Book

Bette Westera

Grandma’s Junk Room

Oma’s rommelkamer (Grandma’s Junk Room) by Bette Westera is an intimate book about the strong bond between a grandmother and her granddaughter. Sofia and Grandma are the best of friends and they both have a great time on the regular occasions when Sofia comes to stay for the night.

Grandma is becoming forgetful and this is really upsetting her, partly because her daughter keeps confronting her about it. After a broken leg and a period of considerable resistance from both grandmother and granddaughter, Grandma ends up in the Rozengaarde old folks’ home. Sofia finds this hard to come to terms with, but realises that it doesn’t mean the end of her warm relationship with her grandmother.

The box full of memories that Sofia has ‘rescued’ from her grandmother’s house forms a bridge between the past and Grandma’s new life. Westera has Sofia get to know other residents of Rozengaarde so that we as readers, and Sofia herself, are prepared for the fact that a relationship is still possible even if the situation worsens. One of Sofia’s observations is indicative of the tone of the book: ‘The more things you forget, the more surprises you have.’ Sofia’s mother doesn’t come out of the book very well.

She doesn’t understand much about either her own mother or her daughter. Most of all she wants to ‘sort everything out properly’, which actually means walking all over other people’s feelings. Fortunately, Sofia’s father has more understanding of the fact that ‘forgetting’ is a relative concept and that it can actually have its good points when things don’t go entirely according to plan. Westera writes sincerely, with original observations and humour.

Her vivid writing style ensures that every reader is perfectly able to imagine his or her own Sofia and Grandma. Oma’s rommelkamer is Bette Westera’s best book yet.

Wendy de Graaf

With Oma’s rommelkamer she has created an intimate and sensitive book about getting older and about the strong bond between a grandmother and her granddaughter. (…) Westera writes from the heart, with lots of original observations and humour.

Leesgoed

An enjoyable reading book about a lively little girl and a kind grandmother.

Kidsweek Junior

Translations

Bette Westera

Bette Westera (b. 1958) is a versatile writer who creates modern fairytales, poems, picture books and realistic stories for children up to the age of around ten. After a short period as a primary-school teacher, she studied psychology. Bette now teaches people how to write stories for picture…

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Details

Oma’s rommelkamer (2005). Children's books, 128 pages.

Age: 5+

Sample translation

English (PDF document)

Publisher

De Fontein

Herculesplein 96
NL-3584 AA Utrecht
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 88 800 26 00
Fax: +31 88 800 29 99

E-mail:
julia@sharedstories.nl
Website:
http://jeugd.defonteintirion.…

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