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The Book of Everything

Written by Guus Kuijer

Translated by John Nieuwenhuizen


Thomas can see things no one else can see. Tropical fish swimming in the canals. The fierce beauty of Eliza and her artificial leg. The magic of Mrs. Van Amersfoort, the Beethoven-loving witch next door. And the Lord Jesus, who visits Thomas often and tells him, “Just call me Jesus.”

But Thomas also sees his father hit his mother, with sharp blows that make the angels weep. His father says it’s needed to bring the household back to the Lord in a wicked and sinful time. Yet through Mrs. Van Amersfoort’s friendship, Eliza’s encouragement, Emil and the Detectives, and his conversations with Jesus, Thomas comes to understand that a different kind of faith is possible - one based on human sympathy and compassion above all else. And then he discovers how happiness begins: with no longer being afraid.

Whether you believe or whether you doubt, you will never forget The Book of Everything.


Reviews and Awards

Golden Owl (the Flemish equivalent of the Newbery)
Golden Pencil (the Dutch equivalent of the Newbery)
Book Sense 2006 Summer Pick
The Washington Post's 10 Best Books for Children

"The word 'luminous' sums it up nicely. This book glows. Really lovely." - Patrice Kindl, author of Goose Chase and Owl in Love

"I loved this book." - Philip Ardagh, author of The Fall of Fergal

"What a gorgeous, gorgeous story. Jaunty and quirky and sweetly funny, The Book of Everything is an absolute charmer." - Sonya Hartnett, author of Thursday's Child and What the Birds See

"This brief post-WWII novel packs an emotional wallop.... Readers who enjoyed Frank Boyce's Millions will find the same sophisticated storytelling here." - Publishers Weekly

"Remarkable." - Sunday Times

"Very powerful." - Independent

"Against the backdrop of a country still reeling from the Nazi Occupation, with its resisters and collaborators, this story of one family's dance with retributive justice in its many forms is held up as a mirror to its society. It's a deceptively simple tale.... Those who open themselves up to it will be repaid." - Kirkus Reviews

"Set in Amsterdam in 1051, this slender Dutch novel is filled with quirky characters, frightening family confrontations, and laugh-out-loud moments. Dark humor and a wry, ironic tone, reminiscent of Kurt Vonnegut, give the story a sharp edge." - Booklist


Purchase Options
Indiebound  Amazon • Barnes & Noble


Spring 2006
Young Adult Fiction
ISBN: 0-439-74918-2
Price: $16.99/$21.99
Trim Size: 5  1/2" x 7  1/2"
Page Count: 112
Foreign Rights: Querido
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes