Hans Hagen

Hans Hagen (b. 1955) is a versatile and award-winning author and poet who writes for all age groups, often about other cultures.

PoetryChildren's books
Hans Hagen

In the early 1990s, he became well known for his anecdotal stories for younger readers, about the lively, imaginative Jubelientje and her grandma, with illustrations by Philip Hopman, who also illustrated Hagen’s Gouden Griffel-winning De dans van de drummers (2003), a frame story set in Ghana.

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Hans Hagen

Lightning Child

An article in The Jakarta Post about the exploitation of an Indonesian boy as a miracle healer inspired Hans Hagen to write this book. His starting point: ‘A lot is possible in real life, but far more is possible in stories.’ The result is a playful tale about a girl hit by lightning who comes round with a stone in her hand, which has healing powers. She is then used by her family and other villagers for their own gain.

Hans Hagen

The Dance of the Drummers

Choices, life is full of them. Even children, no matter how young and where they live, have to make choices. In this book Hans Hagen shows what choices there are for children in Ghana. He reveals beautifully how important oral tradition is to this society. Six children are given the opportunity to become apprenticed to master drummer Dudu Addi. On the basis of their own story each has to choose a colour and a drum that fits him or her. In this way they are initiated into their own culture and become full-fledged members of that culture. This makes the story resemble an initiation rite.

Hans Hagen

The Cockfight

Stories about people in impoverished circumstances are often very gripping. When life is hard, the decisions you make can really matter. If you have no money and something goes wrong, your situation can quickly go from bad to worse. Hans Hagen’s The Cockfight is all about living in poverty and making the right decisions.

Hans Hagen

Maliff and the Wolf

'Mallif and the Wolf' arose out of the journey which Hans Hagen made with his wife and daughter through Syria. The story, about shepherds with flocks, wolves, thirst and desert sands, evokes the atmosphere of his previous books 'Het gouden oog' and 'De weg van de wind'. In fact, dream and myth overlap in vivid, imaginative language, but time and place are undefined, and the story is written for younger children. The short sentences, which always begin on a new line, make it suitable for learner-readers.

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