Dirk Weber

Kies mij!

Contrary, fresh and anti-authoritarian

After the death of her parents, Fien lived with her strict grandmother for a while, but now she’s at the YIN home for ‘young ladies in need’. She doesn’t like it there at all and hopes that someone will come along one day and want to take her home. But the people always choose nicer, more easy-going girls. She finds consolation in her talent for drawing, turning all of her sadness and doubts into magnificent pictures, which form a sort of illustrated diary.

One day, she makes friends with Wuf, a woman who always comes up with the craziest plans and does fun things with Fien: eating out at a restaurant and not paying the slightest attention to all the smart customers, or making music in a club, even if you’re no good at it. Wuf even wants to put on an exhibition of the pictures that Fien has drawn, with the title of My Life in 27 Drawings. Fien begins to feel that she’s worth bothering with and she starts to thrive. When Wuf tells Fien that she wants to take her out of the home, it seems as though Fien will finally be happy. But the child-welfare officer is against the plan. Fien becomes scared. Can she really count on Wuf?

Jan Jutte’s illustrations in Kies mij! (Choose Me!) are really the drawings that Fien makes of her life. They form a kind of diary that runs throughout the book. Under every drawing Fien tells you what she’s drawn. ‘What sort of animal would Wuf be if she was an animal? I’ve done a lot of rubbing out, so the paper round her’s got a bit rough. To start with, she was a bit cattish, then bearish, then cowish and then something in between.’

Kies mij! is both funny and touching and written in such an evocative way that the story plays out like a film in your mind as you read it.

Leeuwarder Courant

Convincing, effective and with a real sense of style. (…) A clear and original tone, in spite of the unoriginal point of departure: the homeless child.

De Groene Amsterdammer

Sometimes I used to fantasise that my mum and dad were dead. But then as soon as my parents were just five minutes late back from a visit I would desperately beg for forgiveness and cry out to myself that I hadn’t really meant it! For Fien, the central character in Kies mij! (Choose Me!) by Dirk Weber, dead parents are a fact of life. I really felt for her, also in the scenes she had with her roommate Carla. Carla is a real pain, but however mean she may be, I still had to shed a few tears for her towards the end. I think that’s great, when a writer is able to portray someone in such a way that you feel both dislike and sympathy for them at the same time.

Mariken Jongman in Lemniscaatkrant 2005

Dirk Weber

Dirk Weber (b. 1965) is a designer and copywriter by profession and writes literature in his spare time. He tries something different every time, so his small body of work is exciting and unpredictable. His debut Choose Me! (2005, Vlag en Wimpel winner) and the later Dove Liquorice (2008, Zilveren…

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Kies mij! (2005). Kinder- en jeugdboeken, 155 pagina's.

Age: 10+


English (PDF document)


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