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.

Joukje Akveld

A Small History of Humankind through the Eyes of Animals

‘A history of humankind without animals would be an incomplete history,’ writes Joukje Akveld. ‘That’s why this book is about them. And because we humans have already told our story often enough, it is the animals themselves who are doing the talking here.’ This original premise results in twenty-nine fascinating and colourful animal testimonies in words and pictures, which take the reader from the Botswana of 200,000 years ago to present-day South Africa.

Pim Lammers

I Think I Was Kidnapped

About struggling with homework, about not being a man but not a woman either, about families with two dads and divorce problems, about jealousy, death and bullying – Pim Lammers writes with the greatest ease about all kinds of issues that might have an impact on children’s lives today. What is interesting is that he doesn’t write about the child but from the child’s point of view. This empathetic perspective, coupled with Lammers’s choice of subjects, makes this collection most definitely a mirror of our modern age.

Erik van Os

Applause for My Finger

‘Books are like trousers / coats and shoes, finding the right / ones takes time, but oh, when they fit, / you know which ones to choose!” For young teenagers, the book that fits and means something to them might well be this swinging poetry collection by Erik van Os, because it’s full of varied, humorous and stimulating poems that reflect their perceptions and experiences.