Book

Veronica Hazelhoff

Visit from Mister P

A poignant novel about illness, friendship and finding your place in life

Pain is never far away for Jo-Jo. Mister P is the name he gives to his pain, the uninvited visitor who torments his limbs and joints. Jo-Jo loves playing football, but if Mister P has anything to do with it, he’ll soon have to give up his position in goal. His body is going on strike more and more often.

In parallel with Jo-Jo’s battle with his illness, there’s a second storyline, about Jo-Jo’s friend Lena, an asylum seeker who doesn’t know if she’ll be allowed to stay in the Netherlands.

Hazelhoff intertwines their stories in an effective and emotionally captivating way, and their friendship and their interactions with those around them draw the reader into their lives.

In this book, Veronica Hazelhoff writes frankly about a boy with rheumatism, a disease from which the writer herself also suffered. Visit from Mister P (2006) was her final book, written as her own condition was becoming increasingly unbearable.

Hazelhoff tackles serious themes, skilfully employing suspense and humour to keep the story appealing and entertaining. Her voice remains strong and relevant, and her writing makes it easy to identify with these young protagonists who are finding their way through tough challenges.

Visit from Mister P is a unique and important novel that deserves a big audience.

Juryrapport Zilveren Griffel

1

His knees were burning and aching. Ankles, elbows and wrists, too.
Mister P had come to visit in the middle of the night, without asking, and he hadn’t even brought a cake.
Mister Pain was coming to visit more and more often these days. He was so sneaky, always creeping uninvited into Jo-Jo’s body.
“Get lost!” said Jo-Jo. “Shoo! Can’t you go and visit someone else for a bit?”
You are someone else, whispered Mister P. Always that slimy whispering, that mean laughter.
“No,” said Jo-Jo. “I don’t want to do this today. Or tomorrow. Or any day after that either!”

Simon came round to fetch Jo-Jo for football practice. Simon was Jo-Jo’s best friend. “You okay?” he asked when they’d got changed and were heading out onto the training pitch.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” asked Jo-Jo.
“Because you’re walking kind of weird.”
“No, I’m not. I’m walking like normal.”
“There’s a wobble in your leg, and your ankles keep giving way,” said Simon. “You’ve got swing, baby.” He danced ahead of Jo-Jo, singing, “Oh, hey, did you see my friend Jo? Look at him swing, just watch that guy go!” He did an exaggerated wobbly walk. And twisted onto his right ankle.
“I don’t walk like that,” said Jo-Jo.
Yes, you do, said Mister P.
“I was only joking,” said Simon.
“Hey, you’re not angry, are you?”
“No,” replied Jo-Jo. Simon was one of the few people he could take that kind of thing from.

(Excerpt translated by Laura Watkinson)

Translations

Veronica Hazelhoff

Veronica Hazelhoff (1947-2009) started writing at an early age, but her first children’s story was not published until 1980. This was followed by a steady stream of successful short stories and books for children and young adults. Her down-to-earth style and unique protagonists earned her many…

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Details

Bezoek van Mister P (2006). Children's books, 168 pages.
Words: 33,098

Age: 8+

Themes: illness classic

Publisher

Querido Kind

Weteringschans 259
1017 XJ Amsterdam
Nederland
Tel: +31 (0)20 760 72 10

E-mail:
l.van.der.leije@singeluitgeve…
Website:
https://www.singeluitgeverije…

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