The Golden Slate Pencil 2017 has been awarded to Koos Meinderts for his children’s book Naar het noorden (To the North) at the opening ceremony of the Dutch Children’s Book Week. The Golden Slate is a prestigious prize for the best written Dutch Children’s Book of the year. The Dutch Foundation also selected this title for its spring brochure Children’s Books from Holland.
Naar het noorden (To the North; 10+) is set in the winter of 1944-1945, the winter of starvation, and the book makes an immediate impact. Not just because of what happens in the first two chapters – Jaap (almost 11) has a baby sister who lives for only a few minutes – but mainly because of the way Koos Meinderts writes about this family tragedy: in his subtle style and with precise observations.
Meinderts (b. 1953) has written more than fifty books and received many awards, including the recent Boekenleeuw for his YA-novel De zee zien (To See the Sea). His work has been translated into several languages, including Chinese, Danish, German, and Japanese. Meinderts himself translates children book’s from English. He has also worked as a playwright, songwriter and poet.