Momo

by Michael Ende

This is the only book I ever remember my dad reading to my siblings and I; I’m not sure that we even finished. But it is an excellent book.
Momo is a young girl who comes to live in an old amphitheater. Everyone in the little village loves her, because she helps them solve their problems. Actually, what Momo does best is listen: she listens patiently, and she listens with interest. Two men who were once friends and have entered a long feud go to see Momo, and with her “help” manage to sort things out.

The main theme of the book, however, is time. The Men in Gray have begun appearing throughout the village and city, although few people notice them. They work for the TimeSavings Bank, where people can deposit the time they save – and, supposedly, withdraw it later. The result of the Men in Gray is that the citizens become obsessed with saving time, whether by converting an inn into a fast food restaurant or by creating “child depots” where children will be out of the way, learning “useful” skills.

Momo is definitely not as intricate a story as Neverending Story, but it is well-written and captivating. The message is clear and applicable. Rating: read it, but read Neverending Story first.


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