka, which is why he treats Kreska the way he does.
- Third-Act Misunderstanding: Several. For instance - in Kalamburka the protagonist takes part in a Beauty Contest to win a fridge (yes, really, a war only just ended, come on). Her fiance, who thinks these are stupid and degrading (and wasn't told about the fridge) practically breaks up with her. Only to apologise profusely later.
- Tomboy: Both Gabriela and Natalia start out very boyish, the former growing out of this through her temporary Promotion to Parent (someone has to feed all these kids, and only Feminine Women Can Cook, right?). Bella is an outright Wrench Wench.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Gabriela is the outspoken, sportswoman tomboy to her cousin Joanna's extremely Girly Girl.
- Too Hungry to Be Polite: The Borejko girls, while still kids. Justified by largeness of the family and a meager income. Gabriela only goes to Joanna's party (where she meets several new friends) because Joanna is baking a very nice cake.
- Trickster Twins: Piotr and Paweł, identical twins who play pranks on their mom Aniela - what did you expect from the offspring of two Cloudcoockoolanders?. Tomek and Roma, while not twins, were inseparable and also constantly in trouble as kids.
- Troubled Child: Aurelia Jedwabińska a.k.a Genowefa Trombke, Bombke, Pompke...
- Twice Shy: Cesia and Jerzy. Possibly Aurelia and Konrad - she's so shy it's hard to tell.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: The usual plot structure.
- Two-Teacher School: Dmuchawiec and Pieróg are the two teachers we see most of in the school the majority of protagonists attend. Later books add Ewa Jedwabińska for a while. Jerzy Hajduk and Damazy Kordiałek (who have been Love Interests previously) become teachers after the old ones retire.
- Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Mrs. Żak is a lovably scatterbrained artist. Her dutiful, insecure, serious daughter Cesia loves mom a lot, but still is quite embarrassed by her every so often.
- Whole Episode Flashback: Kalamburka is the story of mrs. Borejko, the no-nonsense mom and granny we all know and love, told Back to Front from present day (New Year's Eve 2000) to her birth.
- Write What You Know: Books set in Poznań (i.e. most of them) can be - and have been - used instead of guidebooks. When something changes in Real Life, it will change in the stories, too (like new shops).
- Zany Scheme: Aniela's specialty. The overcompassing scheme of hers is becoming a professional actress which she does. Meanwhile, if she wants something, she'll go to the craziest lenghts to get it.
Tropes found in other books by Małgorzata Musierowicz
- Bookworm: Munio in Małomówny i rodzina. Also his mom, but it's Munio's book devouring that gets them the treasure.
- The Book Cipher: Małomówny i rodzina, using Hamlet
- Friend to All Living Things: In Małomówny i rodzina Rzodkiewka (age six) learns where meat comes from. Horrified, she swears it off and adopts the chicken the family was going to have for dinner.
- You Meddling Kids: Małomówny i rodzina is about a bunch of them treasure hunting.